Internal Audit Function Critical – Mogae

| November 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

The internal audit function has become more relevant, as the board relies on their independent assessments to address specific key instances reported by the internal auditors, former President, Dr Festus Mogae, has said.

Dr Mogae, who was a guest speaker at the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)’ gala dinner on November 14, said the internal audit function was also more relevant as it helped to warn the board of any dangers ahead.

The dinner marked the end of the 4th IIA annual conference, which was held under the theme: Breaking Barriers and building Bridges. The three-day conference was meant for internal auditors to reflect on how best they could improve the way they conduct business.

Dr Mogae said citizens had been victimised due to the various corporate challenges that took place in the private sector, such as in the Botswana Development Corporation, Botswana Meat Corporation, Botswana Power Corporation and even the scandals related to the glass project in Palapye.

In the midst of all these corporate failures, he said, the ordinary citizens were helpless, as they could not seek recourse. However, he said the presence of an effective internal audit function and good governance could be a solution to prevent such occurrences.

“It is worth noting that many decisions and changes have been made, globally, since the financial crisis to enhance supervisory oversight of risk management and internal controls,” he said. Dr Mogae said Botswana had not been left behind, as a number of authorities had been established.

“The Accountant Act, the Financial Audit Act and other acts of Parliament, together with other roles of governance, are some of the inputs that could create greater awareness of responsibilities for boards of governors, directors, internal auditors, accountants, as well as other oversight institutions,” he added.

With these regulatory changes, he said the board’s oversight responsibility had also become explicit.

Since the recent global financial crisis, which he said exposed a number of government weaknesses in organisations, Dr Mogae said Botswana had also experienced its own corporate challenges, which exposed the government’s weaknesses.

This, he said was mainly due to failure to understand and manage the risks that were being taken. Just like the global financial crisis, he said numerous reports also painted a big picture of risk management frameworks at different governmental institutions.

The 4th IIA annual conference therefore came at an opportune time as it provided a forum where issues of good governance could be shared, Dr Mogae said.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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