Watchdogs share experience on public cash oversight

| 19/12/2019 | 5 Comments
Cayman News Service
PAC Chair Ezzard Miller at the UKOTP Oversight of Public Finances – London Forum

(CNS): As the Public Accounts Committee gears up to review three auditor general reports in the New Year, highlighting government’s ongoing failings when it comes to managing public cash, the major players responsible for oversight made a recent trip to the UK, where they shared experiences with others in the field. PAC Chair Ezzard Miller, Auditor General Sue Winspear and Internal Audit Unit Director Andy Bonner have just returned from London, where they attended a forum on the oversight of public finances, held for key stakeholders from the UK Overseas Territories.

The Oversight of Public Finances and Governance – London Forum 2019 hosted delegates from most of the territories, allowing them to share best practice and advice. The aim is to help the watchdogs of the people’s money keep on top of their part in preventing abuse.

“The Cayman Island’s Public Accounts Committee has already received tremendous benefits from these meetings, which have already resulted in the adoption of international best practices in a number of areas of the PAC’s work,” Miller said.

The head of the UK Overseas Territories Project, Diana Atungire-Ocaya, said it was the third time key actors had come together to explore the issue of public financial oversight and good governance under the banner of the UKOTP.

The current phase of the project, due to come to an end in 2020, is an initiative delivered in partnership with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), the UK National Audit Office (NAO) and the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA), along with participating OTs.

Launched in 2017, the UKOTP partnered with OTs to identify areas where support would be welcome and to tailor activities to address those areas.

The forum was a final opportunity to explore progress in OTs to date, to address some of the ongoing challenges and to identify ways in which the UK and its OTs can continue to work together beyond the end of the project to ensure long-lasting impact.

UKOTP Chair Lord Foulkes said, “I have been delighted to see the positive outcomes from the UK Overseas Territories Project. The OTs have demonstrated a strong commitment to working together to strengthen their public financial oversight and scrutiny functions. With the latest phase of the project scheduled to come to an end in 2020, the London Forum was an opportunity to cement the learning and good practice that has been developed to ensure that effective public financial oversight continues beyond the life of the project.”

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Category: Government Finance, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Not until 200 comments posted on articles as this one you would see “the change”.
    Not until those who were supposed to be investigated are investigated and those who were supposed to timely investigate, but didn’t, forced to explain why they failed to perform their duties, only then you MIGHT see the change.
    Corruption in this country is institutionalized. And members of public seem to focus on cruise ships collusion more than on atrocious things that are happening in this country.
    So don’t cry that you live in dilapidated houses, that your children education is a joke, that roads are expanded into bottlenecks, and cancer rampant.

  2. Anonymous says:

    (CNS): “The former minister for district administration and planning may be subject to an Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC) investigation after the auditor general raised concerns again about her use of public money on Cayman Brac. In his latest report Alastair Swarbrick pointed to what could be a “breach of trust” by Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, who is currently the speaker of the House, over her direction to purchase a plot of land in her constituency.”

    Has this been reviewed yet?

  3. It has been 5 years already says:

    The Public Accounts Committee, perhaps more than any other, must itself be accountable to the public.

    “We refer specifically to the recent PAC meeting which was convened to investigate the Cayman Islands auditor general’s outstanding, and astounding, report on government’s “travel and hospitality” spending, which totaled $8.6 million over three years.

    That report contained enough fireworks to light up downtown George Town on the opening evening of Pirates Week, but to us — and we suspect to many readers — the most interesting items were the expenditures of then-Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who, like Mr. McTaggart, switched her allegiance to the People’s Progressive Movement after the 2013 elections. Soon thereafter, she became Speaker of the House, a post she still holds.

    The auditor general revealed in his report that Ms. O’Connor-Connolly somehow managed to spend $34,000 in hotel charges on Cayman Brac, where she lives and has a home. He also raised questions (and eyebrows) when he referred to Ms. O’Connor-Connolly’s now infamous trip to Qatar, entourage in tow, to attend a postal conference where Cayman received a bronze award for the excellence of its postal service.

    And yet, to date, neither Ms. O’Connor-Connolly nor her chief officer Kearney Gomez has been called before Mr. McTaggart’s committee to explain these expenditures.

    Why not?”

    IT HAS BEEN 5 years already!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why PAC failed to investigate the expenditures of then-Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly?

      • Anonymous says:

        Please note who the chairman was at the time Minister Roy McTaggart and his deputy chair was McKeeva Bush.
        What did you expect

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