Focus on Parliament’s oversight of responses to national crises through Public Accounts Committees 

A global study group on Public Accounts Committees (PACs) and their oversight of responses to national crises organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and hosted by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia has taken place in Victoria, Canada. The study group is working on recommendations for action and heard from global experts in the field. One of the conclusions of the study group was that PACs should access expertise offered by organisations such as the Red Cross when considering their oversight of responses to national crises. 

Hon. Toomata Aki Tuipea, MP, Member of the Finance and Expenditure Committee from the Parliament of Samoa attending the study group said: “While these International mechanisms set clear directions on the global scale, a crucial message remains that nations must not be complacent in their own isolated parts of the world but must continue to implement high level commitments through domestic actions to protect the most vulnerable communities; particularly those who are constantly threatened by adverse effects such as sea level rise, the loss of land, drought, extreme weather events, and impacts on community food supplies.”

The CPA has prioritised the strengthening of PACs to improve public financial management and this programme is part of its longstanding commitment to strengthening Parliaments, especially in developing parliamentary capacity for effective financial scrutiny and improving Parliaments’ audit performance. The Secretary-General of the CPA, Mr Akbar Khan said: “In today’s modern democracies, it is very important to have well-resourced Public Accounts Committees in our Commonwealth Parliaments who understand their role in disaster management. The CPA is delighted to progress the important work through this study group.”

Members of Parliament attended the study group from CPA Branches including Grenada, Samoa, Sierra Leone, British Columbia and Sri Lanka and included Members of PACs, parliamentary staff, representatives from the Canadian Red Cross and International Federation of the Red Cross as well as a representative from the Auditor-General's Office of British Columbia. 

Published on Tuesday 18 July 2017.


Notes to Editors

Images: Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), now in its 106th year with HM Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth as its Patron, exists to develop, promote and support Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance.  

For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Secretariat, Westminster House, 
Suite 700, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA, 
United Kingdom  T: 44-20-7799-1460 
F: 44-20-7222-6073 

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