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Corporate governance ethics to be amplified -Gare

16 Nov 2023

 Boards and senior management bear the responsibility for outlining the organizational culture and for ensuring that the appropriate culture is present in the organization.

This was said by Minister of Entrepreneurship, Mr Karabo Gare, at the 12th Institute of Internal Auditors Botswana (IIAB) national conference, held in Gaborone on Wednesday. 

Mr Gare said because leaders of organizations bear the responsibility to set the tone at the top, a challenge arises when lofty value statements are crafted; whether senior management actively embodied these principles as a guiding force for all members within the organization. 

“Therefore it is clear that we cannot talk governance without talking ethics as the two complement each other,” he said. 

He said boards and senior management have a key responsibility to ensure appropriate governance structures and practices, as well as ensuring that ethical practices were in place and functioning. 

Mr Gare said often times a number of organisations employed internal auditors but the question at hand was whether these auditors were engaged with the conviction that they were collaborative partners in efficiently achieving an organization’s mission, or their employment was driven solely by legal or regulatory obligations.

“What we forget is that these are key partners in designing effective governance, risk management and control processes,” he said.

He noted that as an imperative, the internal audit profession should make concerted efforts towards ensuring that organisational ethical culture and governance practices were appropriate.

“This can be implemented by effective evaluation of what boards and senior management put in place and making appropriate recommendations,” he said.

He also said an entirely new mindset was necessary, such that internal auditors should take it upon themselves to do things differently.

“For instance, in order to enhance your effectiveness in addressing governance and ethical issues, you may want to be directly responsible for your self-development, and not leave your capacitation needs to your employer,” he said. 

He said while there were more than 1 000 internal auditors currently practicing in the country, only 400 were registered with the IIAB.

 “I understand the reason for this is that there is no legislation compelling them to register, which is another area requiring mindset change,” he said.

Given the important role the IIAB plays, Mr Gare implored the institute to engage with the government on the issue so that every practicing internal auditor could be brought under the ambit of the IIAB. 

“I also urge every organisation that employs internal auditors to ensure that their internal audit team performs audits in line with the standards of their profession by ensuring all are members of the profession,” he said. 

The IIAB President, Mr Icho Molebatsi, said in today’s dynamic geopolitical, economic and social landscape, pillars of corporate governance and ethics served as a bedrock upon which sustainable business and economic success is built. 

“This conference is therefore aimed at providing a platform for all participants to delve into the intricacies that are essential for good ethics and governance,” he said.

Mr Molebatsi said the conference was meant to also interrogate the key underlying principles that denote good governance and link them to how they define the positive trajectory of organisations, industries and the nation’s goals. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Taboka Ngwako

Location : GABORONE

Event : Institute of Internal Auditors Botswana

Date : 16 Nov 2023