CAPA supports ICAB’s continued initiative to improve PFM in Bangladesh
CAPA joined with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) to organise a Roundtable event focused on public financial management (PFM). This was part of an outreach visit by CAPA’s Public Sector Financial Management Committee (PSFMC), a follow-up visit since the first in February 2012. This Roundtable event provided an opportunity for CAPA to continue supporting ICAB’s initiative to improve public sector financial management in Bangladesh.
This is the first time for ICAB and a wide range of public sector officials to be gathered in a Roundtable format to discuss PFM issues in Bangladesh. The Roundtable was themed ‘Attracting and Retaining Finance Personnel in the Public Sector’, and served as a ‘pilot test’ to a working draft of a publication with the same title produced by the PSFMC.
A brief inauguration ceremony was held to mark the occasion prior to starting the Roundtable discussions. Tofail Ahmed MP, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Commerce of Bangladesh, was invited as the Chief Guest to inaugurate the event. He applauded the two professional accountancy organisations in Bangladesh for producing high quality accounting professionals to serve the public interest and their efforts in ensuring a high level of accountability and transparency in the country’s financial systems. The honourable minister said that public sector reforms are highly dependent on access to the required quantity and quality of finance personnel, with the Bangladesh government always open and keen to see greater involvement of finance professionals in the government agencies and the public sector.
The inauguration attracted a very high level of media interest. CAPA was featured in many newspapers and on television (see online links below).
Close to 40 individuals participated in the Roundtable including CAPA’s PSFMC representatives and representatives from various public sector organisations and the accountancy profession in Bangladesh. Many of the participants effectively represented one of the nine stakeholders identified in the Attracting & Retaining publication, namely Citizens, Central Agencies, Donors & Lenders, Supreme Audit Institutions, Politicians, Academia, Public Sector Human Resource Managers, Public Sector Finance Personnel, and the Professional Accountancy Organisation.
Key individuals included the Additional Secretary of Finance Division in the Ministry of Finance, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Finance (local government audit specialist), Vice President of Bangladesh Economic Association, Chairman of the Industrial & Infrastructure Development Finance Company, the former Comptroller & Auditor General of Bangladesh, Chairman of the United News of Bangladesh, representatives of the Asian Development Bank and World Bank, General Manager of Bangladesh Bank, as well as leaders and council members of ICAB and the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB).
The Roundtable discussions demonstrated a deep interest and understanding of the importance of attracting and retaining finance personnel talent in the public sector in order to have accurate and transparent financial reporting. A comment was made that the PEFA assessments could possibly consider including a measure of how well public sectors are able to attract and retain finance personnel. Others commented that the challenge is difficult to address without the initial ‘political will’.
The roles of many of the identified stakeholders were discussed in detail. ‘The outcome of these discussions indicated that the publication being prepared by CAPA was ‘on the right track’, with the key stakeholders and the actions they can take well identified,” CAPA Chief Executive, Brian Blood, explained.
Discussions closed with high levels of enthusiasm from the Bangladesh public sector to address the challenge of attracting and retaining finance personnel, and to work with the profession in achieving this objective. Anwaruddin Chowdhury, ICAB Council Member and a CAPA Board Director representing Bangladesh, commented that “there was a clear ‘call for action’ to identify, agree, and implement a strategy and specific actions”.
“The accountancy profession in Bangladesh is now well-placed to take leadership role on this matter,” ICAB President, Kamrul Abedin said.
MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ROUNDTABLE EVENT
- Quality finance officials vital for public sector reforms: Tofail | Daily Sun, Business – Dhaka, 5 February 2016
- Retaining quality accountants a challenge: analysts | The Daily Star, Business – Dhaka, 5 February 2016
- Tofail upbeat on 6.8pc growth this fiscal | The Financial Express – Bangladesh, 5 February 2016
- Roundtable on Attracting & Retaining Finance Personnel in Public Sector | Dhaka Courier – Bangladesh, 5 February 2016