Africa-Press – Gambia. AFROSAI-E is a regional organisation of international repute that commits itself to cooperating with and supporting its members to enhance their institutional capacity to enable them successfully fulfill their audit mandates and make a difference in the lives of their citizens.
Serving as the guest speaker and representing the speaker of the National Assembly on the occasion, Hon. Alhagie Mbow explained that empowering and supporting Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) should be everyone’s business if we want to ensure transparency, accountability, and probity in public finance management.
He added that the focus of the forum is not only to present and reward the best performance audit report to prize winners but equally to brainstorm on the strategies and mechanisms that would ensure and strengthen the accountability of public funds in public institutions.
According to Hon. Mbow, NAO has been supporting and will continue to support the National Assembly in conducting its oversight functions to public institutions. He said the NAO is staffed with professionals and patriots who leave no stone unturned in carrying out their work.
“For the past five years, NAO has been so initiative in taking the way they conduct their audits. The reports submitted to the National Assembly are more user-friendly now compared to before,” he pointed out.
The parliamentarian revealed that NAO has performed an audit on the funds spent during the Government’s response to the Covid-19 well before the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly requested them to do so.
He continued that the NAO has over the years conducted performance audits on various government institutions, such as Gambia Ports Authority on its Cargo Handling, saying the report was presented to the Public Enterprises Committee for scrutiny.
Hon. Mbowe said for the past two decades, FPAC has been thoroughly scrutinising and extensively deliberating on Auditor General’s audit reports. “The Committee ensures that all relevant stakeholders are engaged during the scrutiny process, with a view to addressing the anomalies reported in the reports.”
“The continent is bleeding and our natural resources are under attack and we are short-changed! I ask that you interrogate the contracts, the productions, and exports of our resources. If the laws need to change, let’s work together and do it. If capacities have to be built, let’s work together and do it for the benefit of Mama Africa,” he noted.
The Somali Auditor General Muhammed Ali, who doubles as the chairperson of AFROSAI-E, said adaptation and resilience have become the new cornerstones for organisations that want to weather the storm of the highly disruptive 2020s.
He said 2021 had proven to be another tough year for the world as the importance of strong institutions and collaborative partnerships are now clearer than ever.
Ali added that “with continuous disruption being our new normal, we need to demonstrate resilience and adaptability with audits that contribute to accountability in public expenditure, and to the sustainable development goals.”
As a region, he said, they engaged in dynamic and innovative partnerships with regional and global institutions as well as new potential funding partners.
He concluded that through the partnerships, they have been able to strengthen members’ capacity to implement value-added audits relating to the use of donor funds and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.