The full workshop delegation with 31 Public Accounts Committee Chairs, Members and Clerks from across the region.
From 21-23 January 2020, 31 Chairs, Members and Clerks of Public Accounts Committees from 11 Commonwealth countries across the region met to discuss their role in the scrutiny and oversight of public finances. This workshop was led by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (UK Branch) and hosted by the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Delegates exchanged knowledge, learning and good practice with their counterparts from across the Caribbean and explored opportunities and challenges in a regional context. Key themes covered across the three days included working effectively across political parties to achieve consensus on reports; engaging with witnesses and gathering useful evidence; successful questioning techniques during oral evidence sessions; strategies for getting a response from the Government to PAC reports and recommendations; good practice for scrutinising financial statements; developing strategies for public engagement and outreach; and how to achieve an independent and neutral PAC, particularly the challenges faced by PACs in small legislatures.
Technical experts from the Caribbean Development Bank and the World Bank shared insight into the role of PACs in scrutinising the spend of public money during natural disaster response. A technical expert from the Caribbean Development Bank also shared their experience in gender-sensitive financial scrutiny.
CPA UK also presented the results of the Commonwealth Association of Public Accounts Committees (CAPAC) Biennial Survey. The survey invites PACs across the Commonwealth to self-assess their PAC against nine principles.
This three-day workshop was part of a wider programme delivered by CPA UK as part of the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D), a UK Government-funded programme between 2018 - 2020. This programme serves as a platform to enable Commonwealth democracies to share best practice in promoting good governance through CAPAC. Previous regional CAPAC workshops have been held in Kenya for African legislatures (September 2018 – CPA UK-funded), Fiji for Pacific legislatures (February 2019) and in Malaysia for Asian legislatures (August 2019).
A final pan-Commonwealth workshop will be held in the UK between 17-19 March 2020, inviting delegates to share their learning and progress since the regional workshops and to look forward to continuing to exchange knowledge and experience in years to come.
For more information about these workshops, please contact Rebekah Northall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This programme is part of CPA UK's wider work on financial scrutiny and oversight.