The new advances in technologies of information and communications pose added challenges to GCC state audit bureaus in their functions as guardians of state public funds, said Bahraini state audit bureau chief Hassan al-Jalahma, in a speech he delivered today at the opening here of the 12th meeting of the GCC audit bureaus chiefs. He said the audit bureaus needed to upgrade their efficiencies and capabilities in order to resonate positively with the public who seek to know that public funds are in good hands. He further said that due to the escalation in regional and international events, it has become an imperative to innovate new methodologies of carrying out auditing duties in an objective and transparent manner commensurate with these events. In a similar speech at the meeting, assistant secretary general for legal affairs at the GCC General Secretariat Hamad al-Marri noted that the job of the audit bureaus at this juncture should transcend that of accounting and monitoring to working on streamlining these functions and setting down a culture of unassailable transparency amenable with the expectations of the public. Moreover he said that such goals for the GCC audit bureaus become more urgent as the level of GCC public funds\' expenditures grows larger, requiring better and more efficient management. The GCC audit bureaus conduct independent audits of government ministries and public agencies. They also make recommendations to these ministries and agencies on any changes to accounting procedures and systems. The bureaus aim to ensure that the GCC states enjoy maximum benefits from their national wealths, by conducting their work in a transparent manner. More importantly, the audit bureaus hold their respective governments accountable for fiscal behavior through careful oversight of public spending. Kuwait\'s delegation to the meeting today is headed by state audit bureau chief Abdulaziz al-Adsani accompanied by key high officials of the bureau.