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Representatives of Public Account Committees (PAC) from some Parliaments in the West African Sub-region, have gathered in Accra for a training programme on Public Financial Management for improved budget oversight and accountability.
The five day training programme which will last till Friday October 26, 2018 is to ensure a better shared understanding of the Public Financial Management systems, their strengths and their weaknesses, as well as ensuring solidarity and support for specific member Parliaments facing particularly serious challenges.
The programme which is under the theme, “International Peer Learning for Budget Accountability in Africa.”is in fulfilment of an action plan adopted in January 2016 in Lome, Togo by the Executive Committee of the African Organization of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC) for the period 2017 – 2018.
The action plan which places some level of importance on supporting the training of PAC members and staff, has since been developed into a Strategic Plan with Human Capacity Development as one of the 5 strategic priorities.
The Accra training programme organized for the West African Association of Public Accounts Committees (WAAPCO), is coming at the hills of a similar programme which was organized for the Southern African Development Committee Organization of Public Accounts Committees (SADCOPAC) in September 17 – 21, 2018 in Swakopmund, Namibia.
Similarly, there will be one organized for the East African Association of Public Accounts Committees (EAAPAC) in January 21 – 25, 2019 in Mombasa, Kenya.
Making her remarks at the opening ceremony of the five day programme in Accra, the Vice Chairperson of AFROPAC, who is also the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee of Uganda, Hon. Angeline Ossege, observed that the training activities were being carried out with technical and organizational support from the Good Financial Governance (GFG – GIZ) in Africa programme.
According to her, the aim is to organize synergies in training for AFROPAC member countries and regional PAC networks to be able to hold their governments accountable by deploying the elements of Public Financial Management.
“Public Financial Management (PFM) is a crucial element in achieving these goals. With this in mind, we aim to ensure budgetary oversight that is efficient, sustainable, and effective in promoting the interest of the people.” She said.
The Vice Chairperson of Ghana’s Public Accounts Committee and MP for Lambussie/Karni, Hon. Edward Dery, indicated that the training programme couldn’t have come at any better time than now when citizens have been calling on their various parliaments to step up their oversight and accountability role in order to protect the public purse.
According to him, the role of parliament through its watchdog committee is becoming extremely important in an effort to reverse the worrying trend of public officials syphoning state resources due to weak financial management systems.
“Weak and porous PFM systems in many African countries, have provided the breeding ground for corrupt officials to syphon state resources through dubious means. It is estimated that Africa loses over 143 billion Dollars annually through corruption.” He indicated.
Adding that the governance structure in most African countries leaves much to be desired and therefore urged that the confidence reposed in parliament by the citizenry must not be betrayed.
Source: Clement Akoloh || Africanewsradio.com