source: Republic of Botswana (21/5/10) TAUTONA TIMES for May 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"
B8) 7/5/10: SPEECH BY HIS HONOUR LIEUTENANT GENERAL MOMPATI S. MERAFHE, MP., THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNAL AUDITORS NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND GALA DINNER.
[Salutations]...Distinguished Guests Ladies and Gentlemen
1. It is indeed an honour and privilege for me to have been invited to officiate at this important occasion, the Internal Auditors National Conference Gala Dinner.
2. I am informed that your deliberations at your two day conference have been very fruitful and productive and I am confident that you will subsequently improve your internal operations and processes in your respective organisations.
3. This event takes place at a time when companies throughout the world are facing huge challenges relating to issues of corporate governance and accountability.
4. The conference which was held under the theme Internal Auditing; A paradigm shift; was indeed an acknowledgement of the fact that organizations cannot continue to do business as usual.
5. This is the 1st National Conference of Internal Auditors and its timing is significant given the enormous challenges that auditors are facing not only in Botswana but throughout the world.
6. In this regard, I wish to commend the organizers of this event for their foresight in convening such an important gathering that will chart the way forward for its members in view of enormous problems of greed and mismanagement perpetrated by some corporate leaders.
Director of Ceremonies,
7. The importance of internal auditing in any government or organization cannot be overemphasized.
8. I firmly believe that organizations that espouse sustainable success should measure themselves through continuous feedback that they receive from their internal auditors.
9. It is for this reason that the establishment of water tight internal controls that are strictly observed greatly assist companies to succeed in their work.
10. Therefore an effective internal audit function should ensure that transparency; fairness, superior customer care, a positive corporate image and accountability are the hall marks of any organization.
11. It goes without saying that a high degree of ethical conduct amongst corporate leaders is the key for the sustainability of any organization.
12. The internal audit profession actually lays the foundation for a high performance culture.
Ladies and gentlemen,
13. Whereas in the past the scope of internal audit was limited to financial controls and accountability, this has expanded to include a broader spectrum of areas.
14. Consequently organizations have now developed policies and procedures to ensure that they embrace the operational efficiency, excellence and quality philosophy.
15. In this regard, operational areas such as customer care, internal process efficiency and employees satisfaction have become the lifeline of modern day business.
Director of ceremonies,
16. The theme of this conference 'A Paradigm Shift' could not have been more relevant in view of the fact that this conference took place against the backdrop of the world recession which was occasioned by corporate greed and mismanagement by some leaders of multinational firms in developed countries.
17. Undoubtedly, this has put the internal audit function under the spotlight than it has ever been before.
18. You all know that the advent of Information and Telecommunications Technology and cyber-space based crime has also presented major challenges to the internal audit profession.
20. Therefore the need to reengineer internal processes and procedures has never become urgent than it is today.
21. As e-business takes centre stage, there is need for appropriate and stringent internal controls that will provide a governance environment that will ensure a safer custodianship of business assets and a more reliable corporate accountability.
22. It is no doubt that the theme of the conference takes cognizance of the fact that there is need for the internal audit profession to assume its rightful position in corporate governance.
23. It is against this background that the Institute of Internal Auditors Botswana, convened this conference in order to improve the skills of its member.
24. This was after realizing that there was need to continuously develop or train professionals in order to bring them up to date with current challenges which are complex in nature.
25. These challenges include lack of expertise in critical areas such as fraud, human resources, information technology and governance.
26. Therefore, the internal audit function to be effective, it must reengineer itself in accordance with the new and emerging corporate governance challenges.
27. Failure to achieve this will render the internal audit profession irrelevant.
28. In light of the challenges that governments and organizations face, it is critical to have a skilled, agile and versatile workforce that will effectively discharge its duties and functions.
Director of Ceremonies,
29. I would like to emphasize that internal auditors should continuously embark on self improvement and learning in order to sharpen their skills.
30. Those internal auditors who wish to serve their organizations with distinction must stay on the fast lane of learning highways and thoroughfare.
31. On the other hand, those auditors who neglect self development run the risk of being rendered irrelevant and redundant.
32. It is abundantly clear that as the world recovers from the recession, those organizations that have adhered to sound corporate governance, have come out of the economic downturn much stronger and resilient.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
33. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all of you that as a nation we are well known for sound and prudent management of our resources and it is my fervent hope that our internal auditors will continue to comply with laid down procedures and rules.
34. I therefore wish to urge the local business community to rise to the challenge and replicate what our country is best known for throughout the world.
35. Let me applaud and appreciate efforts of those organizations that continue to espouse and uphold these ideals to stay the course in using the services of their auditors.
36. In conclusion, I would like to thank CQS Technology Holdings, Price-Water House Cooper, Delloite, KPMG and Grand Palm for sponsoring this event.
37. I thank you for the courtesy of attention. Enjoy your dinner.