PAP Audit and Public Accounts Committee Capacitated on Financial Oversight role
The recently restructured Committee on Audit and Public Accounts (CAPA) of the Pan-African Parliament kicked started its financial oversight role with an intensive orientation to enhance its capacity and knowledge in financial reporting processes.
Speaking at the start of the training on Friday, July 29, Third Vice President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Honourable Suilma Hay Emhamed Saleh underscored the importance of audit and public accounting functions of African parliaments saying it was the continent’s promising solution to curbing illicit financial flows out of Africa.
“Continued illicit flows of financial resources from our countries will leave our economies severely damaged and it is therefore crucial that the work of CAPA must be of international standard to check proper utilisation of Africa’s financial resources,” Honourable Saleh highlighted.
She impressed upon CAPA members to ensure that they acquire the necessary knowledge and skills from the auditing and public accounting experts availed to them at the training so that the committee leads in advancing necessary positive changes that will improve the functioning of Africa’s institutions and the African Union.
Honourable Saleh assured the Committee that the current PAP Bureau is committed to support its audit and public accounting oversight mandate which, she noted; is essential for the proper and effective functioning of the Pan African Parliament.
“The benefits that will stem from an effectively functioning PAP structure of accounting systems will enable Africa to curb wastage of our financial resources,” the PAP Third Vice President emphasised.
Earlier, CAPA Chairperson, Honourable Chief Fortune Charumbira described the Committee as Africa’s pillar of oversight since the committee’s mandate will not only strengthen the PAP but also Africa’s overall parliamentary systems to have effective and strong oversight mechanisms.
“We must take this workshop very seriously because it gives us the necessary tools to be effective in our work and mandate although we all have different backgrounds and varied experiences,” said Honourable Charumbira.
The African Organisation of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC) is one institution that is sharing auditing and public accounting experiences with CAPA members at the training.
AFROPAC representative, Honourable Dr. Babker Mohammed Tom informed CAPA members that his organisation was mandated to develop and enhance the audit and accounting capacities of African parliaments through exchange of information and sharing of experiences.
He observed that it was fundamental for all audit and public accounts committees of African parliaments to develop an understanding of international standards of international standard of auditing and public accounting, and contribute towards strengthening of audit and public accounting institutions in their respective countries.
“Audit and public accounts committees of parliaments across Africa must strive to be technically capable to handle their roles, as well as understanding technical documents and issues,” he advised the CAPA members.
Honourable Tom said CAPA would be in a position to play a pivotal role in preventing illicit financial flows out of Africa only if its members are committed and prepared to be equipped with the required knowledge and skills about their audit and public accounting roles.
He said Africa was losing over five percent of its gross domestic product through illicit financial, adding that the financial resources that are lost in this way were far greater than what the continent gets as official development aid.
CAPA was established in October 2015 in accordance with Rule 22(2) of the Rules and Procedure of the Pan African Parliament as adopted by the 1st Ordinary Session of the Fourth Parliament. The Committee is comprised of 15 members from all five Africa’s regional caucuses of Central, Western, Southern, Eastern and Southern Africa.
The Committee will among other functions ensure that PAP’s financial transactions comply with the financial, and staff rules and regulations, administrative policies as well as oversee and review African Union financial reporting processes.
CAPA has been reconstituted following the dissolution of PAP’s ad hoc Committee on Administration and Financial Evaluation.