By Kenias Chivuzhe
The importance of more collaboration between the Office of the Auditor General and the media in promoting transparency and accountability was at the centre of discussions during the Auditor General’s media engagement workshop that ended this Wednesday in Nyanga.
Auditor General, Ms Mildred Chiri spoke on the importance of a symbiotic relationship between her office and the media as she revealed plans to produce audit reports in vernacular languages.
“The symbiotic relationship between the office of the Auditor general and media will improve the quality of public financial management and enhance public accountability and transparency. They have been requests from stakeholders for audit reports to be written in vernacular languages. My office has plans of producing vernacular summaries of the reports. We intent to start with Ndebele and Shona versions and hope to increase the dialects in future. Over and above that we are also planning to introduce summarised graphic reports that are for the public to which is easy to comprehend,” said Ms Chiri.
The Chief Director in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Jonathan Gandari noted how the media is an important partner in ensuring accountability of public resources.
“The media is a partner in championing accountability in the management of public resources as audit reports are used to assess if public resources have been utilised prudently. Journalists need training on financial management as the fourth arm of the government, the media plays a pivotal role in interpreting and dissemination the findings of audit reports. To the public, a vigilant media helps to expose wastefulness of public resources,” said Mr Gandari.
The media was also implored to view the Auditor General’s role from a developmental perspective.