Deputy President of ACCA Expected to Focus on Transparency in Key Note Speech

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Print Email

The International Public Sector Conference is set to be held on December 5, this Thursday. It is critical that both financial expertise and capacity be built in the public sector. The deputy president of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, ACCA, is Anthony Harbinson, and this is expected to be the focus of his key note speech at ACCA's 5th public sector conference.

Mr Harbinson is expected to maintain this this expertise and capacity is vital to ensure trust, accountability and openness in the finances of the public sector. Another point expected to be raised is that finance professionals within the public sector have important roles as custodians of this sector's reputation.

Mt Harbinson has said that the amount which governments spend on public services alone accounts for over a third of most countries GDP across the globe. The public sector as a whole is changing on a global basis, and the demands on these services is increasing all the time, as is the tax bill.

He went onto say that governments are currently wrestling with several complex challenges, including increasing austerity measures. They also face the difficulties that come with the rising costs of healthcare, the challenges from an ageing population, climate change and the environment, defence costs, terrorism, crime, infrastructure costs and the protection of natural resources. Strategic reviews of these services must be made in order to take account of the way the world is changing.

Right now is the time when the public's expectations of all public services are on the increase, and long lasting improvements are much sought after in both the transparency and accountability of public funds.

This conference comes right when austerity measures are still very much in evidence. Public services right across Europe are still facing asperity and in the UK alone an average of 25% has been cut from the budgets of most public services. Considering this current environment, a common challenge is arising in both emerging markets and developing countries, that of the need to improve financial capacity and expertise, as well as retain the skills which already exists in the public sector.

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