The 15th Annual Conference of the Southern African Development Community Organisation of Public Accounts Committees (SADCOPAC) took place in Durban, South Africa, during the first week of October. SADC member countries gathered to exchange best practices and reflect on new financial oversight approaches. The conference aimed to raise awareness of common challenges around the management of the public purse.
The first thematic area session focussed on the evolution of public financial accountability in the southern Africa region. It also covered the role of SADCOPAC in coordinating and building the capacity of public accounts committees (PACs) to strengthen ex-ante oversight. AFROSAI-E actively participated in this discussion and shared the discussion paper it jointly developed with the Auditor General of South Africa on the topic.
Undertaking financial scrutiny is challenging, as public finance documents are often technical and contain a high volume of information. It is also a challenge for members of Parliament to balance the demands of financial scrutiny alongside their other roles and responsibilities in the legislature. The discussion paper features talking points for further deliberation by PACs on how they can improve their oversight activities on specific emerging issues in public sector audit and accounting.