The Auditor General has a constitutional duty to conduct audits of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Jamaica. The Financial Administration and Audit (FAA) Act provides the broad framework that governs the work of the Auditor General in ensuring that rules, policies, laws and regulations are applied as intended and are indeed complied with. Though audit principles have remained unchanged over the years, the manner in which we apply these principles have evolved. This is deliberate to ensure that in executing the constitutional duties of the Auditor General our practices and focus are reflective of the evolving public sector and needs of our stakeholders; also, to ensure that the Auditor General’s Department continues to add value to the system of governance by remaining relevant through audit practices.
Over the past five years, we developed our audit plan and strategically selected audit candidates that we assessed as being fundamental to; efficient and effective use of scarce public resources and delivery of social services and to the Government’s achievement of Vision 2030 National Development Plan. Invariably, the audits conducted across the public sector revealed common deficiencies such as poor governance and improper use of resources. With this in mind, as a precursor to preparing our strategic plan for the next three years, I commissioned the development of a thematic approach, which analysed and categorized the weaknesses identified during our audits over the last five years. The aim is to ensure that the audit resources are appropriately allocated to subject matters based on risk level and the value added component.
In that regard, a robust assessment of audit reports issued from April 2011 to November 2016 was done to classify the issues therein. The complexity and interrelated nature of these issues were grouped into five key themes which speak to the egregious contraventions within the MDAs. These five audit themes are i) Governance, ii) Project Management, iii) Resource Management, iv) Procurement and Contracts Management and v) Information and Communications Technology. Additionally, we intend to assess the effectiveness of the Government’s plans to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals promulgated by the United Nations.