HONOLULU, HI (March 29, 2022) – The Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives (PITI-VITI) has successfully supported the Island Government Finance Officers Association (IGFOA) to complete its annual winter conference. On March 24, 2022, sixty government finance officers and officials from US insular governments convened for a virtual conference to discuss important regional finance issues.
Mr. Jason Aubuchon, Director of the PITI-VITI, welcomed IGFOA participants and congratulated the insular government officers for keeping the association alive and functioning. Mr. Aubuchon thanked the Department of Interiors’ Office of Insular Affairs (DOI-OIA) for their consistent support of the IGFOA conference.
Representatives from 10 jurisdictions—American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau and Yap State, Pohnpei State, Chuck States—provided financial updates.
Presentations included the outcomes of FY2020 and FY2021 single audits, status of implementation of financial management information systems, reduction of invalid and outdated encumbrances, and the impact of COVID-19 on insular area finance offices. Government officials also reported on performance measures related to cash management, grants management, capacity building, reconciliation, and internal controls. PITI-VITI Instructors, Ms. Debbie Milks, CPA, Mr. Frank Crawford, CPA, and DOI-OIA Accountability Policy, Audit Liaison Officer Ms. Marina Tinitali, were all present to answer questions and provide important updates.
At the conclusion of all presentations, Ms. Debbie Milks addressed the critical importance of audit timeliness and shared the negative consequences of late audits with conference participants. Ms. Milks stated,
I want to emphasize, for those who are new, don't get used to being late. It is miserable, and I think those of you who have lived through being late with your audits year after year can attest to that. The longer and further back you have to look for those documents, the harder it is. Being under a perpetual audit is placing a double burden on your staff. It certainly doesn't make any of your grantors, bond issuers, or even citizens who pay attention very happy."
After two years of virtual conferences, the 116th GFOA conference will convene in Austin, Texas from June 5-8, 2022. The IGFOA is scheduled to meet in June—both before and after the GFOA conference—to discuss GFOA session content and to identify follow-up activities in the insular governments. Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives will work with the government officials to plan for the upcoming conference.
Funded through the Office of Insular Affairs Technical Assistance Program (http://www.doi.gov/oia), the IGFOA is comprised of government officials from the U.S. territories and the Freely Associated States and works to build the local capacity of their respective finance offices through biannual meetings that provide technical training and strategic support in public finance. Additional information on the IGFOA and the Pacific & Virgin Islands Training Initiatives can be found online at: http://www.pitiviti.org.