THIMPHU CONSENSUS STATEMENT ON INTERNAL AUDIT SIGNED
The Hon’ble Finance Minister of Bhutan, Lyonpo Namgay Tshering emphasized the importance of internal audit in government and advised that internal auditors should move ahead from compliance audits and become trusted advisors to the management. The Finance Minister was speaking at the Regional Internal Audit Workshop held on August 27-
28, 2019 at Thimphu, Bhutan. The theme of the Workshop was “Government Internal Audit: Embracing the Changes and Innovations”. The two days’ workshop was attended by dignitaries from the World Bank, the Austrian Development Agency, IIA Malaysia, BPKP of Indonesia, ICAI India and participants from Royal Audit Authority, Anti-Corruption Commission, government internal auditors including participants from Indonesia, India (the states of Assam and Uttarakhand), Nepal and Sri Lanka.
The workshop was inaugurated by the Honorable Finance Secretary, Dasho Nim Dorji. He highlighted the importance of professional development as it is a highly technical profession and irrespective of facing the challenges of attrition rates and others, internal audit plays an important role in public financial management and good governance. He continued to state that strengthening the internal audit services keeps internal controls strong and helps the nation in ensuring the proper use of the limited public resources. The workshop discussed the use of technology in internal audit and contemporary audit methodologies including performance and risk-based audits. The participants were unanimous that the internal audit organizations particularly in governments face common challenges including: inadequate response to audit findings, attracting and retaining talent and capacity building of the internal auditors. Substantial efficiency gains could be achieved using technology tools for automating audit management and undertaking analytics. The representative from ICAI highlighted that Bhutan being a small country can embrace new technologies much faster as compared tosome of the large countries. It was emphasized that internal audit should not be mixed up with internal control and risk management, as the former is a function to ensure that management takes responsibilities of the latter. The Internal audit plays a crucial role in strengthening governance and it is important that all stakeholders including the auditee-management, internal auditors, the supreme audit institution and the anti-corruption agency should work together to strengthen the internal audit function, which is an important governance and leadership institution.
The CCA conducted this workshop with technical inputs from the Ernst & Young LLP and the World Bank. The workshop covered presentations by experts on various topics and ended with panel discussion on “Enhancing Relevance and Effectiveness of Internal Audit”.
The conference concluded with an agreement to continue the knowledge exchange efforts for mutual advancement of strengthening internal audit. For this purpose, the participants signed a Consensus Statement on Internal Audit including creation of a Joint Public Sector Internal Audit Community of Practice for the South Asian and East Asian countries as a platform for sharing experiences and ideas. Bhutan and Indonesia are also in advanced stages of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration on strengthening of internal audit. RGoB is undertaking reforms to strengthen public financial management under the Pubic Financial Management Multi Donor Fund (PFM-MDF) administered by the World Bank and funded by the Austrian Development Agency and the European Union. This Regional workshop was organized under the internal audit component of the PFM-MDF Project, which is supporting the implementation of the RGoB’s Public Financial Management Reform Strategy.
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