Chairman of the St Helena Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Cyril Gunnell, and Chief Auditor, Phil Sharman, departed St Helena on Monday, 20 February 2017, to attend the UK Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) & UK Overseas Territories’ Parliamentary Forum in Miami, Florida. The forum will take place between Wednesday 1 March and Thursday 2 March 2017. The Head of SHG’s Internal Audit Office, John Kanes, is also attending this forum.
For the past two years the National Audit Office (NAO) has been working with the FCO’s Overseas Territories Department to develop a good practice framework for good financial governance and oversight across the UK Overseas Territories – this guidance will be launched at the beginning of March 2017 at the multilateral forum, in Miami. The Chairman of the St Helena PAC has also been invited to chair a session, at this forum, focusing on making recommendations to Government and tracking progress.
The launch event is intended to ensure all territories have this common point of reference as a basis for identifying common and specific priorities for engagement and implementation support through the programme activities.
The forum will focus on the three-year assistance programme that has been commissioned by the FCO OTD in response to the good governance priority highlighted at the 2013 Joint Ministerial Council. The programme will be funded to the tune of £1.6m through the FCO Conflict, Stability & Security Fund (CSSF) and delivered by the UK CPA working in partnership with the National Audit Office and the Government Internal Audit Agency.
The programme is designed to assist with institutional strengthening and capacity building on the following three objectives:
Objective 1 – PAC: Developing PAC to perform their oversight and scrutiny functions through member training, peer-to-peer exchanges and capacity building measures
Objective 2 – External Audit: Strengthening capacity of External Audit functions through technical assistance with updating legislation manuals and guidance and practical audit application
Objective 3 – Internal Audit: Strengthening capacity of Internal Audit functions to perform internal audit work through an external quality assessment and improvement programme
This programme of assistance through the CSSF is welcomed and with the forthcoming election of a new Council, comes at an ideal time for St Helena. Through this OTD-wide support, St Helena can ensure its audit and oversight arrangements are appropriate in design and effective in operation for the longer term.
Two flyers which have been produced for this project are available on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/
21 February 2017