Two Delegates from the Office of the Auditor General Mrs Nathaniel Volcere (Director of Human Resource) and Mrs Wendy Zialor (Senior Auditor) attended a Management Development Programme (MDP) Training of Trainers Workshop, in Pretoria, South Africa from 27-29 November 2023.
The workshop was hosted by AFROSAI-E. The aim of this workshop was to establish a pool of MDP trainers to support AFROSAI-E in implementing the MDP programme in the region. AFROSAI-E is committed to supporting and cooperating with its member SAIs to enhance their institutional capacity to successfully fulfil their audit mandates, thereby making a difference in the lives of citizens. Through leadership and management development, it aspires to assist SAIs in aligning their plans, leaders/managers, systems and processes to improve the quality of their audit services and overall performance. Through the AFROSAI-E Management Development Programme (MDP), they aim to facilitate the development of exemplary, technically proficient and ethical leadership teams.
This workshop was attended by (12) senior SAI officers who will become part of the pool of MDP trainers.
SAI Seychelles is a member of the Afrosai-E of which its Governing Board is made up of the Auditor Generals from 26 English-speaking African countries. The Afrosai-E hosted this year’s annual technical conference from the 7th to 9th November in Pretoria, South Africa with the theme MOVE.
MOVE 2023 was an innovative event that inspired action. The Conference was a platform for SAIs and other stakeholders to gather and explore the possibilities of movement-be it in technology, auditing techniques, institutional structures or personal growth. SAI Seychelles was represented by two audit managers at the technical conference.
Move 2023 started with a keynote address by Mr Joseph Asunka, the CEO of Afrobarometer, in which the main focus was on citizen perspective on the state of the continent.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African survey research organization, which has reliable insights into African citizens’ experiences, evaluations and aspirations regarding democracy, governance and quality of life. This was followed by plenary discussions by the AFROSAI-E on the Institutional Capacity Building Framework (ICBF) a tool that enables SAIs to understand their capacity-building needs and priorities.
On day two, transformation was in the spotlight, focusing first on the roadmap towards digital transformation and later during the day the SAI professionalisation journey was discussed. On day three there was a presentation on the outcomes of the annual CBC meeting by SAI south Africa. This was followed by a session on the sustainable development goals and how SAIs can integrate the SDGs in audits. The conference’s final session saw the launch of two new products on Extractive Industries (EI) audit namely an audit guideline and a new initiative on EI sector groups which enable SAIs to monitor what is happening in that sector.
The report of the Auditor General for 2022 was recently submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly as required by the Constitution and the Auditor General Act.
The report presents the results of my audit of the Annual Financial Statements (AFS) of the Government for 2022 and various other audits undertaken in the Ministries, Departments, Offices and Agencies (MDAs) subject to my audit. Also, included in the report is a special audit review of the management of the Cleaners’ Co-operative for the period 2020 to 2022, undertaken at the request of the Ministry of Finance. The report arising was submitted to the Minister for Finance in March this year.
The main objectives of this report are to:
- draw the attention of the National Assembly, Government, accounting officers and other decision makers to matters arising from carrying out my oversight role as the Auditor General;
- comment and provide information on various public finance management aspects and administrative issues;
- highlight some recommendations for improvement in good governance, accountability and transparency in the public sector; and
- provide an update on the status of remedial action taken by various MDAs based on previous audit reports.
These audits were completed during the audit cycle from September 2022 to August 2023. I am pleased to note that many matters raised in audit management letters issued to the Accounting Officers throughout the audit cycle, have been dealt with satisfactorily. However, some still remain to be addressed.
Forty Human Resource Practitioners from 15 regional SAIs attended the highly anticipated Regional HR Workshop held in the picturesque setting of Mahe, Seychelles.
The workshop was hosted by SAI Seychelles and centred around the theme, “Cultivating Thriving Teams: Empowering Productivity and Engagement.” The choice of theme was a strategic response to the findings of the 2022 Institutional Capacity Building Framework (ICBF) Self-Assessment report. These findings painted a comprehensive picture of the challenges SAIs face in retaining, recognising, and developing their staff due to many constraints.
We designed the workshop to foster a dynamic environment that encouraged the exchange of ideas, experiences, and opportunities and provided a platform for HR practitioners to address the pressing HR challenges in SAIs collectively. By sharing knowledge and insights, the participants sought solutions that benefit their individual SAIs and contribute to the overall strengthening of HR in the region.
The key topics explored during the workshop included:
- Empowering SAIs to cultivate effective leaders: Discussing leadership development programmes and strategies that are crucial for the growth and stability of SAIs.
- Competency-based recruitment practices and assessments: Exploring innovative methods to recruit individuals with the right skills and competencies for the job.
- Promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce within SAIs: Understanding the importance of diversity and inclusion in creating a vibrant and representative workforce.
- Career paths for auditors: Focusing on career development frameworks for auditors, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and performance.
- Coaching programme tailored for SAI supervisors: Developing effective coaching programmes to nurture leadership skills and mentorship.
- Highlighting the importance of a healthy culture for employee engagement and productivity: Acknowledging the role of a positive organisational culture in motivating and engaging employees.
- HR metrics – enabling SAIs to measure and optimise the performance and impact of their HR: Discuss the importance of data-driven decision-making in HR practices and how it can be used for performance optimisation.
The workshop was the catalyst for HR Practitioners to unite and deliberate on these crucial subjects, exchange invaluable best practices, and work hand in hand to forge actionable solutions. It not only spotlighted the unwavering dedication of these professionals to enhance the HR function within their respective SAIs but also underscored their unwavering commitment to perpetuate a culture of excellence, efficiency, and inclusivity.
Representing SAIs including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea, Angola, and Seychelles.
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The 17th Technical Conference, organized by the AFROSAI-E took place in Pretoria, South Africa over the period 18th to 20th October 2022. The conference was aimed at bringing together member countries and partners of the AFROSAI-E under the theme ‘connect’ to enable SAIs, partners and other stakeholders to engage in-person after more than 2 years of not being able to meet face-to-face due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Technical and financial partners of the AFROSAI-E such as INTOSAI, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the African Professionalization Initiative (API), the Norwegian SAI and Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA) shared more about the support they have provided to member-SAIs, new projects they are working on and how they intend to continue working and further assist our region. This was either through presentations during the conference itself or their exhibition booths.
The OAG Seychelles also participated in the exhibition where it showcased some of its products such as audit reports and the coastal audit video, the latter which was done in partnership with GIZ.
The presentations and discussions over the 3 days were primarily centered on the principles of INTOSAI-P 12 on the value and benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions. The sessions featured presentations and discussions over credibility and professionalization of SAIs, the future relevant auditors and audit-integration of the SDGs. New tools and materials developed by the AFROSAI-E were also presented.
Auditor General, Mr. Herath, attended the IDI/INTOSAI Heads of SAIs Leadership Masterclasses in Rabat, Morocco. Several Auditors General from different regions attended the event representing different INTOSAI Chapters.
The resource persons included representatives from the World Bank, the former Spanish Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, the former Swedish Central Bank and governor and the former executive director of the Nobel Foundation, the Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF.
MASTERY is an IDI initiative aimed at empowering SAI leaders to effectively perform their leadership roles and so exert a greater impact within and beyond their SAIs. To this end, MASTERY will run a series of Masterclasses where Heads of SAIs will have the opportunity to share their experiences, acquire in-depth knowledge on key topics and learn from inter-acting with internationally renowned speakers in an inspiring and academic environment. Participants will also have the option to propose and get support to develop concrete actions to enhance their leadership.
Through participation in the Masterclass, SAI leaders will be able to (a) design approaches to make the SAI more inclusive; (b) establish inclusive human resources policies allowing staff to grow and increase the performance of the team; (c) Develop a more open and creative environment; and (d) make the SAI more responsive to external stakeholders’ expectations.