Local leaders tasked with oversight of Cayman’s public finances and governance structure joined international counterparts this week in the UK to discuss effective strategies to scrutinise expenditures from government coffers.

Public Accounts Committee chairman Ezzard Miller, Auditor General Sue Winspear and Internal Audit Unit director Andy Bonner are attending the UK forum on the oversight of public finance and governance, which started Monday in London.

The meeting is the third in a series of annual forums that will culminate next year.
According to a statement from Miller, the conference commenced with a contribution from Baroness Frances D’Souza, a British scientist, life peer, and former Lord Speaker of the House of Lords in the UK Parliament.

She stressed the importance of accountability as the bedrock of all societies, organisers reported.

The statement said the baroness also highlighted the role that networks, such as the UK Overseas Territories Project, the umbrella agency organising the forum, play in helping create regional standards of excellence.

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Miller said he was delighted to see the positive outcomes from the that project.

“The OTs have demonstrated a strong commitment to working together to strengthen their public financial oversight and scrutiny functions,” he said. “With the latest phase of the project scheduled to come to an end in 2020, the London Forum is an opportunity to cement the learning and good practice that has been developed to ensure that effective public financial oversight continues beyond the life of the project.”

The project is a joint UK and British Overseas Territories initiative aimed at strengthening public finance oversight and governance in the overseas territories.

The three-day conference, which ends Wednesday, is being attended by chairs of public accounts committees, parliamentary clerks, and heads of internal and external audit, from Anguilla, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, the UK, and the British Virgin Islands.

Miller said Tuesday that delegates discussed preparations for public hearings and what makes a good public accounts committee, including succession planning.

On Wednesday, the delegates are expected to update the ‘Good Practice Guide’ to which Cayman is a signatory.

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