The Chairman Public Accounts Committee, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Moshood Olanrewaju Oshun has described the Auditors in the State Civil Service as the watchdogs of the society.
He stated this at the weekend while delivering his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 6th Annual Auditors’ Retreat organized by the Office of the State Auditor General at Lekki Peninsula Resort, Ajah.
The lawmaker said, “To whom much is given, much is expected. As auditors, you are expected to be the eyes of the people in ensuring judicious use of public fund”. He noted that Auditors and Legislators are expected to collaborate in order to ensure good governance that is based on probity and accountability.
Oshun, who was a Special Guest of Honour at the event, themed, Corruption, Insecurity and Economic Development: The Role of Audit, disclosed that the theme of the Retreat is apt considering the efforts of the House in enhancing the Audit exercise as watchdog of government activities in the State.
The Chairman enjoined the participants to ensure effectiveness and efficiency during the preparation of Audited Accounts of Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Parastatals in the State.
In her goodwill message, the State Head of Service Mrs. Olabowale Ademola stated that Economic Development would only be assured when the actions, economic activities and financial integrity within any given political entity are safeguarded by an efficient and effective financial audit.
Highlighting the role of Public Sector Auditing, she noted that given its unique role of providing unbiased assessment of public expenditure profiles and reports, auditing represents the cornerstone of good public sector governance.
She added that, in view of this, auditors can help public sector organizations achieve accountability and integrity, improve operations and instill confidence in the citizens and stakeholders by strengthening governance responsibilities of Oversight, Insight and Foresight.
Earlier, the State Auditor General, Mrs. Helen Deile, noted that it is so sad that the society has internalized corruption to the extent that anyone that maintains integrity becomes an outcast in the society because corruption is being celebrated. She therefore implored all auditors, as major stakeholders in the fight against corruption, to look inward and review their activities, processes and reporting and venture into other areas of Auditing that would make our executives more accountable to people.
The Auditor General listed other topical areas covered by the workshop to include Risk-based Audit, the Effect of Treasury Single Account (TSA) and Performance Audit as a strategic tool in enhancing Good Governance among others.
Deile also stressed the need for effective synergy between the Office of State Auditor General (OSAG) and the House of Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) if the issue of corruption must be addressed, noting that prompt consideration of Audit Reports and upholding appropriate sanctions on erring officers with proper follow up would send the right signal to all Public Officers.