The Liberian Internal Audit Agency (IAA) in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and Development (MFDP) has ended a five-day intensive discussion with focus on the role of the internal audit, internal control, risk management and structure as well as mandate of the internal audit institution.
The workshop, which started on September 18, brought together local and international staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), representatives of internal audit agencies from Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Cabo Verde and other financial and audit institutions.
Established in 2013, the IAA is an autonomous government body responsible for internal audit functions within the public sector. It was mandate aims to minimize corruption, abuse of public trust and to ensure fiscal probity at public institutions in Liberia.
Paul C. Collins, Director General of IAA, told reporters on Friday at the end of the conference that he was delighted to host the first international auditing conference in Liberia, which focuses on key areas of concern to every nation as well as providing the opportunity for participants to share their respective countries’ ideas or experiences on internal audit.
He termed the conference as a milestone for Liberia and its participating nations, stating that, “This is the best way to improve the system, especially looking at it from the government perspective.” He lauded participants for the level of cooperation during the conference, including facilitators and officials of the IMF, the provider of the fund.
According to him, internal auditing is now being recognized as a key part of government activities, in the public sector that remains necessary for strengthening the governance system, which IMF and other partners have placed, emphasizes on it.
“We have our auditors who participated in the conference that will be sharing this great knowledge and experiences with colleagues. Learning from other countries experiences is very important to the work we do as internal auditors. Our work is more technical and so having other technicians from other countries is welcoming,” he said.
Director Collins said the IAA is monitoring the execution of the national budget, and monitoring and supporting the implementation of donor projects to ensure transparency, accountability and strict adherence to donors’ requirement, thus significantly controlling corruption.
He said he is pleased with the level of cooperation from all government institutions in terms of ensuring that they get the advice of the auditors before engaging into expenditure.
Director Collins said his institution has identified compliance risk, information risk, asset management risk and functions risk as the most critical offenses in the fight against corruption in government.
According to him, Liberia is now making progress in terms of relying on internal auditors to run the institution, but said they do not receive praises for the work.
The conference brought together over 25 persons from the above-mentioned countries.
Amongst the many anti-graft agencies in the public sector, the IAA offers the first line of defense in the fight against corruption.