Tenth Biennial Conference of the Australasian Council of Public Accounts Committees
The New Zealand Parliament is hosting the Tenth Biennial Conference of the Australasian Council of Public Accounts Committees (ACPAC) from 15 to 17 April 2009.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Sharing lessons–seeking improved accountability–facing new challenges”.
Council members from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands are attending, along with guests from the United Kingdom, Kiribati, Namibia, Vanuatu, South Africa, Indonesia, and Timor-Leste. Auditors-General from the different jurisdictions and interested academics are also attending.
ACPAC was established in 1989, and aims to:
facilitate the exchange of information and opinion relating to public accounts committees and to discuss matters of mutual concern
improve the quality and performance of public accounts committees in Australasia
liaise with auditors-general to improve the effectiveness of both auditors and public accounts committees
communicate with individuals and organisations knowledgeable about matters of concern to public accountability
provide an educational service for the elected Members of Parliament, the media, and the general public as to the purposes and activities of public accounts committees.
Public accounts committees are responsible for scrutinising government spending. In many parliaments this is undertaken by a single committee. In New Zealand the Finance and Expenditure Committee has the responsibility for reviewing government expenditure, but is able to refer financial reviews of relevant government entities to the other subject select committees.
The ACPAC members hope that the conference will provide an opportunity to learn from each other about innovative ways to ensure accountability and to undertake scrutiny activities.