Health sector audit committees have been inaugurated in Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region, to ensure efficiency and compliance of the financial regulations governing public sector spending.
The committee members have been put in-charge of the various health institutions in the region including the regional, municipal and district health facilities as well as the health training institutions and made up with varied experiences in auditing skills.
Per the Public Financial Management Act, 2016, Act 921, the committee members who were sworn into office by the Bolgatanga Circuit Court judge, Mr Malcolm Bedzrah, are expected to audit the health institutions periodically as required by the Act.
In his welcome address, the Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Winfred Ofosu, stated that the due process of the provision of the Act was strictly followed in appointing the committee members and entreated them to study their roles as stipulated in section 88 of Act 921 to enable them discharge their responsibilities effectively.
The Regional Director impressed upon the heads of the health institutions to create the necessary environment and to also provide support for the committees to audit and stressed that the main aim of the whole exercise was to support the growth of the institutions to serve the Ghanaian populace better.
The acting Director General of the Internal Audit Agency, Ransford Agyei, whose speech was read for him by the acting Director of Operations, Nathan Yankey, stressed that the audit committees were very important and placed at the high level corporate governance committee in the public financial management system.
“The responsibilities of the audit committees add to the effectiveness of public accountability, transparency, operational and financial performance, safeguarding efficient use of public asset and the purse,” the acting Director General emphasised.
Schooling the committee members on their roles, the Director General, mentioned that they are expected to support the Internal Audit Unit, other internal monitoring units and external security.
They are also supposed to pursue any recommendation contained in Internal Audit reports, Parliament’s decision on Auditor General’s report, Auditor General’s management letter and reports of monitoring units especially those recommendations that deal with financial matters among others.
The Chairman for the occasion , Mr Robert Ajene, stated that if all auditors were to play their roles very effectively and efficiently, Ghana as a country would not be facing judgment debt challenges and reiterated the need for the committee members to live up to expectation.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGAP