The broad pattern of public financial administration in the eleven microstates of the South Pacific Forum consists of three contrasted but related strands: the government accounting and budgeting system, public sector audit function and parliamentary financial surveillance. The three have their origins in an imported model which has evolved and crystallized in the context of big business, industrial society and metropolitan government. Effective public financial administration of the microstates is impeded by over-reliance on this expatriate model which implicitly assumes that administrative prescriptions can be effectively applied in states irrespective of their size. The attainment of the developmental and related objectives of the South Pacific microstates would be facilitated by revision of the present model of financial administration to broaden the scope for improvization, experimentation and innovation in deference to the particular problems of very small scale.