Financial Secretary Office News

Financial Secretary Office News


Media Release: Strengthening Public Finance Management

The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting unprecedented challenges for us all, from its health, economic and financial effects on our everyday lives, to its impacts on government’s Public Financial Management (PFM). In this context the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) recognises the need to tighten up its oversight and management of all public finances.

The current criminal investigations related to alleged misuse of public funds uncovered within the Ministry of Police, Business Trade Investment Board (BTIB) and previously the Ministry of Justice is a clear warning that suspects will be investigated.

The MFEM is carrying out internal audit reviews across government agencies with an initial focus on those agencies that are handling cash receipts over the counter to ensure that payments are receipted properly and not misappropriated. Additionally, MFEM’s implementation of FMIS, a centralised financial management information system, will require all government payments and receipts to go through a single Treasury account. This will improve control on spending as well as receipting.

PFM is a responsibility of everyone and therefore equally vital for members of the public to report any knowledge of misuse of public funds, request for a receipt when you pay for any government services and where practical pay using EFTPOS or electronic means instead of cash.

You can reach the MFEM Internal Audit on mfem.ia@cookislands.gov.ck

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Released 07 October 2020

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Membership Announcement

On the 1st of June 2020, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) admitted the Cook Islands as regional member of the bank, the 82nd member of AIIB.

The AIIB is a relatively new multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond. Headquartered in Beijing, AIIB commenced operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 102 approved members from around the world. AIIB main focus is investment in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors. AIIB has been designed on the success of existing multilateral development banks such as Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank.

The founding members of AIIB include China, Australia, Britain, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Myanmar, the Philippines, Pakistan, Brazil, France, Germany and Spain. Current membership also includes New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu.

Financial Secretary Garth Henderson stated that our membership of AIIB is timely in terms of the many challenges we face as a nation during COVID-19. AIIB is another financing avenue for supporting our efforts in protecting the health of our people and providing a lifeline to our businesses, our work force and our vulnerable. It has been a three-year process to achieve membership and I commend the Deputy Prime Minister for his determination to drive this and the officials from AIIB, MFEM and MFAI who have wholeheartedly supported the membership process.

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