The Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Supreme State Audit, Mbah Acha Rose Fomundam, has told representatives of State Audit institutions in Africa that the protection of public funds cannot be efficiently ensured if an organised prevention mechanism is not put in place.
While opening a three-day international forum in Yaounde on March 2, 2016 on the theme, “Preventing Embezzlement of Public Funds: A New Challenge for Supreme Audit Institutions in Africa”, Mbah Acha Rose beckoned the participants to make concrete proposals to enable the identification of activities likely to contribute to greater prevention of misuse of public funds.
In a ceremony that was massively attended by over two dozen cabinet ministers and members of the diplomatic corps, Mbah Acha Rose regretted that State Audit Institutions in Africa had not measured the contribution of prevention to the fight against embezzlement of public funds.
To her, decades of administrative and penal sanctions had not curbed cases of misappropriation of public funds at a pace compatible with the population’s expectations. “Prevention is better than cure. For many years, we focused on curing a disease against which we had not developed prophylactic measures of any significance,” she admitted. In effect, verification must henceforth be preceded by prevention, she suggested.
For three days, several themes will be tackled during the brainstorming forum organised by the Supreme State Audit Office in partnership with the Morocco-based African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD) and the Embassy of the United States of America in Cameroon. Speaking earlier, the US Ambassador to Cameroon, Michael Stephen Hoza promised that his country will always stand by Cameroon in preventing and fighting fraud as well as the misappropriation of public funds.
On his turn, CAFRAD’s Cameroonian-born Director General, Stephane Monney Mouandjo, addressed the need to sensitise managers on the real meaning of public funds, while insisting on a strong dose of ethics in management.
At the end of the forum tomorrow, participants will be expected to propose, if necessary, institutional reforms to be undertaken, best practices to be promoted, procedures to be formalised or new legislative or regulatory texts to be passed, to improve the efficiency of Supreme State Audit institutions.