IFAC and CIPFA framework targets better public sector governance

by Naomi Rainey

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03 Jul 2014

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Fayez Choudhury

IFAC AND CIPFA have launched an international governance framework aimed at improving standards in the public sector.

A "constant stream of governance failures" has resulted in publicly-funded organisations being scrutinised, IFAC and CIPFA noted, with non-corporate bodies continuing to exhibit "nepotism, inefficiency, corruption and poor financial management".

The International Framework: Good Governance in the Public Sector aims to improve governance in the public sector globally, through improved engagement with stakeholders, increased scrutiny and oversight of those in charge of funds and strategy, and increased accountability to drive "better outcomes for the public at large".

In addition to guidance for governing body members, senior managers and internal and external auditors, the framework aims to support members of the public in challenging substandard governance.

Financial and sovereign debt crises have focused attention on the role of good governance, making adoption of the right standards and processes "more pressing than ever", the organisations said.

CIPFA International chairman Ian Ball said public sector bodies should focus on sustainable economic, social and environmental outcomes and ensure they play "a central role" in any governance structure. "Our focus on sustainability is especially important as public sector entities, from local councils to national governments, must consider the long term impact of their current decisions, especially in safeguarding the interests of future generations," he said.

Proper public sector governance "requires an eye to the future, transparency, and accountability", in order to attract capital, financial stability and long-term sustainability, IFAC CEO Fayez Choudhury [pictured] added.

"While adopting the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) is a critical step, improvement of other governance arrangements is essential if governments worldwide are to be successful in the sustainable development of our economies and societies," he said.

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