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Promoting Accountibility: Public Finance Management Act Under Review

The Public Finance Management Act is under review bythe Department of Finance.

This is to plug loopholes and to guarantee accountability of public finances.

Finance Secretary Stephen Gibson announced this duringthe recent launch ofthe Department of Prime Minster & NEC’sInternal Audit Committee recently.

Mr Gibson saidthe review will make sure that each state agency and levels of government will be held accountable to producetheir audits.

Underthe current arrangement,the Finance Department puts togtherthe public accounts. Last monththe finance departmentoTreasury, and National Planning were questioned bythe Public Accounts Committee over hundreds of millions of kina were unaccounted for. One ofthe main reasons for this was because departments failed to keep proper audits of expenditure.  

Another part ofthe review is to ensure compliance tothe Public Finance Management Act. Under Section 9, it is mandatory for all government institutions and Provincial and Local Level Governments to have audit committees in place. So far 30 audit committees have been established bythe finance department. While some are in operation, thers are’nt.

The Finance Department hopes amendments tothe act will be made beforethe end of this year.

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