The new Liberian Auditor General of the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Robert L. Kilby began his duties Monday. Performing the turning over ceremony, outgoing acting Auditor General Winsley S. Nanka told Mr. Kilby that employees at the GAC were ready to work with him in meeting the professional standards of the institution.
Mr. Nanka informed the new Auditor General that Audit reports prepared at the GAC are taxpayers' audit reports; therefore, it must be treated professionally in line with the Public Financial Management (PFM) Reform Act.
The PFM reform Act, section 37 mandates the GAC to make public audit reports conducted on any institution to the National Legislature within 30 days. Besides the PFM law, Mr. Nanka told the new Auditor General that the GAC is a member of various international auditing institutions which require it to make audit reports public for transparency and accountability.
"We are being supported by the European Union (EU), United Sates for International Development (USAID), World Bank and other partners; and these partners use their taxpayers' money to support the GAC and in their country audit reports are public documents, especially taxpayers' audit which is government audit; so it is international best practice to make audit report public," the outgoing acting Auditor General told Mr. Kilby.
He said audit reports were being made public by the GAC to enable the citizens and partners know what's happening to their money.
In his turning over remarks, Mr. Nanka outlined several achievements during his tenure at the GAC and hopes that Mr. Kilby's ascendency would add more value to the institution's goal to ensure that taxpayers' monies are used for the intended purpose by public officials.
He cited the publication of professional audit reports, training of 72 fraud examiners, the enrollment of 33 staff members into the Ghana Institute of Chattered Accountancy Program, the provision of local and international trainings for the staff of the GAC as key achievements by him while he was acting as Auditor General. Mr. Nanka informed the new Auditor General about the formulation of various strategies intended to safeguard the image of the GAC in the years ahead.
According to him, a policy was drafted by his administration to ensure that within the next three years, all heads of the GAC be professionally certificated in order to put them on par with international best practices.
The acting Auditor General said he's of the conviction that the incoming Auditor General would work with the rest of the managers at the GAC to actualize the policy.
"We will do everything possible to provide the environment conducive for that to happen because after three years, if you are a manager, director and executive director and don't have a professional certificate, we will help you to find another employment opportunity, but our goal is in three years everyone, ought to be professionally certificated," Mr. Nanka told the new Auditor General.
In response, the new Auditor General said he was coming to the GAC with an "opened mind" to take the GAC to the next level. Mr. Kilby, whose nomination to the post was withdrawn in 2010 by Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf due to public concern over the lack of clarity of his academic credentials was recently re-nominated by President Johnson-Sirleaf and confirmed by the Liberian Senate.
Mr. Kilby told employees at the GAC to have no fear and put aside all speculations and work together to promote the image of the institution. He said he intends to strengthen the knowledge-base of the institution based on his connection with various audit institutions in the United States.
He called on the employees to remain professional and committed to duties.