Caribbean Auditor Generals discuss accountability

| 03/04/2013

Swarbrick-Alastair-AG.gif(CNS): Public sector auditors from the Caribbean region met in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago between 18th and 21st March, for discussions on the theme of “collaboration to promote best audit practices.” This was the ninth congress of the Caribbean Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI) as well as the 25th anniversary of the organisation that was formed to promote greater accountability by governments throughout the Caribbean. Attending the congress from the Cayman Islands was Auditor General, Mr. Alastair Swarbrick. “I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in CAROSAI to discuss the recommendations from the congress with our parliamentarians in the coming months,” he said upon returning from the Congress at which he was elected as a member of the Executive Committee.

The auditors heard from a number of speakers who focused on the challenges facing the Supreme Audit Institutions including the implementation of the United Nations resolution requiring independent national public sector audit institutions and implementation of new international auditing standards. With most countries facing difficult economic conditions, severe austerity measures and charges of inefficient government operations, the auditors are implementing a plan to help their governments achieve greater efficiencies and reduce wasteful expenditures. Each auditor is attempting to ensure their work plans are addressing these challenges.

Mrs. Sharman Ottley, Auditor General of Trinidad and Tobago, said, “As the incoming chair, I am pleased to see the high level of collaboration between the audit offices of CAROSAI.” She added, “We are now better positioned to do more effective audits in our own audit offices.”

Attending the four day conference were the heads of the national audit offices of the Caribbean region, Mr. Terrence Nombembe, the Auditor General of South Africa, who is also President of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), Dr. Josef Moser, the Secretary-General of INTOSAI and President of the Austrian Court of Audit, and representatives of various stakeholders and donor organizations who support CAROSAI with funding and expertise. Those organizations included the Inter-American Development Bank, INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), CCAF-FCVI, ACCA-UK and World Bank.

The auditors are exploring opportunities to undertake a cooperative audit of revenue collection throughout the region and report the results to their respective governments. The audits will report on how well their governments are assessing and collecting taxes, duties and fees. Led by Mr. Leigh Trotman, Auditor General of Barbados, work on this initiative will begin in the coming months. Mrs. Lyn Provost, the Auditor General of New Zealand also shared her experience as Secretary-General of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions about how their group of public sector auditors is dealing with similar challenges with their organization.

CAROSAI was formedin 1988 to promote greater public sector accountability in the Caribbean region. With 22 member nations, the heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions meet every three years to approve their strategic plan, collaborate on best practices and training opportunities, and elect the executive committee.

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