Bahrain 'to make internal audit mandatory'
Manama, June 4, 2013
An initiative is underway that will make internal audit mandatory for all ministries and government entities in Bahrain, said a leading industry expert.
"Every ministry and government organisation will eventually need to have an internal audit team, either in-house or through outsourcing," business consulting and internal audit service provider Protiviti's senior managing director Bob Hirth said in an interview with the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Internal audit is an independent management function which involves a continuous and critical appraisal of the functioning of an entity.
"The Finance Ministry has taken up the task of setting up the government's internal audit activity, functioning for the time being as a directorate under the ministry," said Hirth.
"The activity is in the implementation phase following approval by all key authorities, including legislative bodies and ministerial committees," he added.
According to Hirth, the establishment of the nodal organisation for internal audit was a positive step in taking Bahrain to the global standards.
"Internal audit will add value to and strengthen the overall governance mechanism of the entity, including the strategic risk management and internal control system, and also assist in improving governance. It also plays an important role in evaluating the organisation's compliance with external regulations," he said.
He added that Protiviti has been the lead adviser to the ministry on the project for more than a year.
"The administration is keen to ensure availability of people with the right skills and a training environment, before mandatory audit is enforced. There are a lot of Bahraini potential internal auditors who need to be equipped with the right skills and processes," stated Hirth.
"We are doing a lot of advisory work in the banking and financial serivces sector with Bahrainis either already playing key roles or gearing up for them," said the expert.
"Protiviti in Bahrain used to be a team of 45 in December and we have since hired about 25 Bahrainis, many of whom have been seconded and are doing projects with various public and private enterprises," he added.-TradeArabia News Service