Internal auditors employed in the public sector kicked off their three-day conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston Tuesday (September 8).
The inaugural Government of Jamaica’s Internal Auditors’ Conference is being held under the theme, ‘Internal Auditing: A Global Perspective’.
Director of the Internal Audit Directorate (IAD) in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hope Blake, explained that the Directorate chose to focus on this theme because international lending agencies and donors are expecting increasingly more from auditors.
The Inter-American Development Bank’s Country Representative for Jamaica, Gerard Johnson, addressing internal auditors attending the Government of Jamaica’s Internal Auditors’ Conference, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, Tuesday (September 8). The conference was being held under the theme, ‘Internal Auditing: A Global Perspective’.
“Based on the fact that they are lending us money, they want to ensure that we are spending the money well. As a result of which, we felt it was important that they [the auditors] understand what are some of the expectations of these bodies, and how they can improve their work to meet the standards that are now required of them,” she said.
During today’s session, Country Representative for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Gerard Johnson, explained the increasing role auditors have been playing in helping the IDB fulfill its mandate. However, he admitted that there continues to be duplication, as the IDB has to do over the audits.
“What we have done, typically, in the past is a 100 per cent review. In other words, for every single transaction, we want the supporting documentation and we check the supporting documentation for every single transaction; But, the IDB is trying to move away from that very costly and invasive control to management of risk,” Mr. Johnson said.
The Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Country Representative for Jamaica, Gerard Johnson, explains the relationship between internal auditors and the IDB to attendees of the Government of Jamaica’s Internal Auditors’ Conference, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, Tuesday (September 8). The conference was being held under the theme, ‘Internal Auditing: A Global Perspective’.
He added that this would mean less time spent monitoring projects which are considered low risk.
Over the three days of the conference, auditors will also be exposed to the strategic plan for internal auditing for the next three years.
Mrs. Blake outlined that among the areas to be considered is the development of better relationships between the internal auditors and stakeholders, such as Permanent Secretaries and Government Ministers. The strategy will also focus on the use of technology in auditing.
“We have been exposed to the Audit Command Language, which is a software package used by auditors, but we find that many of them aren’t using it on a day to day basis. We hope to achieve improvements in terms of computer auditing by continuing training,” Mrs. Blake shared.
She said the IAD will also be encouraging greater use of its online portal, to which internal auditors can register to communicate and share ideas over the Internet.
Deputy Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Robert Martin, noted that internal auditors are being called upon, more than ever, to offer value-added services to respective Ministries, agencies and departments.
“As servants of the people, we have to employ relevant mechanisms which will timely, adequately and objectively inform us as to whether the expectations of our citizenry, international counterparts and observers are being met,” he declared.
He also implored them to continue their professional training to ensure the highest standards. To increase access to training, MIND will be introducing an internal auditing course, the first level of which has already been developed.