By Edrissa Jallow
The Auditor General of Somalia and the Gambia, Mohammed Ali and Karamba Touray urged Parliamentarians to act on audit reports to hold the government accountable and implement audit recommendations in Africa. Present at the meeting were National Assembly Members (NAMs) from Parliament’s Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC).
Hon Alhagie Mbow of Upper Saloum who also doubles as the Vice-Chairperson of Parliaments FPAC delivered a statement on behalf of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Fabakary Tombong Jatta at the seminar. His speech solicited reactions from the Auditor General and representatives from various African countries on the strategies for building effective Audit Reports within the continent.
The three-day engagement organized by the Gambia’s National Audit Office (NAO) and the African Anglophone countries and Institutions Organizations of English-Speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E) was an opportunity to share best practices. The event took place on Monday 9th May 2022 at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center.
Africa is Bleeding says Hon Mbow
Hon Mbow asked the Auditor General’s present “if the laws need to change” in order to strengthen the accountability of public funds from various public institutions. He opined that African Parliaments and Auditor-Generals should “work together and do it for the benefit of Mama Africa”.
Hon Mbow seized the opportunity to call on Auditor-Generals across the continent to keenly observe the extractive industry. However, he stressed that “the continent is bleeding and our natural resources are under attack and we are short-changed!” Hon Mbow urged African Auditor Generals to “interrogate the contracts, the productions and exports of our (African) resources”.
According to the member from Upper Saloum, over the past decade, the FPAC has thoroughly investigated and extensively deliberated the Auditor General’s audit reports. “The [FPA] committee ensures that all relevant stakeholders are engaged during the scrutiny process, with a view to addressing the anomalies reported in the reports,” said Hon Mbow.
In ensuring transparency and accountability in managing the public finance system that is instituted with public funds, the FPAC Vice-Chairperson noted that it’s a concern of everyone to empower and support the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs).
AG Karamba Touray – Audit Reports Help to Improve Gov’t Management of Public Funds
The Gambia’s Auditor General, Mr Karamba Touray highlighted the importance of Audit Reports which he says are a means of improving the government’s management of public funds and resources. According to Mr Touray, audit reports are submitted to the National Assembly for further consultations and implementation of the recommendations highlighted.
“We hope that our work will be seen by all stakeholders as a complementary mechanism aimed at helping the government to carry out proper and effective utilization of public resources,” said AG Touray.
NAMs should help NAO to implement its recommendations says, Mr Ali
AFROSAI-E Chairperson, Mohammed Ali, the Auditor General of Somalia told journalists in an exclusive interview that the implementation of recommendations from Audit Reports is a collective responsibility in which Parliament plays a critical role.
“It is not only the National Audit Office NAO that is responsible in basically ensuring that the recommendations are implemented but the National Assembly plays a key role in that, especially in the budget and finance committees,” said the AFROSAI-E Chairperson.
According to Mr Ali, the Finance Committee is the body that should be working tirelessly with the NAO to ensure government institutions implement the recommendations presented by the NAO. The three-day dialogue aims to share experience gained through the implementation of Audit Reports in African Countries.