Southern Africa Officials Share Experience of International Public Sector Accounting and Government Finance Statistical Standards

On November 30–December 4, 2015, AFRITAC South held a seminar at the facilities of the Africa Training Institute in Mauritius on improving fiscal and statistical reporting.

The event brought together government officials from Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and the East and Southern Association of Accountants General (ESSAG). International experts shared with participants their knowledge and country experience of implementing international public sector accounting (IPSAS) and the IMF Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM2014).

In his opening address, Mr. Charanjivsingh Romooah, the Accountant General of the Government of Mauritius noted the importance of strengthening and integrating financial and statistical standards, as a basis for improved fiscal planning and decision making and strengthening the accountability of government. He added that the adoption of internationally recognized public sector standards is key to strengthening public trust in the integrity and transparency of government resource utilization and fiscal reporting. Mr. Romooah argued that such enhancements will increase the willingness of both financiers and development partners to invest in the public sector infrastructure and capacity development necessary for improved service delivery, economic growth, and poverty reduction.

Seminar participants also discussed the importance of individual country contexts in determining the pace of adoption of standards and highlighted a range of legislative, institutional, and technical challenges they face with implementation in the region.

The experts shared their knowledge and experiences of creating the preconditions necessary for building necessary commitment and capacity for adoption of IPSAS and GFSM2014 standards and for developing appropriate roadmaps for managing and monitoring implementation. Specific attention was given to key capacity development requirements, sequencing, and resolution of the type of challenges identified by participants.

AFRITAC South will continue to provide technical assistance and hands on training, facilitating specialized peer-learning for the adoption of internationally recognized fiscal and statistical reporting standards.

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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