The sixth governing board meeting of the International
Conference of the African Organisation of Africa Supreme
Audit Institutions–English speaking (AFROSAI-E) conference has opened in Lusaka today with a call on member countries to share experiences on how they can enhance their oversight roles.
The five day conference, which has attracted representation from the 23 member countries under the theme “Information Technology (IT) and Audits process”, is expected to come up with other strategic issues for implementation in the next three years.
Officially opening the Conference, President Rupiah Banda said issues of good governance, accountability and the effective use of available resources are becoming extremely important in the face of global economic melt down.
President Banda said the auditors’ role in ensuring that there are adequate and sufficient controls in the overall financial and accounting systems in government and in reporting deviations from regulation is vital for enhancing accountability.
“This trend where audit institutions use information technology is good for advising governments on matters that go beyond financial accountability,’ he stated.
Mr. Banda, who commended the Office of the Auditor General (AG) for efforts towards financial reforms, promoting of sound management and transparency, pledged government’s commitment to implement necessary reforms aimed at improving financial management.
He said the Zambian government was implementing the Integrated Financial and Management Information System (IFMIS) in order to improve the management of public resources.
He added that government in 2007 launched the national information communication and technology which aims at ensuring that information technology is well coordinated and integrated in all aspects of the economy including auditing.
President Banda also urged the participants to the workshop to use the conference to share experiences on how to deal with some of the challenges that offices of the Auditor Generals are facing.
“It is in such groupings that information, audit standard methodologies and most importantly, quality assurance checks can be shared,’ he said.
He further added that the Auditor Generals’ offices will have an essential role in the implementation of these projects by offering a forum for consultations and monitoring of the projects that will be implemented in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East African Countries (EAC).
At the same function, Zambia’s Auditor General Anna Chifungula said different Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) have made tremendous progress on the implemented of the strategic imperatives of AFROSAI-E.
Ms. Chifungula stated that a prosperous and outward looking AFROSAI-E is a vital component of good corporate governance and regional economic prosperity.
She said Zambia in particular has under taken a number of measures aimed at improving the operations of the office of the AG.
Some measures include adopting new ways of auditing, diversifying into other types of audits, and implementing of the Information Technology (IT) unit aimed at enhancing the use of IT in carrying out IT audits.
“However, we are still a long way in reaching what may be considered as an optimal level in these areas,” she said.
In a vote of thanks, Auditor General of Namibia Junias Kandjeke commended Zambia for the role it played in the liberation struggles of the Southern Africa Region.
Mr. Kandjeke said the sacrifice the Zambian people made towards the liberation struggle of many Southern African countries has resulted in the economic development that these countries are enjoying in the region.
He however appealed to member countries to invest more resources in the offices of the AG if their operations are to be effective.
AFROSAI-E currently consists of 21 English and Two Portuguese speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIS).
The AFROSAI-E is an organization that succeeds the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) organization of supreme audit institutions, which was established as an independent organization in 1991.