ICGFM Promotes Knowledge Transfer Among Public Financial Management Experts

Working globally with governments, organizations, and individuals, the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management is dedicated to improving financial management by providing opportunities for professional development and information exchange.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Opening Remarks of the 27th. Annual Conference from ICGFM President Manuel Pietra

   Opening Remarks
International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management
27th International Training Conference
Miami, Florida
May 20 - 24, 2013

     Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management, honored guests:
     Good Morning, Bonjour, Buenos Dias. My name is Manuel Pietra. It is indeed an honor and a great pleasure to serve as the President of the ICGFM.
     Welcome to the Annual International Training Conference on Governmental Financial Management. We are very pleased to see all of you here and hope that your travels to Miami were safe and pleasant. 
     Some of you are ICGFM veterans and we have been fortunate to welcome you to events in previous years. For those that are new to the event and to the organization we extend a warm welcome. This is our 27th Annual conference. We can certainly all agree that we have come a long way since our first event. We have built something special here at ICGFM and we are very much looking forward to a great event and a great year.  
     The ICGFM is dedicated to working globally with governments, organizations and individuals, to improve financial management so that governments may better serve their citizens. The Board, Executive Committee and Officers have been very busy in preparing appropriate programs to address the challenges of public financial management that are facing all of us. In addition to our experts at this Miami conference, we have had some very interesting and recognized speakers at our monthly Forum luncheons in Washington DC.  And, last December we had a very successful Winter Conference at the IMF location in Washington DC.  We are deeply grateful to those of you who have been able to participate in ICGFM events as the topics and the speakers have been specially chosen assist you in your efforts at improving public financial management. 
      At this year’s conference we have approximately 40 countries represented and about 240 participants.  We can safely say that the global Public Financial Management community is well represented in this room today.
     We would like to congratulate and welcome all of our new members. Something new that we introduced this year is automatic membership to the ICGFM with a conference registration. You have all made a great effort to be here with us this week in Miami and this is one small way we can thank you for your support. It also allows us to grow our membership and leverage your expertise in support of the ICGFM and its Members.      
     This difficult economic environment and the continuing uncertainty in the global economy present many challenges that are faced by Governments struggling to provide services to their citizens. Regulatory activity is at an all-time high and finding efficiencies and adding value holds considerable appeal. A collaborative approach, such as our participation at this conference, provides value added solutions and the sharing of practical experiences that benefit all of us and contributes to effective leadership. Our Vice President of Programs and the Program Steering Committee have put together an exciting program for this year’s conference with Good Public Financial Management Practices in a Period of Global Adjustment as the theme.  We have some cutting edge sessions by appropriate and recognized experts in the field to prepare you so that you can effectively address tasks as effective government financial managers. 
     The training conference is all about learning and networking. Allow me to remind you that one of the most important opportunities during the conference is the ability to meet with your colleagues from around the world, and to share experiences, and problems, and discuss solutions to the issues we all face.  Our goal as an organization is to provide you with the opportunity to learn from each other and from what others are doing in order to achieve the goal of improved financial management that benefits our fellow citizens. I urge you to take advantage of this excellent networking opportunity not only during our formal sessions, but also one on one with your colleagues, -during the breaks, and during lunch, and at the social events we have planned during the week. 
Here’s a quick overview of what we have in store for the week. 
·       Today we will hear from various countries on their lessons learned regarding fiscal adjustment, risk management and approaches in PFM.  You will also have the chance to contribute to the ICGFM Global PFM Leaders Survey this afternoon. 
·       On Tuesday we will hear about the revised COSO Internal Control Framework from Richard Chambers. Jesse Hughes will introduce a new initiative to help countries transition to IPSAS standards and we’ll also learn about performance management and sustainability. 
·       On Wednesday we will have presentations on emerging PFM architecture, the benefits of open government, and the evolution of external public audit.  
·       Thursday we will discuss how to increase budget transparency at the sub-national level and we’ll hear about an innovative approach to assessing the factors that affect successful change.  
·       Friday we will hear from an INTOSAI Working Group on the value and benefits of SAI’s approach towards modern PFM reforms and the implementation of a Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
     We invite you to join us tonight for a reception, dinner and cruise on the Biscayne Lady and on Thursday afternoon for a trip to the Everglades.  Both of these events are included in your registration fee.
     This year we are excited to be launching an important new ICGFM publication at the 2013 Training Conference.  The release of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) Compilation Guide for Developing Countries represents the start of a renewed focus by the ICGFM on providing value added services to its members. The Compilation Guide will help countries implement IPSAS requirements in a more orderly manner.  The guide builds on the efforts of many practitioners and consultants who have attempted to implement the Cash Basis IPSAS in multiple countries around the world. 
     Now, I would like to recognize our conference sponsors and a number of individuals whose participation with ICGFM and in the development of this conference have been invaluable. First, I would like to recognize our Executive Committee and Board of Directors who give their knowledge and time to guide this organization and make it work.  I would ask each Executive Committee and Board Member to please stand and be recognized.  (Let’s give them a round of applause.)  Without the generous support of those volunteers ICGFM would not be a success.  Thanks to each of you. 
     Second, I would like to recognize our Managing Director, Pat Cornish and our Project Consultant Mari Robinette Deasel.  Pat and Mari work tirelessly to ensure that ICGFM fulfills its mandate to you in a cost effective, effective, efficient and timely manner.  Their skills and commitment to ICGFM are commendable and we thank them both for their commitment and dedication.  (Pat and Mari Please Stand.) 
     Now, I want to recognize our Vice President for Programs, David Nummy, who heads our Program Steering Committee and conference support team and is also the Conference Chair for this conference.   All members of the Program Steering Committee and conference support team are listed in your conference program (David and all members of the program steering committee and conference support team please stand.) All of these individuals worked many hours on this conference as well as our other ICGFM conferences and meetings, and we are deeply grateful for their support.  (Applause)
     I also want to recognize our conference sponsors, without whom we could not have put together this exciting program and conference.  We are very fortunate to have FreeBalance and Grant Thornton as a Platinum Sponsors, Oracle as a Gold Sponsor, the Institute of Internal Auditors as a Silver Sponsor, and Mosley and Associates and the IBI International as supporting Organizations. Thank you so much for your continued support of ICGFM which makes these events possible.  I would ask all representatives of our sponsoring organizations who are in the room to please stand – and for everyone to join me in a round of applause and thanks for our sponsors’ support.  We invite you to visit the exhibit booths in the lobby to learn more about our sponsors.
     One thing I want all of you to keep in mind this week is that it does not end here. Every country in the world is undergoing some form of PFM reform or modernization. The ICGFM’s mandate as an umbrella organization for the international PFM community is not something that is achieved through a single annual conference every year. We invite you to stop by the ICGFM exhibit to learn more about being an active  and engaged member of this important group of like-minded professionals.
     So in closing, let me just say - Welcome, Bienvenido, Bienvenue and thank you very much. Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish you a very successful conference. 

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