A WEEK-LONG training for nine Provincial Secretaries on Cash Basis, International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) ended in Tulagi on Friday 23 October 2015.
The workshop for the heads of provincial administrations was organised by the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) with technical support from the Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme (PGSP).
The training was part of the Ministry’s strategy to enhance the capacity of its Provincial Secretaries in basic areas of IPSAS financial reporting and critical areas of public expenditure management systems.
With these basic skills, the Provincial Secretaries will be able to read and interpret financial reports prepared by their Treasurers.
The Provincial Secretaries are signatories to the annual Financial Statements of their provinces but never had the chance of going through a training regime that would make them familiar with the presentation formats and the content of IPSAS based financial statement.
Being a new concept for the provincial governments, the MPGIS has developed a long term strategy of ensuring that all provincial officials are well versed with the standard in order to facilitate its smooth implementation.
The Tulagi training focused on areas including Cash Basis IPSAS:
- Introducing Provincial Secretaries to underlying concepts of Cash Basis IPSAS so that they have a good understanding of PG financial statements and how it is interpreted;
- The training took the participants through a lot of exercises on how provincial business arms should be treated under Cash Basis IPSAS financial reporting. From now onward, all provincial governments with investments are expected by the Auditor General to consolidate the financial statements of their business arms with the provincial government financial statements.
- Introduction to revised budgeting concept and logical framework in planning. For the first time, all provincial governments are carrying out a major revision of their recurrent and capital budgets of 2015/16. Provincial Secretaries were therefore trained how to supervise budgetary revisions and properly interpret them to the provincial executive before the budgets are endorsed by the provincial assemblies.
- The one week training conceptualized the concept of Local Economic Development and provided clarification from the perspective of sub-national governments. The training covered the major strategic objectives of Local Economic Development emphasizing the role of provincial governments as an entity that should create enabling environment to promote and attract local private investments to kick start local economic growth.
- Provincial Capacity Development Fund budgeting and reporting processes including provincial procurements were covered during the one week long training.
Premier of the Central Islands Province, Hon. Selwyn Mapuli, urged the nine Provincial Secretaries to focus on the training which had been designed to capacitate them in key areas of financial reporting and budgeting.
The Premier thanked the Permanent Secretary of MPGIS, Mr Stanley D. Pirione for choosing Tulagi as the venue for this important training for the heads of the nine provincial government administrations.
As part of a conscious strategy of mainstreaming Cash Basis IPSAS into the provincial government financial reporting and accounting system, the MPGIS has designed long term trainings for all provincial governments in order to ensure skills are available to sustain IPSAS.
A similar training for all Provincial Treasurers and their deputies was held in Honiara in June 2015 and other similar trainings on IPSAS will be conducted in each province in 2015/16 in order to reach all treasury officials.
This is hoped to improve regular reporting and at the same time improve the quality of provincial financial statements.
Source: Government Communication Unit