The Association of Pacific Islands Public Auditors (APIPA) successfully concluded its 34th Annual Conference, held from August 28 to September 1, 2023, in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands. This year's conference, funded by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, marked a return to in-person training after three years of virtual gatherings.
Under the leadership of APIPA Chairman Junior Patrick, Auditor-General of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Conference centered on "Shining a Light on Public Accountability.” The event brought together audit and finance government officials from the Pacific region, including American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and Samoa. Representatives from the Federated States of Micronesia arrived from the national government and its four states, including Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap.
The conference opened with welcoming remarks by Hon. Ladie N. Jack, Mayor of Majuro Atoll, followed by H.E. David Kabua, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Additionally, participants were welcomed virtually by Hon. Carmen G. Cantor, Assistant Secretary (video) for Insular and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Mr. Mark Greenblatt, Inspector General (video) for the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“APIPA is an organization that focuses on accountability and transparency in government, concepts which are also core to our office within the U.S. Department of the Interior. We share your drive and interest in enhancing public accountability and informing decision-makers in each of your jurisdictions.” – Assistant Secretary Carmen Cantor
The opening plenary session focused on "The Future of Accountability" was presented by Nicki Miller, Deputy Assistant Inspector General of the Department of the Interior. Over the course of the week, eight experienced instructors led engaging training sessions across multiple tracks, offering technical knowledge to participants. Attendees had access to 20 courses in Plenary, Audit, Audit Supervisory, Finance, and Advanced Finance and Management tracks, with the opportunity to earn up to 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) credits—a critical requirement for maintaining professional proficiency in accordance with government auditing standards. An impressive 2,190 course certificates were awarded to 406 participants, reflecting 13,804 continuing professional education units.
The closing plenary session featured recent audit findings and recommendations from island government audit offices. This segment included eight government audit office presentations covering financial transparency, performance evaluation, governance, pandemic-related assistance, educational expenditures, federal grant management, transportation finances, embassy operations and performance assessments of businesses and government entities.
The APIPA principals selected the Republic of Palau to serve as host of the 35th annual APIPA Conference, which will take place late summer, 2024.
The APIPA Conference training was funded through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs and delivered by the Graduate School USA’s Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives. For additional information on APIPA visit Website, Facebook, Flickr.
The Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. OIA also administers a discretionary Technical Assistance Program for all the Insular Areas.