The PFM Conference seeks to leverage existing information and knowledge on public finance to put into limelight professional ethics in leadership, well aware of the Constitutional provisioning on National Values, Principles of Governance, Leadership and Integrity in Public Finance Management. The enactment of various Acts of Parliament, to establish arms of Government, institutions and bodies, gave impetus to the operationalization of the Constitution and the embedment of good public finance, procurement and budgetary practices in public service, anchored on integrity and ethics. AWAK has found it necessary to address the pertinent governance issues reported on public finance, procurement, budgets and taxation through the PFM conference themed ‘Professional Ethics in Leadership: The Missing Link”.
The question of what happens in public sector to fuel corruption and foster corrupt practices amidst Constitutional provisions, laws and regulations remains a mystery. The mega scandals frequently flagged by the media have left taxpayers’ worried about their Country. Kenyans of all walks of life have their pockets hurting while wallowing in poverty of dignity, their quality of life and standards of living greatly compromised by lack or poor service delivery. The Kenyan elite seem to have moved away from performance to plunder and blunder, putting into question the role of professionals in leading public affairs. Through the planned PFM Conference, AWAK seeks to offer a forum to discourse and address the missing link on leadership and ethics by professionals in public offices, noting the need for concerted public participation, effort and attention. Essentially, the PFM Conference will include the following topics:
The Office of Auditor –General has published and publicized annual audited accounts and reports on various Government ministries and State Corporations year by year, that show massive losses of public funds. Common audit findings amongst institutions include unaccounted for funds, expenditure without supporting documents, payments for goods and services not delivered, missing financial data and information, incomplete and underfunded projects. From the general populace, frequently asked questions remain where were the professionals in these Ministries, Departments, Agencies and State Corporations? Indeed, where is the place of ethics and integrity in public finance leadership envisaged in the Constitution? The Conference will address itself to the effects of public audits on public finance management and the role of ethics.
The creation of an independent office of the Controller of Budgets was to strengthen internal controls on National and County budget implementation, monitoring and reporting. The Office spearheads good governance and best practice in national budgeting, to entrench the ethos of transparency, accountability and openness in government institutions spending. The requirement for prior approvals to draw public funds and the mandate to sanction withdrawal of funds by units of Government is significant in monitoring public expenditure. The participants will delve into what creates gaps in budgetary controls right through the promulgated budget preparation cycle.
The recent Presidential directive on all Heads of Procurement and Accounting Units in all Ministries, Departments, Agencies and State Corporations to step aside, declare their wealth and submit their personal previous record of service and allow fresh vetting for public service suitability was a clear pointer to the missing links and possible gaps in public procurement management. The reported grand corruption at NYS, NCPB, KPC, Youth Enterprise Development Fund and the National Tree Planting Program has seen Kenyan taxpayers’ loss billions in stolen public funds. Notably, these are perpetuated through procurement where over 70% of the national budget expenditure is executed. The audience will seek to address ethical dilemmas inherent in public procurement and supplies management.
In 2016/17 budget cited a Kes.2 billion system error while the 2018/9 budget had a housing tax error. Reports on what really happened to cause these errors are yet to be provided. Pertinent questions have been raised on the role of the Integrated Financial Information Management System (IFIMIS) in the loss of public funds, with many Kenyans calling for its overhaul. In any case results on the impact of IPSAS adoption in government financial reporting are yet to be disclosed. The PFM Conference will address systemic weakness and loopholes in public financial management that efficiency, effectiveness and economy in financial resource utilization.
Part on national budget preparation is enactment and enforcement of tax laws. The cardinal rule in tax collection on benefits exceeding collection costs remains. What is never on spot are the silent and indirect taxation costs Kenyans incur in filing and reporting their tax affairs. The influx of cyber cafes for online filing and bank agents for payment processing has dug deeper into tax payers pocket without due compensation. This coupled with poor service delivery against hefty taxation is a missing link that AWAK would have participants address conclusively and make recommendations.
Leadership calls for a certain level of emotional maturity than is generally exhibited by many people in leadership. The case for a high sense of self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship management in leadership cannot be gainsaid. Leadership is all about guiding others to achieve a shared vision, mission and set goals. Emotional investment and leadership in public finance management require that leaders learn the need to be quick to listen and slow to anger while with their followers. The Conference will offer an interactive session on how to invest in soft skills for outstanding performance.
An effective BSC provides a way of measuring results and paying for performance. Accordingly, a good public finance system should deliver service to customers in the most cost effective, efficient and economical way. It balances financial management, internal processes, customer service, learning and growth to deliver the vision through strategy execution. Missing links in public finance are measurement systems, strategic management systems and communication tools to put those in leadership to account for their decisions and choices. The Conference will seek to decipher the role public participation in financial accountability of public funds.
Registration will be opened to participants from 1st August to 15th September 2018
Please Contact Secretariat for clarification and further information
Association of Women Accountants of Kenya (AWAK)
CPA Centre (ICPAK), Ruaraka, Thika Rd
P.O. BOX 62914-00200 Nairobi
Tel: +254 720 016556