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Cook Islands hosts PASAI Congress, set to assume leadership role

Saturday 18 May 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Local, National

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Cook Islands hosts PASAI Congress, set to assume leadership role
Desmond Wildin, director of the Cook Islands Audit Office. 24051723

Cook Islands will assume the chair of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions at the 25th PASAI Congress to be hosted in Rarotonga next week.

Desmond Wildin, director of the Cook Islands Audit Office, will assume the chairmanship of the PASAI Governing Board from Palau during the congress starting Monday.

PASAI is the official association of supreme audit institutions (government audit offices and similar organisations, known as SAIs) in the Pacific region. PASAI is one of the regional organisations belonging to the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).

The congress will open at 9am at the National Auditorium. The keynote speaker will be the former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark who is also the INTOSAI Donor Cooperation (IDC) goodwill ambassador for SAI Independence.

Clark is a high-profile advocate for the important role of SAIs in the public financial management system, and is committed to good governance.  

Wildin says he is looking at capitalising on the opportunity, not only for himself, but also for the opportunity it provides the Cook Islands office and the country as it would raise the profile of their work.

“As a Cook Island Audit Office, we’re here for the benefit of Cook Islanders.  We work to ensure that Cook Islanders have trust and confidence. And this allows us an elevated platform to raise our issues and our concerns and ensure that we can leverage off our partnership with PASAI in terms of how we can better perform as an office.”

Wildin e said he will hold the role for a year, “but we’ll be on the Governing Board for three years”.

The theme for this year’s Congress is “Strengthening performance – making a difference in the lives of Pacific people”.

The 2024 Congress will mark a milestone for PASAI as it is expected to adopt a new strategy for the 2024-2034 period. 

Around 65 delegates from across the region, including auditor generals from 20 developing countries in the Pacific, along with Australia and New Zealand, will be at the 23rd PASAI Congress. Key regional and international organisations such as the UNDP, UNLDC, the International Organisation for Supreme Order Institutions, along with the major funders Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia and New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Wildin said this is the second time Cook Islands is hosting the event after hosting the event in 2008.