Deputy Minority Leader of parliament, Hon Dr Kames Klutse Avedzi has been elected as Vice Chairman of the newly-formed Commonwealth Association of Public Accounts Committees (CAPAC) at the Palace of Westminster, London audited Kindom.
The Association maiden general meeting which elected the executive committee was hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (UK Branch) which is also providing the interim secretariat for the Association.
Currently CAPAC has 24 member countries which includes, Australia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, Fiji, Ghana, Jamaica, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta,Mauritius, Namibia,Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone,Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad andTobango, Uganda and United Kingdom.
The election of CAPAC executives, according to Avedzi, who is Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu North, was keenly contested and he won the vice Chairmanship race.
The Chairmanship went to UK, and Treasure went to Canada, India won Secretary and others were co-opted executives.
The Executive Committee comprised three elected officers, thus the Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer. The Chair of the Executive Committee is the executive head of the Association.
Per the association guidelines, the Deputy Minority Leader said, “three officers would be elected by the Executive Committee Members for a two-year term with a possibility of extension for another two year term at their first meeting, immediately following the Annual General Meeting.
“Each full Member Committee which has not had a representative on the Executive Committee for the preceding four years will be eligible to nominate one candidate for the CAPAC Executive Committee elections.”
“At the end of its representative’s tenure as the Executive Committee Member, his / her Member Committee will be excluded from participating at the Executive Committee elections for two consecutive conferences (a four-year period),” Dr Avedzi explained.
He said, when an Executive Committee Member loses his / her parliamentary seat on his / her full Member Committee, the respective PAC will be required to appoint a new representative as a replacement.
The aim of CAPAC, according to Avedzi, is to ensure that all Commonwealth Parliaments, and the citizens they serve, benefit from strong and independent Public Accounts to sustain and promote the highest principles of public finance.
He told THE REPUBLIC that, CAPAC is also aimed at making the case for the independence of Commonwealth PACs, and for the implementation of all appropriate PAC recommendations as key components of good governance.
It would also be defining, publishing and promoting standards of good practice, in line with Commonwealth principles, to assist CAPAC Member Committees in being effective, transparent and independent.
CAPAC, Mr Avedzi added, also aimed at strengthening the capacity of Commonwealth PAC and equivalent Committees with a particular emphasis on Small States and also encourage bilateral and multi-lateral interaction among Members on issues of common concern.
Additional, the association sought to providing training to support CAPAC Member Committees in improving their performance and acting as clearing house of valuable information on matters pertaining to PACs, which include information about current practices in various legislatures.
As part of it function, CAPAC would be establishing a voluntary peer consultative mechanism process acceptable to its Member Committees, to be used as a platform for both exchanges of information and benchmarking.
It will also engaging in proactive and effective relationships with key stakeholders, including, but not limited to, regional PAC organisations and the Conference of Commonwealth Auditor-Generals.
All these, Mr Avedzi said, aimed for member countries to tap experience from each other to enhance and harness public accountability for the betterment of utilization of public funds.).
The association formed three years ago followed heads of Government from CommonWealth agreement that strong and independent Parliamentary oversight plays an important role in preserving the trust of citizens in the integrity of government, through Public Accounts Committees that are effective, independent and transparent.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Endsalige Nyaaba