La Trobe’s Public Sector Governance and Accountability Research Centre conducted its fifth annual Summer Residency Program for Public Accounts Committees in early February.
The program, which is supported by AusAID, the World Bank Institute (WBI), Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI), was attended by thirty-eight Members of Parliament, Auditors- General and Audit Office staff and parliamentary staff from nine countries from the Pacific, Asia and Africa.
Also attending were representatives of CPA, WBI and CDI. Guest presenters included former New Zealand Prime Minister and Ambassador Designate to the United States, Rt Hon Mike Moore and Australian Capital Territory Auditor general, Ms Tu Pham.
The program which focuses on the financial oversight role and capacity of legislatures, commenced with a day of sessions at the Victorian Parliament which has worked with the program since its beginning.
Participants were then transferred to the Beechworth campus for 5 days of retreat style work. Beechworth is an ideal location for this program, and many of the participants commented on its beauty and facilities with one comparing it to the best American campuses. The program requires the country delegations to develop Action plans to be implemented in their jurisdictions, an aspect of the program that has proved very successful and led to significant change in the practices of many participating countries.
Since the first program was held around 220 senior representatives of legislatures from over 40 countries have attended and the program has been very highly rated by the participating partners. As a result of this, PSGARC was successful earlier this year in gaining three year AusAID funding to ensure its continuation.
Mr. Aftab Mirani was head of the delegation from Pakistan. Mr.Hamid Yar Hiraj MNA ,Mr Ayaz Sadiq MNA, Mrs Yasmin Rehman MNA was members of the delegation who came to Melbourne.
Pakistan Australia Association of Melbourne (PAAM) hosted a lunch for PAC delegation. The dinner was attended by Tasawar Khan Pakistani Deputy high commissioner from Canberra as well as PAAM’s President Iqbal Gondal, vice President Adam Khan and Treasurer Aqueel Syed.
In Melbourne, Prof. Ahmad Nawaz Awan General Secretary of Pakistan People’s Party of Australia also hosted a dinner in honour of Mr. Afatb Shaban Mirani Ex CM Sindh, Ex Defence Minister, MNA and senior leader of PPP.