ACTING Auditor General has dismissed an Island Sun front page story yesterday that claimed the Office of the Auditor General is not up to standard.
“This is simply not an accurate description of the talk that I gave to Members of Parliament at their induction session on Wednesday 12 May 2015,” Acting Auditor General, Robert Cohen, said.
“The front page article in The Island Sun appears to be relating to my comments on the impact of our reports on the strength and effectiveness of internal controls over the receipting and expending of public moneys,” Mr Cohen added.
“However, my reference was to the perceived endemic corruption in Solomon Islands which ranks very high on Transparency International’s Index of Perceived Corruption which surveys most countries on a regular basis,” Mr Cohen added.
The Acting Auditor General said that under international auditing standards for Audit Offices the ultimate measure of success for Audit Offices is to improve the lives of citizens – but this in turn requires government agencies to participate.
“To improve the lives of our citizens not only requires OAG to do its job of making transparent how the government is collecting and spending the citizens’ money, but also requires government agencies to play their part by implementing the recommendations that the OAG make for improving internal controls over those moneys,” he said.
“Our contribution to accountability is through our reports – but if our reports are ignored or our recommendations not implemented then nothing will improve and opportunities will continue to exist to be exploited by criminals,” Mr Cohen said.
He said that the professionalism of the staff of his Office is of very high standard – both in terms of technical skills and experience, as well as in increasingly managing the operations of the Office – when compared to other Audit Offices in the Pacific region.
“I am very proud of our staff who are skilled professionals dedicated to being the very best at what they do and making a difference to the lives of our citizens through their investigations, reports and recommendations for making secure the controls over collecting and spending public money,” he said.