The Office of the Auditor-General launched the first-ever National Government Kiswahili Audit Report, for the 2019/2020 financial year. The twin event that also doubled up as a meeting with editors sought to also discuss how to enhance engagements with the media as a critical partner in the dissemination of audit findings to the public.
The occasion at the Norfolk Hotel, Nairobi, was graced by the Controller and Auditor-General, United Republic of Tanzania Mr. Charles Kichere, as the Chief Guest. Other guests included the Controller of Budget CPA Dr. Margaret Nyakang’o, CBS, President of the Kenya Editors Guild Mr. Churchill Otieno, Secretary and CEO of Public Service Commission Dr. Simon K. Rotich, CBS and FCPA Fredrick Riaga, the Chief Executive Officer of Public Sector Accounting Standards Board and FCPA George Mokua, the National Chairman of Institute of Certified Public Accounts of Kenya (ICPAK.)
The Auditor-General noted that the Office has trained more than 500 journalists from all over the country on the audit process, audit services, audit products and audit terminologies. She acknowledged that, the trainings were producing results with tremendous progress noted among the trained journalists. For the period between June 2020 to July 2021, through internal monitoring, an accuracy level of 83 per cent of articles, news items and editorials was recorded. Their news items, commentaries or editorials were accurate and easy to understand.
“I am aware that this training has not extended to the editors, and we need to design a programme on how this can be effectively implemented, because as the gatekeepers, you play an important role in dissemination of news to the citizens and in ensuring relevant and effective reporting,” the Auditor-General said.
The launch of the Kiswahili audit report seeks to enhance ease of understanding of the reports to the citizens at the grassroots and promote readership. The AG noted that a number of Kenyans speak, read and understand Kiswahili language more comfortably than English language, hence the report will benefit them.
“Kwa uzinduzi huu wa ripoti ya ukaguzi katika lugha ya Kiswahili, Ofisi yangu iko katika njia iliyo sawa sio tu kukutana na mahitaji na matarajio ya wadau wetu, bali vile vile kufuata sheria zinazohusika na viwango vya ukaguzi,” Mkaguzi Mkuu wa Hesabu za Serikali alisema. (With the launch of this Swahili language report, the Office is not only meeting the expectations of its stakeholders, but also complying with the laws on public sector auditing).
The event also included a plenary session with the Editors on how to enhance relationship with the media for accurate, effective and sustained reporting of audit findings.