Strong PFM essential to anti-corruption efforts, says IFAC president

17 Mar 16

Effective public sector financial management is vital to the global fight against bribery and corruption, the president of the International Federation of Accountants has stressed.

Speaking at the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Ministerial Meeting yesterday, Olivia Kirtley highlighted that in an increasingly complex and interconnected world, robust PFM and collaboration and commitment from both the public and private sector were crucial.

“Transparent, consistent and robust anti-bribery and corruption measures must apply equally across both public and private sectors,” she said.

“Given the vast sums channelled through governments, effective public sector financial management is vital to a global solution. Citizens need both sectors to provide transparent disclosures, and implement effective internal controls that are critical to good governance and holding officials accountable.”

She said the world’s auditors and accountants have supported the detection and prevention of fraud, corruption and bribery for decades, underpinned by standards of transparency, accountability and serving the public interest.

In her address to justice ministers and representatives of more than 40 countries, she called for a reinvigoration of this commitment from the global accountancy profession.

Kirtley also stressed the need for greater international collaboration on whistleblower protection laws, which she said are integral to encouraging accountants to go beyond their expected duty and to realising the full potential of the profession’s ethical and public interest foundations.

“Bringing an end to the notion that ‘silence is always safer’ requires greater focus on strong governance and compliance structures, environments that are encouraging for self-reporting and protections that apply to everyone working with any organisation or for any profession.

“We must seek to empower all individuals to do the right thing,” she stated.

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