Public Finance Management Advisor in Solomon Islands

In 2011, ANZDEC was contracted by the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP) to provide an international Public Finance Management Advisor to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources (MEHR) in Solomon Islands to establish an internal audit, strengthen the Finance Division and provide management support.

Now, two years later, MEHR has a fully functional Internal Audit Division, a revitalized Finance Division and a management structure that, through a Finance Committee and an internal Audit Committee, is managing internal controls and internal audit which NZAP has described as “robust”.

The assignment has involved rethinking and reform procedures, closing gaps in financial controls. A very important lesson that has been learned is the critical need for interaction between internal audit (exercised by the Internal Audit Division) and internal controls (exercised by the Finance Division).

The assignment has not resulted in a complete eradication of fraud and corruption, but it has, so far, succeeded in detecting and addressing mismanagement at an early stage and addressing these through disciplinary actions, and in endorsing improved internal controls so major frauds are avoided.