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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Auditor General dispels misconceptions about audit reports

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By Omar Bah

The Auditor General has said the misconceptions surrounding audit reports in the country are demonstration of people’s lack of understanding of its importance in ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.

Addressing representatives of government ministries and departments at a consultative on the major challenges faced in the audit process and recurring audit findings among others, Auditor General Modou Ceesay said the work of the National Audit Office is usually met with misconceptions by the public and by extension, some of its stakeholders including auditees.

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“On our part, we tie this public misconception to a lack of better understanding of the value and benefits of a National Audit Office. Firstly, it is good for the public to understand that a National Audit Office is established to promote accountability in the management and use of public resources, provide assurance that an institution’s financial statements fairly reflect the revenues collected and expenditure incurred,” he said.

He said the demands on auditing institutions have now expanded to include considerations of how well public bodies perform their work looking at the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the use of resources and service delivery.

“Citizens and their elected representatives are increasingly demanding that SAls go beyond judgements of Compliance and accuracy of financial transactions, to also evaluate public institutions performance and the value for money obtained through public transactions. Thus, the overarching objective of this workshop is to identify and agree on the challenges and gaps in the audit exercise which would lead to improved service delivery,” he said.

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Mr Ceesay added: “NAO’s expectation is that after the candid, constructive solutions-oriented interactions, we intend to have, necessary remedial actions that will be taken by all parties to address the identified gaps and challenges. We would like to have very open discussions with the aim of finding solutions and not naming and shaming any particular organization. We hope that at the conclusion of this workshop, when next we visit some of your institutions, we will be met with warmer welcome and Cooperation.”

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