13th September, 2013
Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) held a training workshop for journalists of the Parliamentary Press Gallery on the theme “Understanding the Operations of the Audit Service Sierra Leone and the Auditor General’s Annual Reports”.
The programme was held at the Administrative Building in Parliament on Thursday 12th September, 2013.
Mrs Lara Taylor-Pearce, Auditor General in her keynote address, gave a brief background on the ASSL and pointed out that ASSL has a statutory responsibility to give opinion and advice on all aspect of Financial Statement in Ministries, Department and Agencies in the country. Mrs Taylor-Pearce also commented on the independent review of the economy carried out by ASSL so that tax payers’ monies are being utilised accurately as intended. The journalists were encouraged by the Auditor General to report accurately on the operations of ASSL especially the Auditor General’s Annual Report as the public deserved to be adequately informed on the fiscal activities of Government officials.
The Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Mr Moses Kargbo expressed SLAJ’s appreciation of the decision by ASSL to improve the technical ability of journalists covering the parliamentary proceedings especially issues bordering Audit Service. Commenting on the need for journalists to be trained by ASSL, he said that there has never been a time in the history of Sierra Leone when public officials have been called to probity as it is happening now. He maintained that journalists have developed a keen interest in covering Parliamentary Oversight Committees, wherein departmental heads are summoned to account for monies allocated to their offices for service delivery.
Chairman of the Independent Media Commission, Mr Rodmac Johnson commended the effort of ASSL to carry out the training as it was a step in the right direction which would enhance the capacity of the journalists in reporting the activities of ASSL and the Auditor General’s Report, from an angle of thorough knowledge and adequate research. Mr Johnson made reference newspapers reporting on ASSL or the Auditor General’s Report unlike the past. The journalists were also cautioned by the IMC Boss, to be careful in reporting of figures as it allows no margin of error.
The President of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, Mr Elias Bangura commended ASSL for enhancing the capability of Journalists in reporting on ASSL and the Auditor General’s Annual Report. He cited lack of office space which is a major problem affecting the Parliamentary Press Gallery Journalists. He made an appeal to ASSL to provide them with more training.
The Clerk of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Mr Karmoh K Conteh pledged Parliament’s commitment to the development of the Press Gallery and noted that Parliament is working hard to provide the gallery with an office space. He lauded ASSL for the initiative to train the journalists.
Presentations of Certificates to the Participants climaxed the occasion.