Summer Residency Program - Legislative Leadership And Governance Group
 

The Summer Residency Program for Public Accounts Committee

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LLGG hosted the Summer Residency Program for Public Accounts Committees in 2011 and 2012 following the agreement of La Trobe University to release it.

The Summer Residency Program for PACs is an annual program which since 2010 has received AusAID support for the program infrastructure, which has meant that fees for participants are discounted by around 50%. It is supported by the World Bank Institute, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Centre for Democratic Institutions and has to date attracted almost 250 Members of Parliament, Auditors-General, Audit Office and Parliamentary Staff from more than forty Asian, Pacific region and African countries. A further 44 participants from 10 countries are expected to be involved in the 2012 Summer School.
In the short time that this program has been running, it has become established as a leader in its field. The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Dr William F. Shija, has said of the Summer School,

“We have been very impressed with the high standard of the course and the positive impact it has had on the development of better accountability mechanisms in the Commonwealth Parliaments we have sponsored to attend. We can point to positive advances in all the most vulnerable African, Asian and Pacific Island Parliaments which are directly attributable to the PAC Summer School”.

Dr Rick Stapenhurst, senior Public Sector Specialist, World Bank Institute, has said of the program,

the annual "Public Accounts Committee Summer residency" at Beechworth is the centrepiece of our program to strengthen parliamentary oversight of the budget. The impact of this program has been most impressive, and I think its many successes should be documented and distributed - they would make a tremendous 'advertisement' for further support to the program.

The Summer Residency Program is primarily aimed at improving capacity in developing countries and has been carefully designed to enable attendees to examine in depth issues related to parliamentary oversight, public financial scrutiny, and the role of PACs.  It is supported by the Victorian Parliament and Victorian Auditor General’s Office, and uses a combination of practitioner, professional and academic presenters, addresses issues such as:

  1. Strategic planning (and recording) of PAC work;
  2. Opening committee meetings to the public and media;
  3. Working with departmental committees;
  4. Relationships with the Auditor-General;
  5. Establishment of national association of PACs in Federal States;
  6. Regional/global associations of PACs.

Participating delegations are also required to produce an Action Plan stipulating the improvements that they will seek to make in their own jurisdictions.