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OAG identifies a need for political will

Lerato Matheka

Lesotho has been nominated to deputise Seychelles which was nominated chairperson of the Organisation of English-speaking African Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E).

Lesotho is part of 16 countries attending the AFROSAI-E governing board meeting.

The country was part of the audit sub-committee which met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss issues of the AFROSAI-E secretariat and represented by Auditor General Lucy Liphafa, I was nominated as a temporary interim chair because the chair, Malawi Auditor General was absent.

“The executive officer of AFROSAI-E, Vinant presented detailed financial statements to the sub-committee in the presence of the external independent auditor,” Liphafa told Newsday from Mozambique.

She noted that the independent auditor presented the audit report on AFROSAI-E performance and received an unqualified opinion.

“That is an indication that the secretariat is still on the right track in how it is using its funds which is majorly donations.”

Liphafa told Newsday that there were also issues discussed on how to improve SAIz auditing work.

“The subcommittee will present to the Auditors General for adoption and the term for the sitting sub-committee ended this week with fresh elections called. Lesotho through me, was nominated chair but I had to decline because my contract is ending soon. We were then nominated to deputise Seychelles.”

Liphafa said Auditor Generals suggested Africa Peer Review Mechanism in order to help each other best perform in their countries.

“The idea included how well the offices can assist each other in reviewing their performances to make sure that the offices also abide by the financial rules and regulations, and assist on the issues of capacity building and experience sharing.”

She added, “It has been noted that although the review had been done every 2 years, maybe it should be done annually to enhance better performance from the supreme Audit Institutions.

The Auditor General noted that this year’s mandate was to have a voice to influence government for better service delivery where panels from auditing and financial backgrounds share experiences, and ideas on how best this could be done.

“The questions are how best these members can leverage on the technical competences, capacities and audit tools present in our offices and currently existing in the region.

“We looked at what has been the impact and value of auditing public works and infrastructure for governments and citizens in our respective countries and whether natural disasters impact on infrastructure, how we can audit our government preparedness to better respond to natural disasters.”

Liphafa indicated that most Auditor General Offices lack government and political will to fully carry out its mandate.

The meeting was held under the theme; Supreme audit institutions having a voice to influence government for better service delivery.

She highlighted that her office needs resources to cover a large area and to cover all ministries and help them best account.

“Some African Auditor General offices are financially supported by their government and donors, an element which makes their jobs easy. We learnt that it doesn’t happen overnight, it is a journey.”

She stressed; “We need political will and support to finally perfect our functions. We need new mechanisms and improved engagements with all our stakeholders.

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