National Audit Office briefed the media after winning top continental award

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA:- The Gambia National Audit Office has on Wednesday briefed the members of the media after winning the best performance audit report in Africa.

The winning report in the African English-Speaking Supreme Audit Institutions Region, covered January 2017- December 2019 on the Emergency Obstetric Care in public health facilities by the Ministry of Health.

The Director of Audit Performance Unit, Baba S Drammeh said they gathered information through document reviews, interviews or discussions and site visits.

“Document reviews were done to get comprehensive, relevant and reliable information on Emergency Obstetric Care in The Gambia,” he said.

According to him, 74 interviews and discussions were held with heads of health facilities and Ministry of health officials.

“A total of 174 questionnaires were administered to care providers and postpartum patients at the facilities. Site visits, all the 14 designated comprehensive EmOC and facilities are the major health facilities and health centers and hospitals were visited. 24 out of 45 designated basic EmOC facilities were also visited as part of the process.”

Mr. Drammeh said the unavailability of medical equipment in some facilities were also reported in the EmOC services.

“These include suction machines, oxygen cylinders and doublers,” he said, adding that 58% of the facilities visited go out for outreach programs without portable hemoglobin meters which is crucial to saving lives.

The Auditor General, Karamba Touray highlighted the importance of the prize won by the performance unit.

“The aim of this prestigious prize is to promote timely and high performance audit reports that are relevant and impactful, and to share experience and acknowledge performance auditors in the region,” he said, adding, “Performance audit is an independent assessment or examination of the extent to which an organization, program or scheme operates economically, efficiently and effectively.”

It goes beyond the judgement of compliance and accuracy to also evaluate performance and evaluate for money obtained in government transactions, the top auditor noted.

The performance unit was established in 2014 as a function and later developed into a unit in January 2019, starting with five members and currently has sixteen members.

The best performance audit report prize was launched in 2007 by AFROSAI-E in collaboration with Swedish national audit office.

Since then, only eight countries have won so far in which some countries won more than once.

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