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Cook Islands hosts successful PASAI Congress, adopts 10-year strategy

Tuesday 28 May 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Economy, National, Pacific Islands, Regional


Cook Islands hosts successful PASAI  Congress, adopts 10-year strategy
Participants of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) Congress in Rarotonga. SUPPLIED / 24052719

Cook Islands Audit believes the new Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) Strategy for 2024 -2034 that was adopted in Rarotonga last week is aligned well with their strategic intent.

The 25th Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) Congress was held from May 20 to 24 at the National Auditorium.

Desmond Wildin, director of the Cook Islands Audit Office and also PASAI chair. says the new strategy is heavily focused on the Public Financial Management System and independence continues to be a focus.

“Building team capability and capacity is a key area for us. Similarly, with PASAI.

“Further twinning relationships for smaller Supreme Audit Institutions will be developed. We have a strong twinning relationship with the New Zealand Office of the Auditor General (OAGNZ). This could be used as a model going forward.

“PASAI provides the regional approach. Ours provides the Cook Islands context to ensure Cook Islanders benefit from the responsible spending of taxpayer dollars.”

Wildin said they are stronger when they adopt a joint approach with Pacific partners, international, regional and local supreme audit institutions.

“PASAI priorities aligned with ours. They’re complementary.”

Looking at last week’s discussions with 65 delegates from the Pacific region including auditor generals from 20 developing countries, New Zealand and Australia, Wildin said it was hugely successful.

He said that ensuring and advocating for Supreme Audit Institution independence was a main feature to strengthen performance and to improve the lives of Pacific people. 

Wildin added a key objective was to raise awareness of the importance of Supreme Audit Institution’s independence.

And he said the former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark, the goodwill ambassador for the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Donor Cooperation, who was keynote speaker at the event “opened impact fully on this”.

“It was a strong and consistent theme throughout the week,” he said.

“SAIs adopted a strategy for the next 10 years to build on this. Of course, the Cook Islands is now the chair of PASAI for the year ahead.”

Wildin added that the Cook Islands Audit team presented successfully on the Cook Islands Audit strategy and recent successes.

With the main discussions being increasing audit independence across the Pacific and raising the profile of work Supreme Audit Institutions and stamping out corruption, the next PASAI meeting is expected to be held next year in New Caledonia as the next host.