Strengthening the Public Accounts Committees in West Africa (WAAPAC)

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This is a blog post by Paulina Biernacka of the World Bank Parliamentary Strengthening Programme.

The West Africa Association of Public Accounts Committees (WAAPAC) was formed in February 2009 as a voluntary organization aimed at promoting the effectiveness of Parliamentary Public Accounts Committees (PACs) in West Africa states.

The specific tasks of the network are:
• Enhancing the knowledge of Members of Parliament, senior professional parliamentary staff and representatives from Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) on issues related to effective financial oversight;
• Strengthening the working relationship between parliaments and their corresponding national audit institutions;
• Sharing experiences and learning lessons from best practices from member countries; and
• Building networks and enhancing collaboration among member countries.

Since 2010, the World Bank Parliamentary Strengthening Program together with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and Parliamentary Center have been co-organizing  the WAAPAC Annual Accountability conferences where the member states have been adopting a set of Resolutions and developing  country specific Action Plans.

During these events, the development partners have monitored the resolution implementation status, as well as collected value creation stories  in order to find a direct connection between the program activities and the improved PAC/ SAI performance thus identified the outcomes which could be directly connected to a specific network activity.

The participation in the network has contributed to the enhanced performance among the WAAPAC member states in the following areas:
• Research
• Capacity building
• Public hearings
• SAI Independence
• Confidence building
• Extractive industries oversight
• Improved PAC recommendations implementation rate
• Developing relations with other accountability relevant stakeholders
• Enhanced PAC Clerk Skills
• Regional Cooperation

For specific country examples, please click here.