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Know your civil servant - Always evolving auditing

2022-12-02  Staff Reporter

Know your civil servant - Always evolving auditing

People generally have the idea that performance auditors are out there to catch managers doing stuff they are not supposed to do. 

According to Cornwill Shaun Mentoor, performance auditors highlight the strengths and weaknesses in an institution’s performance and find opportunities for improvement.

“Internal audits are also essential in evaluating an organisation’s management of risk. All organisations face risks. For instance, at the ministry of industrialisation, internal auditors play a vital role in assessing whether the ministry is responsive to the needs of the public as per its constitutional mandate,” Mentoor said.

Mentoor is the head of internal audit at the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, a position he has been holding for the past five years.

Among some of his responsibilities are to assess the quality of risk management processes, systems of internal control and corporate governance processes across all parts of the ministry and report this directly and independently to the executive director and the audit committee.

“Most of my work involves interacting with people, presentations and meetings, and supervising staff. I also deal regularly with staff members at the Office of the Auditor General, both servicing external auditors and interacting with former colleagues” he said.


Getting started

Born and raised in Khomasdal, Windhoek, Mentoor joined the public service in February 2015. Before that, I worked as a consultant in the private sector.

Asked why he joined the public service, Mentoor had this to say: “It has certainly been a dream of mine to work in government; that is why I studied public administration initially.

Mentoor holds a bachelor’s in public administration from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (formerly known as Polytechnic of Namibia) and an MBA from the University of Cyprus.


Challenges and accomplishments

There is no job without challenges – and for Mentoor, his biggest challenge in the audit profession and working at a Ministry is meeting the ever-evolving and emerging demands for audit skills.

“My biggest challenge in the audit profession and working at a ministry is meeting the ever-evolving and emerging demands for audit skills. Besides that, our ministry has a very broad reach locally and internationally, and one must deal with transactions involving foreign accounts and markets. If your skill set as an auditor does not evolve, you might be found to be unable to meet the demands of the stakeholders. I find that to be challenging,” Mentoor said.

In terms of achievements, Mentoor said, “I pride myself in that I have done much in transforming internal audits reputation and building a solid presence for the vocation within the ministry.  “I have done this by creating regular awareness and providing undisputed recommendations to the top management. This does a lot in ensuring the credibility of the audit unit as a whole,” he said.



If you are serious about auditing, work towards getting a professional qualification that includes the Certified Internal Audit Designation with the Institute of Internal Auditors.

According to Mentoor, there are various other designations one can obtain, depending on your areas of interest, such as The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants designation or a bachelor’s in Accounting or Business Administration. 

Besides his profession, Mentoor is a family man: a husband and advocate for fatherhood. He is involved with the initiatives of the fatherhood foundation under the leadership of Bruce Hansen, a flagship men’s programme in Namibia.


Building the legacy

Mentoor said his immediate ambition is to work harder to leave a solid legacy at the ministry for future auditors. 

“There is still so much to do here. We all have a duty to leave a place better than we found it. I also intend to groom auditors who will be passionate about the affairs of government, ensuring public accountability, guaranteeing a future for the next generation,” he said.

“Auditing requires regular technical updates, especially in the areas of fraud and risk – and it is my intention to keep abreast of developments to be able to respond to the demands of the stakeholders,” he ended.

2022-12-02  Staff Reporter

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