Members states of Caribbean Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI) are being urged to optimise their auditing capabilities with the view of ensuring efficient allocation of capital, while at the same time embracing international best practices.
CAROSAI has the task of guiding this process which was brought sharply to the fore at the opening its 11th Triennial Congress yesterday at the Ramada Princess Hotel.
The forum will continue for the next two days under the theme: “vision of performance for relevance and success”.
Addressing the opening forum, Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence, who also serves as a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said that CAROSAI is positioned to ensure that the Caribbean is not left behind when it comes to auditing reforms.
Minister Lawrence said the Capital Markets and Financial Statements of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) member states are all diverse depending on the size of the country and scope of investments. She said regardless of the geographical demographics of those members states, CAROSAI as the umbrella organisation of the region must ensure that states stay on track.
With some 23 members states, most of which are from the Caribbean, Guyana’s Audit Office has been tasked with chairing the plenary for the next three years under the guidance of Auditor General Deodat Sharma.
“As we all know, auditing or high-quality financial reporting plays a pivotal role in capital markets. It is essential to the efficient functioning of capital markets and key to the success of economies,” Lawrence told those gathered at the forum.
Given its intrinsic value to the capital markets and the auditors’ opinion upon which investors rely heavily, Minister Lawrence said credibility, reliability transparency and relevance of audit must be paramount.
She added, “I believe that the reforms to auditing are widespread. It is incumbent of CAROSAI to become au fait with these reforms and in turn, apprise members states of same so that evaluations can be done on how those reforms can be utilised to enhance our audit mechanisms.”
She addressed the critical role of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Guyana.
“Given the make-up of the PAC, the people of Guyana have the full assurance of being fully represented. While it enjoys a formidable track record, it is still a work in progress, as members are still coming to grips with the role of the PAC.”
CAROSAI, she stressed, must impress on member states the importance of the PAC and the need for them to be incorporated in their accounting framework.
Programme Officer of the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation Marc Bélanger said by considering the different needs of men and women in exploring how government programmes can affect them differently, auditors can help ensure that programmes responded to the needs of all citizens.