The Department of Finance is keen to get on board more of Government Departments, Statutory Bodies and Provincial Governments to establish an Audit Committee in achieving compliance and good governance.
The Department through Internal Audit & Compliance Division (IACD) has seen a total of 49 Government Departments, Statutory Bodies and Provincial Governments including two Provincial Health Authorities who are now on board this vital Government’s system and process.
Deputy Secretary and Chairman of the Audit Committee Samuel Penias said any public fund spent or received by Government entities or other organisations must be in compliance to audit under Public Finance Management Act and other regulated laws.
When officiating the launching of the Magisterial Services Audit Committee on 12th Oct, 2020, Mr Penias stressed the audit committee is set up to have an oversight of how the government funds are being used.
“We are not policemen but we’re only making sure that our Government’s system and processes don’t go wrong and we end up at the public accounts committee or with the fraud squad.
Mr Penias thanked the Chief Magistrate and his team to have joined the Audit Committee and request an immediate Audit Committee meeting next month.
Chief Magistrate Mark Pupaka thanked the Department and said “we’re happy to have the committee launched and as soon as it is functional we are ready to open our books and have it scrutinised.
The Department also launched the Registry of Political Parties & Candidates Commission (RPPCC) Audit Committee later that week bringing to a total of 14 statutory bodies, 15 Provincial Governments and 20 Government Departments including the Magisterial Services who now have an established Audit Committee.
The establishment of the audit committee is mandatory, under section 9 of the PFMA for all Government Agencies, Department and Statutory Authorities, Provincial and Local Level Government and any other organisations that receive public funds are required to have an audit committee.
The establishment of each of the Audit Committees will comprise of Finance Secretary as the chairman, Auditor General, respective organisation head and two independent auditors.
Meanwhile, the Department has also affiliated with the American based Association of Certified Fraud Examiners that has seen a number of internal auditors throughout Government Departments registered for the online course.
IACD FAS Mr Tom Tiki confirmed the Government’s support in up skilling internal auditors through this program and is looking forward in getting them certified.
“We’ve got one who has actually sat for that online course and we’d like to roll this out to all agencies as well,” he said.
Auditing is an important management tool and good governance mechanism for accountability.