The Tonga Office of the Auditor General (TOAG) held a communications workshop titled ‘Communicating and Promoting Value and Benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs)’ from Monday, 10th October – Friday, 14th October, 2016 at the Tungi Colonnade, Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Twenty-eight participants attended the workshop with 24 from TOAG, two from the Tonga Ministry of Revenue and Customs and two from the Tonga Ministry of Finance and National Planning. This communications workshop is part of the ‘Support of the external oversight function of the Public Financial Management system’ project that is funded by the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The workshop was opened with a short devotion and prayer by Rev. Mavae Fonokalafi of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga and Operation Manager of Tungi Colonnade, followed by a warm welcome by Tonga Auditor-General, Sefita Tangi to the PASAI consultants and Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) representative. Sefita noted, “We hope that the various initiatives under this project will result in enhancing the external oversight of the PFM system in Tonga.”
Meria Russell, DFAT Programme Manager for Governance, Economic and Private Sector Development spoke about the agreement and the aims of this programme, which is funded by DFAT. “It is our hope that the participants who take part in this workshop will be committed to what they are about to learn and be able to fully utilise these skills in order to benefit the people of Tonga. We look forward to the positive outcomes of this workshop,” she said.
The participants spent the first two days discussing the value and benefits of SAIs as prescribed in the International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) 12:
The value and benefits of SAIs–making a difference to the lives of citizens. Participants also discussed how to effectively engage with stakeholders with the aim to develop a communication strategy for the Tonga SAI. The second part of the training focused on report writing skills, dealing with media and social media, public speaking and writing media releases. The participants’ critical thinking, analytical skills and writing abilities were put to the test through the myriad of audit-related exercises that honed their communication skills in each session.
The workshop was facilitated by PASAI Advocate, Eroni Vatuloka and PASAI Communications Advisor, Tina Vaka. The training was hosted by the Tonga Office of the Auditor-General and supported by DFAT.