The New Dawn (Monrovia)

27 November 2012

Liberia: Senate Conducts Training On Public Accounts

Over 15 members of the joint House and Senate committees on Public Accounts have begun a two-day training session at a local hotel in Monrovia. At the opening program, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Senator Edward Dagoseh emphasized the importance of the PACs in understanding financial oversight, development in public finances in fulfillment of their democratic roles.

"The oversight of the public finances is one of the most important roles members of the legislature can perform on behalf of their constituents and taxpayers", the Grand Cape Mount County Senator told his colleagues.

Senator Dagoseh said the training is intended to prepare members of the Public Accounts Committees to better understand financial oversight, particularly to be able to scrutinize audit reports produced by the General Auditing Commission (GAC).

"It is also hoped that this training programme may be of interest to other members of the Liberian legislature serving on key legislative committees such as Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, which deal with budgetary issues of the nation", he said.

According to him, the training does not seek to make financial experts out of the members of the National Legislature, but to make them more informed users of the services, which specialists, budget staff and other others periodically supply the lawmaking body.

"We hope it will be useful not only to members of the Liberian Legislature involved in the financial oversight, but also to others involved in seeking to strengthen financial oversight in their counties, schools, churches, communities and local organizations", Senator Dagoseh pointed out.

The training session has brought together members of the Association of Public Accounts and the Southern Africa Development Community Organization of Public Accounts Committee. Topics covered at Monday's session included, Using An Annual Report as an Oversight Tool, and How to Conduct PAC Hearing.

Liberia's Vice President Joseph Boakai;, House Speaker Alex Tyler; Anti Corruption Commission Chair Cllr. Frances Allison, and Finance Minister Amara Konneh are expected to attend the second and final day session today, Tuesday.

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