OVERVIEW OF THE INITIATIVE
The African public sector experiences a severe shortage of professional accountants and auditors (generally referred to as “accountants”). Professional accountants that are in government have typically only been exposed to private sector theory during their initial professional development. They often lack an understanding of public sector challenges and expectations relating to their position.
WITHOUT SUFFICIENT PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS, AFRICAN STATES ARE VULNERABLE TO EXPLOITATION AND CORRUPTION.
Grow the capacity of professional accountants and auditors who are equipped to support accountability, transparency and good governance in the public sector
THE VALUE PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS BRING THE PUBLIC SECTOR
Balance regulation and policy with political objectives
Make and support sound and informed decision-making
Ensure economic growth without burdening future generations with public debt
Act as guardians against corruption, illicit financial flows and exploitation of resources
Enhance the accountability of government
Ensure that foreign investment benefits the country
TO DELIVER ON THIS MANDATE, THE PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTANT REQUIRES A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF:
- The legislative environment
- The structure of the local public sector
- Fiscal governance
- Public financial and performance management
- Applicable public sector accounting standards such as the IPSAS
- [For external auditors] International auditing standards applicable to supreme audit institutions (ISSAIs)
OBJECTIVES OF THE INITIATIVE
Coordinate efforts to professionalise public sector accounting and auditing
Define minimum requirements for accountancy qualifications that address the needs of the public sector
Invest in generic curricula and learning materials
Develop implementation guidance for country-level implementations
Advocate for the role of the accounting profession in the public sector
Develop accelerated learning programmes for incumbents
Mobilise funding for countries to implement accredited professional qualifications
Enhanced accountability, transparency and good governance in the public sector.
Public funds being used efficiently, effectively and economically to improve the lives of citizens
POTENTIAL VALUE CREATED MAY INCLUDE:
GOVERNMENT AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
protecting resources and attracting foreign investment
reliable information and stronger in-country PFM systems
CITIZENS, CIVIL SOCIETY AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
high quality reporting on government performance
effective resource management and usage
more efficient and effective government
POOR AND DISADVANTAGED CITIZENS
enhanced service delivery and developmental efforts
GOVERNMENT MANAGERS AND OTHER PERSONNEL
improved skills training, job performance and career progression
THE BURNING QUESTIONS
Are you seeking to replace non-professional PFM staff?
No, we value the extensive knowledge and experience of incumbents in PFM roles. Local implementations will offer incumbents a pathway to obtain a professional qualification through an accelerated learning programme. This will help develop key competency areas which incumbents may not have been exposed to in the past.
How do we make the public sector attractive to students?
We believe a professional public sector is an attractive public sector. We will work with civil service commissions to find ways to address compensation and benefit issues. In addition, local PAOs, supreme audit institutions and governments will be encouraged to actively promote the public sector as a viable and fulfilling career path.
Why is my stakeholder group excluded?
While the information in this document is not intended to be exhaustive of all stakeholder groupings, it does reflect our willingness to engage with you. We are following an inclusive approach and would be highly appreciative of your involvement in the initiative.
Will you award qualifications?
No, we will not award qualifications through the new structures. Qualifications will be awarded at the national level by local PAOs, to further ensure ownership. The regional structures define the competencies of public sector accountants and develop generic learning resources to reduce the costs of local implementations.
Will you establish new PAOs?
No, public sector competencies will be incorporated into the qualification frameworks of existing PAOs.
Will you facilitate lectures and classes?
No, generic learning resources will be developed and we will support local PAOs and academic institutions in customising and implementing these resources for their local context.
THE VISION CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED IF ALL RELEVANT STAKEHOLDERS WORK IN PARTNERSHIP.