Published: 28 September 2017
The Philippine Commission on Audit (COA) is hosting their counterparts from the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Working Group on Public Debt (WGPD) for its annual meeting from 27 to 29 September 2017 held in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.
The WGPD is a specialized body of the INTOSAI tasked to prepare and publish guidelines and other materials for use by Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) to encourage the proper reporting and sound management of public debt, identify key issues for development of responsibilities and procedures for auditing and evaluating debt commitments and exchange knowledge with other institutions dealing with public debt issues, among its many goals.
COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, who currently Chairs the WGPD, and Commissioner Jose A. Fabia join around 40 delegates from member SAIs - Austria, Azerbaijan, Brazil, China, Fiji, Georgia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, South Korea, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, United States of America, Zambia and the Philippines. Representatives from the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), the World Bank and senior experts also participate in the meet. Deputy Treasurer of the Philippines Atty. Erwin D. Sta. Ana was the keynote speaker.
“Public borrowing can be an effective tool for governments to finance its development initiatives so long as the risks are managed properly. As officials of Supreme Audit Institutions, we play a significant role in helping our respective governments manage public debt to sustainable levels,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said.
This is the first time that the COA chairs the WGPD after SAI of Mexico has chaired the international body for 25 years. This will also be the first time the Philippines hosts a meeting of the WGPD.
The agenda includes the launching of the IDI-Handbook on Audit of Lending and Borrowing Frameworks, updating of database of experts in public debt auditing and WGPD projects and activities as well as sharing of best practices from public debt auditing in their respective countries.
INTOSAI established the WGPD in response to strong interest in public debt matters shown by members during the 1989 INTOSAI Congress. INTOSAI is an autonomous, independent and non-political organization that operates as an umbrella organization for the external government audit community. It has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.