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Celebrating our International Program GraduatesCCAF and our international program partners recently celebrated two graduations: the 2013-14 Fellows have successfully finished their placements in Canada, and Rhoda Quaye of Ghana has completed an online graduate certificate program in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigations offered by Algonquin College. The Fellowships and enrolment in the Algonquin College program are two components of the International Legislative Oversight Program (ILOP). With funding from Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), the ILOP supports capacity building for the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and parliamentary oversight committees in Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania and Vietnam.
On May 22, CCAF held its annual Fellows' graduation ceremony to celebrate the accomplishment of the six 2013-14 Fellows:
Office of the Auditor General of Canada
These Fellows each joined an audit team at their host OAG to learn about performance auditing and gain on-the-job experience. Throughout their nine months in Canada, they also participated in a series of courses covering both audit methodologies and "soft skills" such as communication and leadership. And, working with mentors at their host offices and at CCAF, the Fellows developed plans for performance audits to be conducted by their SAIs. Their audit plan topics were selected in consultation with their auditors general to be aligned with their SAIs' plans and all have a strong focus on one or more of DFATD's priority themes for international development.
The graduation ceremony brought together many program partners to celebrate the Fellows' accomplishments and wish them well as they prepared to return to their countries. Representatives of the OAGs of Canada, Quebec and Alberta, DFATD, the High Commissions or Embassies of the Fellows' countries, and the CCAF Board of Governors all attended.
Paul Lohnes, President and CEO of CCAF, served as the evening's emcee and we were pleased to have Brian Bost, Chair of the CCAF Board, Michael Ferguson, Auditor General of Canada, and representatives of each of the three host offices give remarks about the Fellowships. Their presentations expressed the hard work, the dedication, the fun and the friendships that make up the Fellowships each year and illustrated how both the Fellows and their host offices benefit. We also heard from the Fellows themselves, who gave presentations on their audit plan topics and surprised the audience with two songs they had prepared to thank all those who contributed to their Fellowship experiences.
Friend of the Fellows Award
This award recognizes program partners who play a significant role in the program and go above and beyond to make the Fellows' experience enriching and enjoyable.
This year, CCAF and the Fellows presented the award to the OAG of Alberta. Since first becoming a Fellowship host office in 2008, the OAG of Alberta has hosted eight Fellows, all from Vietnam, and has participated in several missions to Vietnam to help with mentoring and workshops for the SAI. The close partnership that has developed between the two offices has been extremely beneficial to the Vietnam SAI and has led to many friendships.
The seven previous recipients of the Friend of the Fellows award include the OAG of Canada's International Relations team, François Boisclair of the OAG of Quebec, and Alain Lalonde, then the Auditor General of the City of Ottawa.
Online Learning Graduation: Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigations
At our May ceremony, CCAF also celebrated Rhoda Quaye's graduation from a Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigations program, delivered by Ottawa's Algonquin College. This Graduate Certificate program teaches the skills to detect and prevent fraud. Through the ILOP, CCAF sponsors the enrolment of auditors from our partner SAIs.
Rhoda completed the program's 12 online courses from her office in Ghana and finished the final course in December 2013, becoming the fifth CCAF student to graduate from the program. She devoted many evenings and weekends to this program over a period of four years. Not only was she keeping up with her regular audit work at the SAI during the day, but she was also completing her MBA in banking and finance at the same time. Nevertheless she enjoyed the Algonquin College program and found that it was well suited for her because she likes problem-solving, analyzing and reporting on a variety of financial information. She found the course on money laundering and asset tracing particularly interesting and hopes to pursue further studies in order to become a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist.
CCAF presented Rhoda with a special graduation certificate to recognize her hard work and dedication and to share her success with the many program partners gathered together. Rhoda also attended an Algonquin College graduation ceremony June 23 with CCAF representatives and other friends.
Rhoda is currently in Ottawa on a six-month CCAF Fellowship placement at the OAG of Canada (March-August 2014) to learn about financial and regulatory audits. A focus for her Fellowship is the audit of colleges and universities, which she is studying through visits to the OAG of Saskatchewan, the KPMG office in Ottawa and the University of Ottawa.
CCAF and all the graduates wish to thank DFATD, the OAGs of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, and all the organizations that contributed to making their learning experiences a success.