Nine Auditors to commence Masters degree studies


The nine Auditors awarded scholarships to commence Masters degree studies through distance and flexible learning mode

Source: Press Release, Audit Office

APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2017: Seven members of the  Leadership Team of  the Samoa Audit  Office (SAO) have been awarded scholarship awards to commence Masters Degree in Financial Year 2017 mostly through distance and flexible learning mode.  The 2017 awardees raise the number of SAO Staff undertaking Masters Studies to 13 in 2017 from 6 in 2016.

The Post-Graduate and Masters initiative  started in 2016 as part of the professionalization drive of the Controller and Auditor General inspired and motivated by the professionalization program of the International  Organisation of  Supreme Audit Institution (INTOSAI) and Pacific  Association of Supreme Audit  Institution (PASAI). Professionalization became the second theme of the International Congress of Supreme (INCOSAI) 2016. The first theme of INCOSAI 2016 is auditing the implementation and progress of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) towards the 2030 targets.

As the only employee in the Samoa Audit Office with a Postgraduate Qualification, the Controller and  Auditor  General  believes in  building  a Model Organisation and a Model  Supreme Audit Institution  with a Model DNA of essential skills, knowledge, attitude, qualifications, experience and professional competencies for its Leadership Team and Staff.

According to  the  Controller  and Auditor General “his management and leadership philosophy is to develop and unlock talent so that his leadership team  and staff  will  eventually  surpass  him  in  the  future  in  the  essential skills, knowledge, attitude, qualifications, experience and professional competencies for the job “.

From 2014 to date, the Controller and Auditor General also spearheaded the CFE (Certified Fraud Examination) program for SAO Staff as part of SAO’s capacity and quality supplementation phase of its development activities which certified up to 17 staff in 2015 and three more in 2017.

The Controller and Auditor General is now taking the CFE (Certified Fraud E xamination) program to other Integrity Organisations of the Public Sector commencing next month with the aim of forming an Informal Network  dubbed as “Samoa  Integrity  Organisation Network”  (SION) funded under a project the Controller and Auditor General and SAO are co-leading with  the Ombudsman and the Office of the Ombudsman. The Project is funded by the Commonwealth Ombudsman of Australia and the Australian Government.

Recalling his original application for the job in 2010, the Controller and Auditor General wrote as his vision the following:

To secure the confidence and respect of all stakeholders that the Samoa Audit Office and its

People are:

  • Professionally and technically competent, qualified and credible;
  • Effective, independent, fact-based,  objective,  non-partisan  and  non-ideological  in  the discharge of all mandated responsibilities;
  • Accountable, transparent,   economic,  efficient,  ethical,  equitable  and  environmentally friendly it the utilisation of public resources at its disposal;
  • Innovative, future looking and forward thinking in its organisational vision, mission, culture, planning,strategies, management philosophy and values.

In keeping with this original vision and the traditional belief that all blessings and achievements flow from  the top, the  Controller  and Auditor  General has made it  part of the  Audit Office 10  year strategic plan and related succession planning for the leadership team to undertake distance and flexible learning postgraduate and masters studies so that the leadership of SAO can be sustained as well as any other organization of the public and private sector of Samoa the scholars may go to after graduation.

While studying via distance and flexible learning (DFL) awards, office scholars will still study in Samoa while also working full time delivering all outputs and deliverables that are agreed and signed with the Audit Office as part of their annual performance plans, agreements and reviews process. This was the attraction to the Controller and Auditor General as a former Student and Masters Graduate of the DFL process  hence the support for the post-graduate applications of the leadership team.

Recalling the time  of his studies for his Masters Degree, the Controller and Auditor General has motivated and inspired his leadership team stating that it is difficult  but not impossible, with the necessary sacrifices, to undertake studies and attend to a full time job and also family duties after work on a daily basis.