The Association of Pacific Island Public Auditors (APIPA) held its 20th annual conference on Guam July 27-31, 2009. The conference was hosted by Guam’s Office of the Public Auditor (OPA). The Graduate School provided training and logistical support to the conference through its Pacific Islands Training Initiative (PITI) program, giving conference participants the opportunity to receive up to 38 hours of continuing education units (CEUs). All courses were held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.


Three hundred and twenty-three (323) participants attended the 2009 APIPA conference, up from 200 who attended last year’s conference on Saipan and 111 who attended the 2007 APIPA Conference in American Samoa. Attendance in 2007 was lower than in most recent years primarily because of the greater difficulty and expense of traveling to American Samoa for most potential participants.

Participants came from throughout the Pacific, including American Samoa, Chuuk, CNMI, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, Kosrae, Marshall Islands, Palau, Pohnpei, Tuvalu and Yap. In all, 2,255 course certificates were awarded for a total of 11,212 CEUs earned.

Instructors and Courses

Seven instructors led the training sessions: Frank Crawford, Marion Higa, Robert Knox, Bob Lavigna, Steven Morgan, Mary Beth Saenz and Jeanne Yamamura. Twenty-two (22) courses were provided during the conference in four training tracks: Audit, Audit Supervisory, Basic Finance and Advanced Finance. The instructors, course titles and number of participants attending each course are shown in the following table:

Instructor Course Title Number of Students
Morgan Emerging Issues in Governmental Audit Standards 51
Saenz Critical Thinking Skills for Auditors 38
Crawford Government Accounting Standards Update 134
Yamamura Weathering the Financial Storm 83
Yamamura Evaluating Financial Performance 83
Higa Maintaining Ethics and Accountability in Government 301
Yamamura Statistical Sampling for Auditors 54
Morgan Auditing Performance Management Systems 23
Crawford Common Single Audit Findings in the Islands 124
Saenz Federal Grants Financial Management Compliance 100
Saenz Effective Audit Report Writing 36
Higa Getting an Audit from Project Initiation Out the Door: Internal Controls & Tips for Ourselves 36
Knox Protecting Your Procurement Dollars from Fraud, Waste, and Abuse 121
Crawford How to Read Financial Statements and Disclosures 105
Morgan Risk-Based Performance Audits Project Planning 47
Lavigna Meeting the Challenge: Attracting and Retaining a World-Class Work Force 19
Crawford Single Audit and A-133: A Case Study 111
Crawford Government Performeter Update 111
Knox Procurement and Financial Assistance – Understanding the Risks Associated with Utilizing ARRA Stimulus Funds 114
Crawford Fraud in Government 107
Morgan Implementing Performance-Based Management and Budgeting 181
Lavigna Building and Maintaining a Strong Workforce in Tough Times 276

Total Number of Certificates Awarded:


APIPA Executive Meeting

An APIPA Executive Meeting was held in the afternoon of July 28th. Attendees included all the principals or their proxies from the various Pacific audit offices, other key OPA staff, Guam OPA staff, representatives of PASAI (including Hayden Everett from the Asian Development Bank), and PITI Program Managers Stephen Latimer and Jason Aubuchon. While the complete minutes from that meeting will be made available through the APIPA secretariat, a few issues discussed at the meeting are worth mentioning:

  • Latimer and Aubuchon provided an overview of PITI-sponsored regional initiatives including the audit and finance office assessment projects and the Executive Leadership Development Project (ELDP).
  • The tentative date for the 2010 APIPA Conference to be held on Pohnpei was not determined.

Notes and Observations

The APIPA website ( was a key tool for planning, organizing and administering the conference. Complete course schedules were offered on the website, as well as online conference registration, course descriptions, and background information on the instructors.

The staff of the Guam Office of the Public Auditor devoted many hours of work to make the conference a success. Their efforts are greatly appreciated. Special thanks also to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs for funding the training element of the program via the Pacific Islands Training Initiative (PITI).