Role of Audit Committees Emphasised


Acting Auditor General, Pamella Munroe-Ellis, has underscored the importance of the role of audit committees in ensuring fiduciary prudence within Government ministries and agencies.
She was speaking at a seminar hosted by the Audit Commission and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday (January 15), under the theme: ‘The Audit Committees’ Role in Enterprise Risk Management’.
Mrs. Munroe-Ellis noted that expectations of an efficiently run civil service were high among citizens, adding that the onus was on stakeholders to deliver accordingly.
“The citizenry expects that each government entity will manage its operations in an efficient manner, maximizing the likelihood of that entity’s achieving its mission. They (citizens) are holding public servants to commitments made in corporate plans, operational plans, and other signed agreements.
Consequently, we are expected, as public servants, to identify, assess and devise appropriate strategies and practices that will minimize the likelihood of risk threats being realized,” she pointed out.
Mrs. Munroe-Ellis said the seminar’s theme was timely, in light of the recent launch of government’s national development plan, which aims to position Jamaica to attain first world status by the year 2030.
“In keeping with the 2030 vision, audit committee members and all the various stakeholders, are expected to play a vital role in the efficient and effective implementation of government policies and programmes.
It (will) further propel discussions on how government may effectively embark on the development and implementation of appropriate risk management strategies in its various entities,” she explained. The Acting Auditor General pointed out that enterprise risk management was generally defined as a “structured and co-ordinated governance approach to identifying potential threats, by containing them within tolerable levels to provide reasonable assurance of the achievement of the entities’ objectives.” This, she added, would serve to guide and assist the audit committee members in fulfilling their mandates.
Mrs. Munroe-Ellis said that the work of the audit committees would bolster the efforts of the Auditor General’s Department, which has a legal mandate to examine the books of all accounting officers.
“We (Auditor General’s Department) place great emphasis on risk management in the conduct of our audits, and support the implementation of risk management strategies in the public sector, as this will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. Audit committee members (will) play a fundamental role in increasing the effectiveness of government spending, and enhancing the trust and confidence of the citizens in the transparency of public sector management and accountability,” she emphasized.

JIS Social