**Mapping the Future for a Stronger Caribbean Public Sector**
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) will host a ground-breaking conference in The Bahamas this month bringing together for the first time a gathering of the Caribbean’s senior public sector leaders and representatives of accountancy organizations to discuss world-class approaches to public sector financial management and accounting standards. The conference will be held at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort from April 12th-14th.
Supported by The Bahamas’ Government and other donor partners and hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) in collaboration with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the World Bank, the round table will bring closer together inter-governmental collaboration, and strengthen relationships with public sector leaders and the accounting profession.
Prime Minister Perry Christie alluded to such an effort during his mid-year budget address explaining that work was already being “expedited” on the publication of a concept paper on public sector accounting standards in collaboration with the local Professional Accountancy Organisation (PAO) – BICA.
*“The last financial crisis highlighted the fragility of Caribbean economies and institutional weaknesses of indebted governments. Successfully managing and forecasting public expenditures and revenues is critical if our region is to achieve both its full economic potential and deliver sustainable high-quality services for our citizens,”* said the first Bahamian female to serve as ICAC President, Jasmine Davis. *“It is vital that we all work together to implement world-class public sector accounting standards. ICAC is proud to host this event in partnership with the International Federation of Accountants and the World Bank. I am delighted that we can bring together an outstanding group of public sector leaders and PAO representatives who are passionate about the region’s economic growth and stability, and who believe that we can only achieve our goals by working together to reform our public sector accounting standards.”* Ms. Davis added.
The ICAC President explained that strengthening regional Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAOs) to support regional economies and initiatives such as the adoption and implementation of IPSAS, is a priority for ICAC and therefore her organisation has also sought to invite PAO representatives from throughout the region to participate in the Public Financial Reform roundtable as well as a Capacity Building workshop from which the ICAC and donor partners will develop a regional Capacity Building Action Plan.
The three day roundtable discussions will cover regional economic, social, and business imperatives; public financial reporting reforms (regional and international perspectives); engaging stakeholders; challenges of the accountancy profession in the Caribbean and capacity-building strategies; and technical training on latest developments in International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).