The 19th Biennial CIGAR Conference was held at Waseda University in Tokyo on June 29-30, 2023. The Doctoral Colloquium was held on June 28, the day before the Conference. This was the first time in the history of the CIGAR Biennial Conference that it was held in the Asian region. 96 participants including remote participants and about 30 participants from sponsors attended from 28 countries around the world. The participants were diverse, coming from European countries as well as from the Asia-Pacific region, including Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, China, Korea, Malaysia, United States and so on.
Considering the recent social and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine crisis, the theme of the Conference was set as “Public Accountability and Democracy in Times of Crisis”. In the parallel sessions, 57 papers were selected from more than 100 submissions, and presented in 4 sessions in 5 different venues. The topics of these papers diverse in keeping with the Conference theme, including financial reporting, accounting standards, public management, democracy, public sector auditing and sustainability, etc. In particular, 18 papers were on the topic of the SDGs or sustainability. This trend is thought to be influenced by the fact that the IPSASB just issued a "Consultation Paper, Advancing Public Sector Sustainability Reporting" in May 2022.
The Conference started with the welcome session, during which Mari Kobayashi (Chair of 19th CIGAR Conference organizing committee), Susana Jorge (Chair of CIGAR), Aiji Tanaka (President of Waseda University) and Tetsuya Mogi (Chairman and President of the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants) gave opening remarks. In the opening session, Prof. Mari Kobayashi, board member of IPSASB and the former President of the Board of Audit of Japan, gave a presentation on the theme of this year’s Conference, which focused on the importance of accountability for fiscal sustainability in times of crisis, including the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Ukraine Crisis.
The Conference featured three different keynote speeches as well as a Standard Setters Session. The first keynote speech was given by Prof. Geert Bouckaert of the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute, entitled “Sustainable Public Administration in Times of Turbulence Governance”. The second keynote speaker was a novelist, Yoko Tawada. Since she lives in Germany, her speech, titled “Forest and Democracy,” was broadcast via video recording, and a real-time online Q&A session was held during the Gala Dinner. The third keynote speaker was Heidi L. Mendoza, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Operations, and gave a speech titled “SDG 2030: Shared Vision, Shared Mission, the Challenges and Risks to Implementation”. All speeches presented different perspectives on the state and the future of public sector accounting in times of crisis, in line with the Conference theme.
The Standard Setters Session, held on the last day, was chaired by Prof. Eugenio Caperchione, University of Modena, with Ian Carruthers, IPSASB Chair, and John Verrinder, Eurostat EPSAS Group member, each presented remotely and held discussions under the theme of “Financial Reporting and Sustainability Reporting”.
The last event of the convention was the CIGAR General Assembly. At the General Assembly, after a report of activities for the 2022 period and approval of the annual accounts and budget for the year 2022, new board members and a new chair, Prof. Giuseppe Grossi, were elected and informed of the expected future events including 17th workshop and IPSASB research forum.