By Rhealyn C. Pojas

Palau and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had staged a five-day training on financial management as part of a joint project to strengthen local governance starting yesterday, June 25, at the VIP Hotel Conference Room.

UNDP Project Officer Tarita Holm said in an interview with Island Times that both Palau and the UNDP had put up funding for the project and they are starting off with five pilot states namely Kayangel, Melekeok, Ngaremlengui, Aimeliik, and Hatohobei.

The training, according to Holm, had come about with the recognition of the challenges faced in the auditing process, explaining further that there are findings that do not get addressed and some general areas of weakness of financial management at the state level.

“This training is organized to learn what those challenges are, help understand where the states are having the most difficulty and design a course, actually, that can be offered at the PCC (Palau Community College),” Holm said.

The main outputs of the project, according to Holm, are organized around three main stakeholder groups namely the State Elective leaders, Bureau of Domestic Affairs, and the citizens.

Participants of the five-day training are from the Legislative and Executive Branches of the five state governments.

“Also, we let them bring in anyone else from their states who might have interest in financial management,” Tarita added.

The Bureau of Domestic Affairs, and the Ministry of State, UNDP, PCC, Office of the Public Auditor and the five state governments had worked together as partners for the project.