Ministry of Finance popularise the new SOPs on audit recommendations

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In a bid to achieve good public sector- governance, the Internal Audit Division in the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the European Union (EU-SBC111) project, has concluded a 3-day workshop with internal Auditors, Vote Controllers and Audit Committee Members on the popularisation of the Newly developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on Audit Follow- follow- Up or Recommendations.

The training occurred on the 12th, 14th and 15th of June, 2023, at the Country Lodge Complex, Hill Station, in Freetown.

In explaining the workshop’s objectives, the Director of Internal Audit, Kandeh Sesay, stated that their role is to provide unbiased, objective assessments of how public resources are managed.

He added that auditors help public sector organisations achieve accountability and integrity, improve operations, and instil confidence among citizens and stakeholders hence the reason to popularise the new SOPs.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) is an audit follow-up document backed up by other documents approved by parliament to be used by the internal audit service.

He noted that the implementation of the findings and recommendations of the Audit over the years had not been given the relevance it deserved.

He said at the end of the training, they expect all stakeholders to be able to clarify their respective roles as stated in the SOPs.

He expressed that the importance of the New SOPs in improving audit follow-up cannot be over-emphasized.

The government representative Mr Paul Caulker, in his opening statement, said the set of participants is critical to the full implementation of the SOPs.

He said the audit committee is exceptionally the key private force assisting MDAs in addressing findings and recommendations for both internal and external auditors.

He retreated that the audit committee should be able to advise and guide MDAs in responding to audit issues responsibly in line with the audit unit service.

The EU representative Mr Martial Laurent said European Union is supporting the projects with several activities in Sierra Leone.

He also said Sierra Leone has made progress in developing capacity building for both internal and external audit control.

He pointed out that indicators have shown that the government can significantly improve implementing the PFM system.

He noted European Union representative said that there is a guide and consideration to which liberation is the need to enhance the PFM system in Sierra Leone and the operation of the Ministry of Finance and its budget oversight committee in the Country.

He added that the role of internal audit and their perception of it and audit recommendations are crucial. He said they believed that there is a high potential for improving the system and also improving participation by strengthening the role of both internal and external audits. 

The translation of the Audit Reports into the SOPs would be a laudable venture, he noted

In his statement, the UKFCDO representative, Mr Kamaray, indicated that over the years attending to audit recommendations has been abysmal, not only internal audit but also external.

He said auditors are essential in government because they are part of the control measures.

He noted that an audit is not about a witch hunt. It is about assuring compliance with policies and processes, and principles of government.

He admonished the participants that the workshop is Significant to their work, thereby understanding the concept and principles and the processes involved in audit follow-up.

He encouraged the participant to take the training seriously and try as best as possible to use them to help with the governance and the risk management procedure.

©️MoF Communications

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