Auditor General’s Office presents report to President Ramkalawan |28 August 2021
- Celebrates recognition with online event
The Office of the Auditor General of Seychelles has been ranked the highest in the world among 118 countries, according to the World Bank 2021 Global Supreme Audit Institutions Independence Index published recently.
The Seychelles audit authorities and its South African counterpart both were awarded full marks out of ten, signalling that all independence indicators were met. The countries were assessed on whether they meet independence indicators, based on international standards and practices and include financial, mandate, coverage, and operational dimensions.
During a brief courtesy call to President Wavel Ramkalawan at State House yesterday morning, Auditor General Gamini Herath presented a copy of the World Bank report to the President, and said it is a moment of pride and joy for the country, as well as for the office.
“This morning, I had the honour of submitting the World Bank report formally to the President. As you know, the report ranks us in the top position, which is a great honour for Seychelles and my office, and which will serve to have an impact on our profile. Development partners want to see an auditing system that is effective and they want to know that when they are supporting Seychelles, the funds are audited and put to good use,” Mr Herath noted.
Following the courtesy call, the OAG held an online event to recognise, share and celebrate the SAI’s (Supreme Audit Institution) remarkable world ranking.
In conveying his remarks during the event, Mr Herath explained that this is the first time that such an index has been prepared and published, through collaborative effort across the Governance Global Practice, under the World Bank.
Mr Herath also explained that the report was produced following the panel’s complete assessment of each of the 118 SAIs, on three different parameters. The methodology applied in the assessment took into account not only the legal frameworks, but each SAI’s capacity to deliver its mandate effectively, the constitution and legal framework, transparency in the process of appointing the SAI head, financial autonomy, type of audits, operational autonomy, staffing autonomy, audit mandate and audit scope autonomy, access to records an information, as well as rights and obligations on audit reporting.
“Considering our small size and unique constraints that we are facing as a small island developing nation, this is really a great achievement. In my view, this ranking will have a positive impact on our country’s profile, and it will go a long way to reassure our regional, international and multilateral development partners, potential investors, creditors, and the international community in general, that Seychelles is serious in practicing the principles of good governance, accountability and transparency,” Mr Herath said.
“In fact, reaching higher grounds such as this ranking, was one of the targets we set for OAG, when we submitted to cabinet in October 2017, a paper called ‘Delivering an Effective Audit Service; Medium-Term Strategy 2017-2021. Working through this strategy, OAG has achieved impressive results, despite numerous challenges and constraints. OAG has performed exceptionally well in managing changes and delivering audit mandate, to the satisfaction of all stakeholders,” Mr Herath added.
He further elaborated to inform all attending virtually that the Seychelles SAI is active in regional and international groupings and bodies.
Mr Herath also dedicated the important ranking to the employees of the office, as well as the people of Seychelles, for showing tremendous interest in the works of the office.
As per the report, it is crucial that SAIs have independence to ensure effective public sector financial management, especially during times of crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. As per the Lima Declaration, SAIs can only accomplish tasks objectively and effectively if they are independent in their organisation, and protected against outside influence. Indeed, Mr Herath asserted that the Seychelles SAI is delivering on this mandate, although he recognised the work ahead in raising the bar further, and maintain Seychelles’ position at the top.
In a virtual message, President of the Republic, Wavel Ramkalawan, also addressed the event participants where he briefly outlined the importance of good governance within governments, and institutions towards strengthening democracy.
“I would like to commend once again the OAG for the hard work that it is doing, and I would like to encourage the office to play an even greater role in ensuring that all government facilities, departments and all the parastatals adhere to very good principles. It is the only way that we will eliminate corruption, that we will further strengthen our various institutions, and at the end of the day, we will become a country where the rule of law, especially in the areas of finance are respected, and each one of us will see this as a duty,” President Ramkalawan said, thanking Mr Herath for helping to earn Seychelles such a high and distinguished recognition.