IAA Goes Digital

-As Minister Tweah Launches Auditing Software, Scorecard To Enhance Audit

By Mark N. Mengonfia- mmenginfia@gmail.com

MONROVIA-One of Liberia’s Lead Anti-craft institutions, the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), has taken a giant step through the digitization of new audit software and scorecard in the country.

With the launch of this audit mechanism, the IAA will be equipped to track various sectors of Liberia.

The software and scorecard were launched yesterday (February 9, 2023) in the Auditorium of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (EJS) Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.

During the ceremonies, about  177 trained Internal Auditors were commissioned to go out in the field and conduct auditing services for the betterment of governance in Liberia.

Speaking about the usage of the software, Madam Nyounweah F.B. Tamba, the Sector Director at the IAA told the Audience that the newly launched software will manage the full audit cycle, from planning, through risk assessment, controls testing, and action tracking, define the structure of multi-level organizations, and associate auditable entities with processes.

She defined the new software “Pentana” as an audit automation system designed to be used by internal audit departments for risk-based audits.

According to Madam Tamba, the software has tools for control Management, Analysis and summarization of risk assessments, automated and historic reporting, defining terminology, audit planning and execution, action tracking, and more. During her presentation, she indicated that the software

Currently, the IAA is present in 84 or 57% out of 147 public sectors in Liberia while in the remaining 63 out of 147 or 43% their presence is not felt there.

Launching the tools, Liberia’s    Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah appraised the work done by the institution over a short period of time.

He said years back public resources were at the discretion of the President and there was no control put into place but during Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s regime, most of those integrity institutions were established and started functioning.

“The Weah’s regime is where the government started the implementation of those integrity institutions” he indicated.

According to him, governance during Ellen’s regime was 2.0% and Weah is 4.0%.

Committing to the IAA scorecard he launched yesterday, Minister Tweah called for the independence of the scorecard stating it should be based on objectivity and data-driven.

According to him, the launch of the scorecard and the software is the dawning of a new day for the internal auditing sector.

“The scores will change the face of governance,” Tweah said with laughter across his face.

He praised the IAA boss for the steps taken in a relatively short period of time.

He promised to help and push the case of the IAA to ensure that their work is accomplished.

“We will deliver value for money under this process” he added. Speaking at the launch, IAA’s Director-General, David A. Kemah talked about the level of work the institution has done in a relatively short period of time.

He said when he took over some six months ago; they instituted what he called a comprehensive internal review of the IAA to ascertain the entity’s performance, staff capacity, logistical needs, and the condition of the work environment.

“The review established that IAA was not fulfilling its role in the public sector, the staff capacity was below acceptable levels, and there was a complete lack of computers and other equipment necessary to perform its duties, and lastly the building and the offices had broken doors, a leaky roof, and a challenging water situation.

Bring hope to the institution, the IAA boss said, “With the budgetary support received from the government, we have conducted some in-service training, met 10 percent of our computer needs, and carried on some minimum repairs on the building to make it habitable.”

He indicated that they have validated the Internal Audit Regulation, an Internal Audit Manual, and an audit procedural manual to stabilize the internal audit function for auditors, strengthened their audit recommendation and implementation unit, developed a strategic plan to direct the entity for the next five years and institute a code of ethical conduct which has been signed by the entire workforce.

During the program, the IAA boss informed Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah, World Bank Representative, Khwima Nthara, GAC boss, P. Garswa Jackson, Sr., and others that during the last four weeks which ended yesterday, they conducted an in-service training to sharpen the skills of 177 of their workers in various aspects of the internal audit function.

“This training will be followed by the rotation of auditors assigned at public sector entities to promote objectively and enhance the institution’s capacity to conduct internal audit activities across the public sector entities,” he said.

Mr. Kemah added, “Currently, 12 members of our staff are participating in a course review in preparation to sit the Certificate Internal Auditors exam this February.”

At the well-organized event, General Auditing Commission boss, P. Garswa Jackson Sr. pronounced cooperation with the IAA.

He called on the newly commissioned auditors to identify risk at each of the institutions they are assigned.

For his part, World Bank Representative, Khwima Nthara welcomes the efforts of the IAA stating that development is making the changes to meet the needs of the ordinary people.

He said development comes by the mobilization of resources and using it to affect the life of the citizens.

He stated that the IAA is important on grounds that they help to mitigate risk, and put a check on those things that are not done well at those ministries and agencies of the country.

The Word banks Representative pledged the World Bank’s commitment in working with Liberia as a partner to the country.

He said it was good that the tool to track performances and audit public institutions was developed, but was quick to point out that those who have been trained should make the maximum use of it for the benefit of Liberians.

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