Cabinet Secretary Underscores Role of Government Audit Committees

Jamaica News: Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Douglas Saunders, has underscored the integral role of government audit committees in the public sector governance framework.

Speaking at 14th annual Government of Jamaica Audit Committees’ Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday (November 7), Ambassador Saunders said their inputs are pivotal, in light of the impact which emerging issues, such as cybersecurity threats, could potentially have on auditing activities across government operations.

Noting that cybersecurity has “risen to the fore in recent years”, the Cabinet Secretary said it has brought with it “ever-advancing technology challenges”.

While arguing that some of these developments have, to some extent, yielded benefits, he noted that “some [stakeholders] would say equally, if not more so, [there have been] challenges to governance and additional burdens in terms of the audit function”.

Consequently, Ambassador Saunders emphasised the need for the public service to be equipped to respond to these challenges, adding that “we also have to have the necessary framework in place to support the implementation of the Government’s policies”.

Additionally, he said that audit committees will be even more essential in government operations, serving as independent review bodies to bolster the risk management system and internal controls in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), noting that “what you have done and/or are doing now, in service of our nation, is greatly appreciated”.

Ambassador Saunders said in light of this, “be assured of my commitment and unwavering support as Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Public Service”.

“I use this opportunity to also say thank you, on behalf of the public service, to all the persons who have served in the past as commissioners and in various capacities on audit committees, as well as those currently serving,” he added.

The conference was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and Cabinet Office under the theme: ‘Fit for Purpose: Audit Committees Improving Accountability and Promoting Governance’.

It featured presentations by several speakers on a number of topics, including: ‘Cybersecurity’, ‘Communicating Risks’, and ‘Promoting Governance’.


Source: JIS News

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