Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM President Opens APIPS Conference

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM INFORMATION SERVICE): March 4, 1998 - FSM President Jacob Nena addressed the Association of Pacific Islands Public Auditors (APIPA) conference on February 23rd at the Across-the-Street Restaurant.

The purpose of the training/conference was focused on Prevention and Detection of Fraud by directing the auditing technicians on the tracks of potential fraudulent activities.

Nena told the participants that "Good Governance" is a critical element in nation-building and economic development process for which the FSM Government is committed.

"As auditing officials, you are, in effect, responsible for monitoring the quality of governance in your various locations-at least in terms of the public administration aspect of this thing called good governance, as officials responsible for assessing the quality of financial management and program performance of the public agencies," Nena stated.

Nena told the participants that their responsibility is not simply to shine light on waste, fraud, abuse or inept performance, but also to offer solution to problems found as well.

"It's not enough to simply produce lengthy reports and then "walk away until next year," Nena said.

The President challenged the participants to apply the very same performance principles in their audit work as in auditing public agencies, recommending "user-friendly audit reports" as a starting point.

Nena told participants that serious audit findings and major management and financial control problems need to be brought to the attention of managers and policy makers in the most accessible or understandable format as possible.

Nena stated that too often audit findings recommended remedies are buried in the reports that clear remedial action are not taken by appropriate leaders or government officials.

Nena expressed his hope that the participants will share what they learned with their fellow workers to promote the purpose of the conference which is to develop professionally in the auditing field.

"Your role is usually a thankless one," he said, adding, "you face headache and political pressures in the normal course of completing your mission."

Nena told the participants that at times, they may feel that the sacrifice they make are not worth it. However, he said "I encourage you to share my optimism that the best of times are ahead of us. We owe it to ourselves and to the future generations to create a better future."

He concluded "Your role and your collective contributions to good governance will, I am sure, contribute to our better future in the Pacific."

In the FSM Constitution, Article 12, section 3, the office of Public Auditor is established. He is appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress for a term of four years.

The Public Auditor shall inspect and audit accounts in every branch, department, agency or statutory authority of the national government and in other public legal entities or nonprofit organizations receiving public funds from the national government.

When the Public Auditor reports any alleged violations of laws and regulations to the President, it becomes the President's responsibility to prosecute such violations in competent court of law.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356