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Conference on transparency in public sector concludes in Ghana

22 May 2018

Reforming audit frameworks to strengthen good governance was at the heart of discussions amongst public officials from Africa and the Caribbean at a five-day workshop in Ghana.

Officials from 12 Commonwealth countries met in Accra last week for a learning-exchange on internal audit and enterprise risk management, organised by the Commonwealth in a collaboration with the Internal Audit Agency Ghana.

Officials agreed on resolutions to modernise the traditional audit framework, develop risk-based audit policies and encourage regional collaboration to improve transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

They identified areas for improvement and made the following agreements:

  • Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and Lesotho agreed to benchmark legal frameworks and collaborate on knowledge-sharing and resources;
  • Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Guyana and Jamaica outlined the steps necessary to implement risk management policies;
  • Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone agreed to develop enterprise risk management policies and frameworks in accordance with national contexts. 

Through field visits to Ghanaian key ministries, departments and agencies, officials engaged with representatives and learned about strategies that have strengthened public finance management in the country. These visits provided officials with hands-on experience in adapting such strategies to tackle challenges in their respective contexts.

Participants recognised that auditors are critical in fostering good governance, managing risks and internal oversight, and have a direct impact on achieving National Development Plans and Sustainable Development Goals.

The Commonwealth, through its Governance and Peace Division, will work closely with internal audit professionals in ministries of finance and government agencies to ensure that recommendations are incorporated in respective institutions. This engagement will strengthen improved public administration in the member countries, which is an integral part of the Commonwealth to promote good governance.