Who audits the auditor general?

Letters to the Editor

Who audits the auditor general?

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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Dear Editor,

The auditor general and the employees of the Auditor General's Department (AuGD) are responsible for conducting independent audits in accordance with acceptable, professional, and ethical standards, and then issue appropriate reports on the use of public resources.

The AuGD conducts assurance and performance audits of all government ministries, departments, local authorities, and agencies (statutory bodies).

Governance in the AuGD is managed through the executive management committee, the audit committee, the Quality Assurance Unit, and the Corporate Services Division — all of which reside within the AuGD and report to the auditor general.

Having perused the AuGD's website I was unable to ascertain if an external (third party) quality assurance review is being undertaken on the AuGD for the Government and other interested stakeholders.

The Institute of Internal Auditors' standards require an external review of the internal audit activity every five years. These reviews are designed to assess the activity's conformance with the standards and its effectiveness in providing assurance/consulting services to the organisation's board of directors, senior executives, and other interested parties.

An external quality assessment review can facilitate the transformation of an internal audit department into a more strategic business partner and value-added activity. The process can identify improvement opportunities and provide counsel to the auditor general and her staff for improving their performance and services, as well as promote the image and credibility of the internal audit activity.

As an experienced audit manager with extensive experience of working internationally with major corporations, I noted a number of areas in which improvements could be made in the AuGD's reporting. These areas were communicated to the AuGD over one year ago; however, no action has been taken to improve the reporting, or acknowledge that it has been received.

Hopefully before the end of this calendar year the committees of Parliament and other interested stakeholders will be in receipt of an external quality assurance review on the AuGD undertaken by one of the large audit firms in the island.

H Edwards


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