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CAPA and ICAN continues to encourage improved PFM in Nepal

31 March 2015

CAPA joined with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) to organise a Roundtable event and Conference focused on public financial management (PFM). Similar events were held in March 2013, and this provided an opportunity for follow-up and consideration of progress and next steps in Nepal's journey to improve public sector financial management.

The Roundtable event involved some 40 participants from the Nepal public sector, Auditor General's Office, Comptroller General's Office, Accounting and Auditing Standards Boards of Nepal, ICAN, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the European Union, and other international public sector experts from CAPA's Public Sector Financial Management Committee (PSFMC).

The Roundtable was facilitated by ICAN President, Narendra Bhattarai, and invited guests shared experiences from Australia, India, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. CAPA Chief Executive, Brian Blood, also shared the PSFMC's publication - 'The Eight Key Elements of PFM Success'. Three key reviews have recently been completed in Nepal - World Bank ROSC Accounting and Auditing, PEFA Assessment 2014, and SAI Performance Measurement Framework - and these formed the basis for discussions at the Roundtable as well as the Conference held the following day.

The Roundtable concluded with mutual agreement that dialogue between ICAN and the public sector needs to continue to ensure the accountancy profession is contributing towards PFM reform and high quality public sector accounting, auditing, and financial reporting.

A Conference was held the following day with approximately 120 attendees from the Nepal public sector, members of ICAN, and fellow accounting professionals from Nepal and neighbouring countries from the Asia region. The Conference was opened by Honourable Dr. Ram Saran Mahat, the Finance Minister of Nepal, and attended also by Mr. Bhanu Prasad Acharya, the Auditor General of Nepal. Mr. Rameshwor Khanal, former Finance Secretary of Nepal, gave an excellent keynote speech.

The Conference, themed 'PFM Reform for Nation Building - Global and Nepalese Perspective', included a dedicated session for Nepal public sector officials to  share the latest developments in public sector financial management in Nepal. CAPA representatives delivered presentations on a number of contemporary topics relevant to the Nepal public sector, either currently or for future consideration. The topics focused on latest accountancy profession developments, accounting standards (IPSAS), PFM reform initiatives, sustainable public finances, financial and performance reporting, audit committees and internal audit, whole of government accounts, and professionalising the public sector.

The Nepal public sector is seeing promising results in its PFM reform initiatives. The openness and honesty in discussions was very notable, as was the enthusiasm and commitment to improvement programs. CAPA is delighted to continue assisting ICAN to play its role as the national professional accountancy organisation and encouraged the use of 'The Eight Key Elements of PFM Success' publication to progress its dialogue with the government of Nepal.