By Adama Jallow
Mr. Karamba Touray, Auditor General of the National Audit Office has reminded Parliamentarians that the National Assembly has an obligation to oversee the implementation of the budget they have adopted and that the duty stems from the mandate Parliament received from the electorate.
He made these remarks through a PowerPoint presentation recently at an orientation session on the relationship between the National Audit Office and the Finance and Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committees of the Parliament, staged at the Metzy Residence Hotel in Kotu.
He pointed out that the Parliament has a responsibility to ensure that the executive has used the resources efficiently and economically and as intended in the budget, drawing on the work of the SAI.
He noted that it is not sufficient to rely on the executive to respond effectively to the findings and recommendations of the SAI. That would negate the fundamental duty of parliament to exercise control over the executive.
However, he presented that the relationship of the SAIs with their respective parliament and the government is effectively represented in the accountability triangle, and within this framework, SAIs need to reflect on how they can best fulfill their function in relation to the other actors in the system.
AG Touray further stated that the accountability triangle is based on the principle that Parliament adopts the state budget and authorizes the executive to implement the budget (conferral).
He noted that the executive report on the implementation of the budget to parliament, and the independent audit institution is in line with its constitutional and legal mandate.
Touray further pointed out that the Parliament, on behalf of the citizens, holds the executive to account (control) and in some countries, provides formal discharge.
He urged that all parts of the triangle have to play their role to support the effective accountability for the use of public resources.
“In fulfilling their role within the system of accountability, it is significant for SAIs to consider how they ensure that their work is relevant, add value, and has impact, not only by reviewing and reporting on what has happened, but also by looking forward, identifying where improvements can be made, and promoting good practice.
“In this way public sector audits contribute to improved standards of governance, better management and decision making, and more effective use of public money,” he said.