Mr. Abdul Aziz Deputy Auditor General Ministries and Local Authority, and Mrs. Adama Renner, Deputy Auditor General Finance and Corporate Services, attended a senior leadership Workshop organized by the AFROSAI-E secretariat for executive leaders in the various SAIs.
The workshop was held in Pretoria, South Africa from the 2nd to 6th June 2014 with the theme “Staying Relevant”.
The sessions were facilitated by two consultants from the Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO) and Gorden Kandoro from the AFROSAI-E Secretariat.
During the workshop, a self-assessment exercise on Situational Leadership was done. Participants were encouraged to determine their leadership styles based on an administered questionnaire. A high point of the workshop was that leaders must try to be flexible and adapt innovative management styles to suit different situations, rather than relying on just one style of leadership which was the case for most of the participants.
As deputy auditors general and by extension senior managers of their respective SAIs, they were encouraged to meet regularly, work as a team and that their agenda for meetings should not only focus on operational issues but more importantly on Strategic Issues. The issue of being caught up in the “Black Box” was extensively discussed. The “Black Box” analogy was used to describe those processes that go into bringing out the outputs from inputs. According to Magnus Lindell, the DAG from SNAO, “we get caught up in the “Black Box”, when we become fully engaged in the work that is supposed to be done at a lower level”.
In her report to the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL), Mrs Adama Renner stated that “We can overcome this situation by ensuring that we have a strong quality control (QC) mechanism in place which takes into consideration, trained, well-motivated staff to whom responsibilities can be safely delegated. Coaching, monitoring, review and supervision are also essential elements in building this quality control mechanism”.
Speaking at the mid-year review workshop of the ASSL, she said that instituting a well-functioning Performance Management System (PMS) will greatly contribute to this QC Mechanism. she said “in this PMS, premium should be given not just to high performers but also to non-performers as well, as that could be an incentive to develop to develop their performance through coaching, mentoring, trainings and counselling.
She also reported that engaging the ISSAIs is not only limited to technical audits but rather have great relevance to the support functions as well; adding that the support staff must be acquainted with the ISSAIs and must also be encouraged to take an interest in the core business of the SAI and not just their support function.