Assembly’s FPAC members upgrade skills in report writing


This will allow the FPAC -- the key committee of the Assembly as it has the role of oversight over how public money is spent -- to produce its own reports on the different auditor general’s reports on the financial accounts of the government and other public entities.

William Fraser, a consultant from the European Union (EU), conducted the training which started in April last year following a request by the committee for technical help from the EU.

The capacity-building training project for the FPAC has recently been completed, the outcome of which is the production of three reports:

• a first FPAC report on the annual report of the auditor general on the financial accounts of the government for the years 2009 and 2010;

• a report on the auditor general’s audit report of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB); and

• a report on the auditor general’s audit report of the Seychelles Public Utilities Corporation (PUC).

The FPAC also prepared hearings on the auditor general’s annual reports on the financial accounts of government for the year 2011.

Speaking to the press last week, David Pierre, the chairperson of the committee and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, described the training and support from the EU as excellent.
“It was important for us that we receive such support and I believe we have used it very well and I really appreciate the quality and level of the work done by the committee with the help of the consultant,” said Mr Pierre.

He added that the training has helped the seven committee members carry out their work in a very professional manner.
“Through the training, members of the FPAC have learned the different techniques to identify questions based on a report and how to formulate questions in order to get the required replies, techniques on report writing and how to handle and deal with performance audit,” said Mr Pierre.

He noted that from the beginning it was established that politics would be kept out of the work and members concentrated and focused only on working in the interest of the people of Seychelles and this was to establish how public funds are used in all government departments and agencies to ensure money is spent well.

As a result of the training, Mr Pierre said the FPAC members are now better trained to make their own conclusions based on the auditor general’s reports, putting them on par with similar committees within other parliaments abroad.

He noted that from now on the authorities would not be able to ignore the reports produced by the Assembly on the auditor general’s reports as where there are suspected mismanagement of funds  those concerned will have to answer to the committee.

For his part, Mr Fraser said the committee is now appropriately skilled to gain international recognition.
“It is important to the EU and the international community which view this as a sign of progress that this very important committee of the Assembly like in all parliamentary democracies is properly equipped to write its own reports,” said Mr Fraser.

He noted that this sign of progress by the FPAC will help the EU in its evaluation when it comes to providing budget support to Seychelles. It is a sign that there are more checks and balances in place to ensure aid and support money are well spent.

Mr Fraser, who has been visiting the country several times in relation to the project, thanked all ministries and departments which he said have been very cooperative and supportive, and this has helped him a lot to realise the project.