The public sector is diverse and with multiple players. It is riddled with bottlenecks in service delivery. In Uganda, the government has frequently come under fire for corruption, nepotism and inefficient service delivery. Yet performance of the public sector is critical for economic growth of any country and for the wellbeing of society. More so, the private sector works within the framework that is determined by the public sector.
The accountants’ role in improving public sector performance cannot be overstated. As the custodian of the country’s resources, accountants ensure that resources are used for their intended purpose, so that development goals and objectives are met.
The Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) will host the fifth Africa Congress of Accountants 2019 (ACOA2019) from 19-21 June 2019 in Marrakech Morocco. The theme of the congress is for a successful public sector performance in Africa.
At the ACOA2019, CPA Lawrence Semakula, the Accountant General will present on the topic, Ethics Driving Effective Service Delivery.
“Ethics determines everything and in service delivery. If there are no ethical values, then you will definitely know that service delivery is affected. As you know, public sector is basically about service delivery and not profit maximization,” CPA Semakula said.
ICPAU prescribes a Code of Conduct for professional accountants. Members of ICPAU are bound by the Code of Ethics and punitive measures are taken where a breach arises. The Code of Ethics prescribes the ethical, technical and professional standards which are based on five core principles: integrity, objectivity, competence, diligence and respect for the image of the regulator.
While speaking at a recent interview, CPA Derick Nkajja, the CEO of ICPAU reiterated ICPAU’s commitment to driving public sector performance.
“The Institute has established the Public Sector Accountants Working Group, to improve the implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), sharing of resources and networking, among public sector accountants,” he said.
The government of Uganda has demonstrated its commitment to driving success in public sector performance, through introducing public finance management reforms. These are aimed at promoting transparency and accountability, particularly in the areas of budget preparation, execution, accounting and reporting.
The interventions are in 3 major areas:
- The legal and the regulatory framework:
Laws have been enacted/amendment to streamline the sector and foster improvements. These include: the Public Finance Management Act of 2015, the National Audit Act of 2008, and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act 2003.
- Systems and Underlying Procedures
- The integrated financial management system that was implemented across government, to automate the budget execution processes.
- The treasury single account to monitor the expenditures and revenues of government.
- The e-cash solution to control cash withdrawals.
- Web based solutions for the accounting officers.
- E-procurement to minimise human involvement within the procurement process.
- Human Resources: Government is professionalizing its employees, by sponsoring studies in professional courses. By 2001, we had less than 3 professional accountants. To date we have over 200, as the Accountant General’s Office. The Accountant General’s Office also supports membership and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements, after qualification.
ACOA provides a unique opportunity for the accountancy profession and its stakeholders to engage and share experiences on how to shape and strengthen the profession in Africa in order to enhance its contribution in improving lives of Africans.
It is anticipated that more than 1000 delegates from Professional Accountancy Organisations across Africa, Government and other stakeholders will attend ACOA2019.
The previous ACOA was held in Uganda 2017, under the theme Accountancy and Accountability: Transforming Africa’s Economies.
PAFA is the continental body representing Africa's professional accountants.
Registration for the Congress is open via https://acoa2019.com/en/delegation/congress/international-congress-participant/