WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Doug Domenech and the team at the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) applaud the Association of Pacific Islands Public Auditors (APIPA) on recently completing their 30th annual conference in Guam from August 26 to 30, 2019. Funded through the Office of Insular Affairs’ technical assistance program and provided by the Graduate School USA, this year’s APIPA conference was hosted by the Guam Office of Public Accountability at the Guam Conference Center in the Dusit Thani Hotel in Tumon.
The 2019 APIPA annual conference provided financial management and audit training for officials from the U.S. Pacific territories and freely associated states. Participants were given the opportunity to receive up to 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) credits, as required by government auditing standards for auditors to maintain their professional competency. Twenty-one (21) courses were delivered during the conference in four training tracks: Audit, Audit Supervisory, Finance, and Advanced Finance and Management. In total, over 2,733 course certificates were awarded for 16,884 CPE credit hours.
“All governments, whether big or small, must be able to demonstrate to all interested stakeholders, including their own citizens, that public resources are well managed,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech. “Congratulations to APIPA for helping to promote such efficiency and accountability in the Pacific for the past 30 years. I wish you success going into the future as you continue to work to promote public awareness and identify solutions to issues that are unique to public auditors in the Pacific.”
The 2019 APIPA Conference represented a record-high attendance, with over 450 paid participants in attendance. In addition, it offered a first-ever panel discussion based on audits made public by APIPA member offices, showcasing eight offices’ recent audit work.
The insular area government participants attending this year’s conference came from American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, Hawai’i, and the Independent State of Samoa. Representatives from the FSM came from the national government and each of its four states of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. Also in attendance were representatives from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of the Inspector General.
Guam Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio welcomed the participants to Guam in his opening remarks reminding participants that, "APIPA helps raise the confidence that our citizens have in our governments ... a critically important role for this organization." Colorado State Auditor Dianne Ray delivered the opening keynote address, emphasizing how audit offices can present results to improve accountability.
A closing plenary focused on recent audits by eight island governments, presented by fourteen public auditors and staff. These audits included important oversight work by insular offices on topics ranging from the performance of street paving projects to contract and grant audits. Six instructors led training sessions throughout the conference week: Diane Arakaki, Michael Binder, Frank Crawford, Drummond Kahn, Dianne Ray, and Jeanne Yamamura. The public auditors are committed to hosting the 31st annual APIPA Conference during the summer of 2020. Conference dates and venue will be shared as the meeting approaches.
For more information on APIPA and the Graduate School USA, visit www.pitiviti.org. For more information on funding provided through the Office of Insular Affairs, visit https://www.doi.gov/oia/financial-assistance.
The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.