The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

GAC Concludes Sub-Regional Stakeholder Engagement

By Precious D Freeman

The General Auditing Commission (GAC) has concluded a five-day Stakeholder Engagement West Africa Regional workshop on the importance of communication at Supreme Audit Institutions.

The workshop, which was hosted in Monrovia from Monday, July 17 to Friday, July 21, brought together GAC colleagues from AFROSAI-E, Gambia, Ghana and Sierra Leone, and it’s intended to enable Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) to develop strategies and plans aligned to the SAI’s strategic plan.

Speaking at the closure of the Stakeholder Engagement, the Auditor General from Liberia, P. Garswa Jackson, said that the workshop was also intended to conduct effective stakeholder engagement activities and develop a sub-regional network of peers to support each other and share ideas and best practices.

According to him, Communication is a very important component of the final output of the work they do, which is the production of quality reports.

He stated that, from an administrative perspective, effective communication is relevant in the determination and documentation of short, medium and long term goals, including Audit expansion, Audit automation, and capacity building initiatives.

“We are developing mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating activities and outcomes, as well as providing feedback to internal stakeholders for adjustment and continuation where application is relevant,” he said.

He emphasized that these activities are usually documented through strategic and operation plans, annual audit schedules, and periodic and annual activity reports.

“From an audit perspective, effective communication is very important for diverse reasons, including the following: auditees need to understand their roles and responsibilities during and after an audit. Audits should be well planned, using the requisite audit strategy, executed by auditors with the required qualification, experience and independence,” he explained.

GAC boss maintained that audit reports should be well documented to be understood by stakeholders, with references to the relevant regulations and standards.

“SAIs need to conduct periodic stakeholders’ engagements to enable CSOs, donors, the media and other stakeholders better understand audit reports and the activities of the SAI to promote greater advocacy geared towards transparency and accountability, and SAIs need to enhance collaboration with other Anti-graft institutions to build synergy and improve efficiency in the conduct of transparency initiatives,” Auditor General Jackson added.

“Now for all of these, your participation in this regional workshop is very relevant, but the impact to yours SAIs would only be felt if the knowledge gained during this workshop is utilized to enhance both internal and external communication,” he said.

GAC boss however thanked and appreciated Zakeya, their facilitator and communication specialist at AFROSAI-E, and Maisee, the CEO of AFROSAI-E, for the excellent work they continue to do in the sub region, building SAIs capacity and the partners for sponsoring the significant initiative.

“I trust you have enjoyed your stay in Liberia and have been benefited from a series of lectures relative to the importance of communication at Supreme Audit Institutions. I wish you all safe flights back to your respective countries” he said.

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