National Audit Office of Tanzania (NAOT) staff will be trained on new audit methodologies in accordance with agreed international standard in order to increase efficiency and improve the quality of audit reports.
The Controller and Auditor General (CAG) Ludovick Utouh told this paper this week that prescribed standards document would guide his office in its endeavor to build the capacity of staff in all spheres of performance.
CAG said training of managers in leadership skills is one of the key areas of emphasis, with all staff being trained and retrained on changes in management in order to see issues in a broader perspective.
The training is part of the new five year (2012/2013-2016/17) training policy, regulation and strategy whose development was completed recently.
CAG Utouh was speaking to this paper on the sidelines of the ten-day workshop of the Africa Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions for English Speaking Countries (AFROSAI-E), whose management development program (MDP) roll out to the office of NAOT was held in Dar es Salaam this week.
“We have just started a very long journey which shall need the cooperation and assistance of all our well wishing stakeholders including the Government, Parliament and its oversight committees, civil society organizations and the media in completing the long journey we have started," he further stated.
Chairperson of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) John Cheyo noted that there was tangible evidence of changes now found in NAO, with the most important notable change being an increased number of professional staff. There were less than 20 professionals five years ago while the current number exceeds 100 professionals.
Another change is the way the audit office managed to influence the enactment of the Public Audit Act in 2008, the parliamentary leader asserted.
He said that changes are not easily accepted as some people were comfortable with existing conditions, and they know that the new law will demand accountability and transparency on their part, he explained.
"If we want ourselves and our organizations to remain relevant we must be ready to change. If we will not change then changes will change us," he cautioned.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Deputy Permanent Secretary President Office Hab Mkwizu said the CAG played a critical role in facilitating Parliament to discharge its oversight function in ensuring that the executive is held accountable for utilizing resources.
He recommended that the office adopt best practices such as international standard of auditing and guidance material for it to stay relevant and add value to its work.
However the PS urges that developing economies need to puruse strategies that position them to produce extraordinary results that make a real contribution to their economies for them to transform to reach first world level.
"The current workshop is the first step towards integration management development intervention by the regular operation of the office to bring about desired results,” Mkwizu stated.
The country's ranking can only be sustained and improved if workers are skilled and motivated to always provide service at the highest level, he said.
He said the forever changing environment require individuals who can ensure that corporate development efforts are synchronized with broader government performance improvement and services delivery initiative.
"This can only be tackled by managers who understand the fundamentals needed for visionary and committed leadership of an office,” he emphasized.
It was imperative for the Auditor General to establish relationships with other offices and professional bodies to ensure that the workforce is up to date with current technology and methods, the deputy permanent secretary underlined.