The Internal Audit Agency (IAA) of Liberia is playing host to a two-week United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored Data Analytics training for Certified Fraud Examiners in the country.
The two-week training is being fully sponsored by the Legal Professional Anti-Corruption Program (LPAC) of USAID with the goal of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of fraud examiners in the performance of their various duties.
At the official opening of the Data Analytics training on January 20 in Congo town, the Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency, Emmanuel B. Nyeswa challenged participants to take advantage of the training opportunity in order to enhance their analytical skills.
Mr. Nyeswa, who is also a Certified Fraud Examiner, used the occasion to reaffirm the IAA’s commitment to capacity building as well as the availability of its training facilities free of charge whenever the need arises for the full development of audit professionals.
The IAA boss further emphasized the importance of technology in the performance of audit duties, stressing that audit professionals cannot perform their duties effectively in the absence of adequate technology.
The Chief of Party of USAID’s Legal Professional Anti-Corruption Program (LPAC), John Furnari, described the training as part of LPAC’s current activities aimed at supporting partnering institutions to enable them to operate sustainably and more efficiently.
Mr. Furnari challenged participants to embrace the training with utmost seriousness in order to improve their individual capacities, thereby strengthening the performance level of the various anti-graft institutions towards preventing, investigating and prosecuting corruption and its related activities.
The Data Analytics training is being conducted under the auspices of the Liberia Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and it brings together participants from various anti-graft institutions across government, including the Internal Audit Agency, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, the General Auditing Commission, and the Liberia Revenue Authority.
The training primarily targets Chief Audit Executives, heads of Internal Audit units, as well as heads of Risk Management. Others include chief security officers, heads of Legal Departments, heads of Regulatory Compliance, In-house Legal Counsel, Internal/External Auditors, and Accountants.
For the next two weeks, participants will be drilled through data analysis techniques, fraud detection techniques practically for auditing and investigation of frauds, collection of evidence and documentation which can stand as evidence in the court of law. It is believed that US$3.7 trillion is lost to fraud globally each year.
As such, there remains a growing need for Forensic data analytics’ capability to prevent, deter and investigate fraud, whether within the public or private sector.
Meanwhile, participants believe that the training will further enhance their capacity to continuously identify the warning signs and red flags that indicate evidence of fraud as well as fraud risks.
According to them, proactive data monitoring and analysis are among the most effective anti-fraud controls that can help protect the global economy by uncovering fraud and implementing processes to mitigate and prevent fraud from occurring in the first place.