The Association of Pacific Islands Public Auditors (APIPA) pivoted from its annual in-person conference to deliver a virtual conference on August 3 to 14, 2020, and was congratulated for a successful gathering of almost 700 participants from audit, finance, grants management, and other offices at their 31st consecutive annual meeting.
“I commend APIPA for the quick pivot to host a virtual conference this year, while still offering the same quality training,” said U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech. “Despite travel and other restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, APIPA will continue its tradition, now spanning three decades, of training professionals in the Pacific for government efficiency and accountability. I am confident that APIPA and its members will continue to identify solutions to the unique issues facing island auditors and the public you serve.”
“Unusual times like these called for innovative approaches to offer the professional training we need,” said Michael Pai, CNMI Public Auditor and APIPA Chair. “More than ever, our accountability profession needs to maintain its core competence as we serve the public and our governments. This year, we will look forward to hearing from Department of the Interior Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt.”
Funded through the DOI Office of Insular Affairs’ Technical Assistance Program, with support from the Graduate School USA, this year’s virtual APIPA conference was hosted by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ (CNMI) Office of the Public Auditor.
Participants joined the virtual conference from American Samoa, Chuuk, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Fiji, Guam, Kosrae, the Marshall Islands, FSM National Government, New Zealand, Palau, Pohnpei, Samoa, Washington DC, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Yap. The number of participants reached a record-high at 699, and 19,700 CPE credit hours were earned.
The opening plenary included welcoming remarks from APIPA Chair Pai and Assistant Secretary Domenech, with a special session hosted by DOI Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt. Three other plenary sessions covered audit planning, audit report writing, and ethics issues impacting island governments. Sixteen (16) courses were delivered during the conference, including tracks for general and technical training.
For more information about the 31st annual conference, visit the official conference website at www.apipa2020.org. Additional information on the Graduate School USA’s Pacific & Virgin Islands Training Initiatives is available at www.pitiviti.org. For more information on funding provided through the Office of Insular Affairs, visit https://www.doi.gov/oia/financial-assistance.