I am at that time of year when I think about the year that’s been and the year coming. I ask myself in relation to this blog – is it still doing what I wanted it to do when I started it in 2011? Am I still able to find the time and energy to do it? Should I continue to keep it semi-anonymous.
I started this blog as a place to debate, think, and discuss my changing and developing professional views of internal audit. Since 2011 I have been lucky to have two roles that have made it possible to grow and develop and, most importantly, to put my ideas into practice.
I also decided that I should make the blog anonymous. Not because I didn’t want to be held accountable for my views, but rather I did not want my background or personality to interfere in how my writing was perceived and my thoughts were considered by the blog’s readers. I am aware it is only semi-anonymous as it broadcasts via my Twitter and Linkedin accounts. Even so, I have been clear to make the blog generic, anonymous and accessible.
I think on this second point my views have changed. I am now working in an international role, for a respected client organisation, I have now had my service undergo a recent EQA, which, for the early draft report, has been very positive. I believe I have now had a chance to implement my ideas of internal audit at scale and proven, in practice, that my approach to internal audit does work. This has been with the fantastic support, engagement and hard work of my team.
I think now, 2016, is the time to engage with my international colleagues and audience. I am also now turning my creative attention and energy to the other side of my responsibilities, counter fraud. I have successfully combined the two, but want to engage my international counter fraud colleagues in the debate and discussion about this work as well.
So – I am Anthony Garnett. I work as the Head of Internal Audit and Counter Fraud for the UK Government’s Department for International Development. I deliver audit and counter fraud services for the over £10bn the UK Government spends each year across the globe bilaterally and multilaterally (through the UN, World Bank and other development partners) to tackle poverty, instability and support fragile and conflict-affected states. My views on audit in this blog are, of course, mine, not my employer’s.
On balance the blog does still provide me a place to write about the challenges and thoughts I have. I still benefit from the opportunity to write about the challenges and thoughts I have about them. Writing is both cathartic and useful for me and I hope you, the reader, as you follow my journey.
The blog is still useful to chart my changing views. I still find working as a chief audit executive continues to provide me with new and varied challenges. This provokes me to think and grow, professionally and personally. So the blog is a good space to do this and I will keep going with it.
I think my need to engage with the international community and my international colleagues makes this blog a useful tool. I shall begin to express what I am learning from working globally and what it is telling me about internal audit across the globe.
The other thing I wanted to do it to deliver a platform to challenge internal audit orthodoxy. I wanted with this blog to put right the things I saw as nonsensical, bizarre or unchallenging woolly and poor thinking in internal audit. I think the internal audit profession still lacks this challenge and thought leadership in internal audit is thin on the ground. So I want to, in my own small way, to address this deficiency. I hope my blog has done this so far, but will focus on this more in 2016.
Finally on the energy point. I do find my current role immensely challenging and draining of my time and energy. I also moved from Scotland to London and am now London based, this was a tiring move and transition. I have an incredible team, a great deputy and senior management team. So I hope to be able to blog more in 2016 than I have done in 2015.
Thank you, as a reader of my blog, for following and continuing to follow my professional journey. I wish you all a happy new year and look forward to debating and discussing the finer points of this during 2016.