Accra, Ghana. – Internal auditors from several Commonwealth nations have agreed to embed risk management into their organisational objectives and processes, while strengthening collaboration with fellow nations.
These were some of the resolutions emerging from the recently ended five-day Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management Exchange Learning Conference organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with Ghana’s Internal Audit Agency (IAA) under the theme ‘Achieving Sustainable Development: The value-added role of Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management.’
The delegates – representing 12 member states from Commonwealth Africa and the Caribbean – learned about the various Internal Audit (IA) arrangements and Risk Management structures in each member state, and also visited the Ghana Grid Company and the National Minerals Commission to learn about the challenges and successes of their ERM implementation journey.
In his opening remarks, Ransford Agyei, the Acting Director General of the IAA stated that ERM is one of Ghana’s main strategies to ensure more effective use of resources, enhance growth and productivity and ensure transparency, accountability and value for money in all aspects of governance.
The Auditor General of Ghana, Daniel Domelevo, charged delegates to be bold in the execution of their duties, and continuously upgrade their skills to add optimum value to their various institutions and nations. He noted the role of Internal Auditors as one of the primary lines of defence against corruption and waste in the public sector, and asked delegates to build stronger ties with External Auditors to achieve sustainable national development goals.
Augustus Cole, Public Financial Management Adviser of the Governance and Peace Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat and the conference facilitator, stated that addressing the huge challenge of financing the Sustainable Development Goals can be aided by improving tax administration, efficiency of government expenditure and addressing corruption. He advised delegates to focus on risk management to achieve the broader development goals, and also to network, share experiences and harness partnership opportunities with fellow participants.
Delegates found the conference to be a useful learning opportunity, and worked in teams to develop learning outcomes, recommendations, and next steps. Whitfield Harris, Financial Secretary from Antigua and Barbuda, affirmed that the conference had given him “a much fuller appreciation of the place that the risk management function should occupy in organisations and the role that Internal Audit may play in implementing an effective and robust risk management framework.” He also commended the management and facilitation of the sessions, noting the effective programme design ensured maximum knowledge transfer in the time allocated.
Zodwa Ngwenya, Director of the Internal Audit Office in the Kingdom of Eswatini, concurred: “The conference afforded me an opportunity to get invaluable ideas for immediate implementation and long-term strategies on strengthening internal audit and risk management functions for improvement of governance and public finance management in the Government of Eswatini.”