The Commonwealth is set to host a timely exchange-learning programme that aims to improve the management of public finance.
The event will address issues such as refining auditing and enterprise risk management skills of public finance officials from 12 Commonwealth countries.
The conference entitled ‘Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management Exchange Learning Conference’ will be hosted in collaboration with Internal Audit Agency Ghana for member states in Accra, Ghana from 14-18 May.
Officials will communicate their first-hand experiences and successful practices in dealing with risks. They will also seek to develop a framework to ensure transparency, accountability and probity in the use of public funds. It will highlight the critical role of adopting a systematic approach to address risks which accelerates the progress of countries towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking about the critical role of Enterprise Risk Management, Dr Roger Koranteng, Interim Adviser and Head, Public Sector Governance at the Commonwealth Secretariat said: “Internal auditors are uniquely positioned to serve as Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) champions in their organisations and to make significant contributions to the process and add value to ERM implementation to achieve effective public financial management.”
Officials will include Directors of Internal Audit from Ministries of Finance of Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Swaziland from Africa and Antigua, Grenada, Guyana and Jamaica from the Caribbean.
Through plenary sessions and presentations, officials will discuss the theme ‘Achieving sustainable development – The value added role of internal audit and enterprise risk management’. This will help set the stage for the exchange learning which will involve visits to key ministries, departments and agencies that have advanced enterprise risk management practices in Ghana.
The Commonwealth Secretariat through its Governance and Peace Division will assist these countries in incorporating the recommendations for each country into their respective institutions.
Ahead of the conference, Augustus Cole, Adviser in Public Financial Management at the Commonwealth Secretariat said: “As the Commonwealth progresses towards a common future, this Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management exchange learning creates the space for senior officials of Ministries of Finance to address the pivotal role of internal audit and enterprise risk management in achieving sustainable development.”
The conference is part of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s ongoing support to member countries in strengthening public finance management institutions and systems as an integral part of promoting good governance. The Commonwealth has long been engaged with Ministries of Finance and other stakeholders in addressing critical issues related to transparency, accountability and service delivery. It provided technical assistance to Botswana’s internal audit division in the Ministry of Finance through inter-governmental exchange visits and follow-up meetings, which triggered a reform within the Ministry.