The Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo, is advocating reforms in the country’s public sector financial management laws to remove internal auditors from the direct supervision of the heads of their institutions.
According to him, the current provision which put internal auditors under the control of their heads of institution was inimical to the fight against misuse and waste of the country’s financial resources.
“The current law makes it difficult for internal auditors to work professionally. Threats of victimisation from the very people they are to check means they work to please their heads. This is why it is imperative that we reform the law to make them independent, so they can effectively check the internal controls,” he stated.
Speaking at a meeting with journalists in Accra yesterday, Mr Domelevo said, until the law is reviewed, infractions of the financial management by spending officers of institutions would be difficult to address.
The event was to engage media personnel on findings in the 2018 Auditor General’s report and strengthen collaboration to promote efficient use of resources in the public sector.
The report faulted several mjinistries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) for violating various provisions of the country’s financial management laws.
Some of the institutions, the Auditor General said, have been issued management letters to respond to queries and furnish the Audit Service with the appropriate documents or face disallowance of expenditure and be surcharged.
Although the 2017 report captured an astronomical increase in irregularities, he said, the 2018 financial year recorded a 74 per cent decline in total irregularities, which was as a result of decrease in outstanding debtors.
As a country, he stated that, it was time to review sanctions on corruption to make it tougher and deterring to change the mindset of the public that corruption was a grave offence which would not be tolerated.
Mr Domelevo said the Service was currently undertaking audits of public infrastructure, including roads to ensure value-for-money and judicious use of state resources.
Samples of the materials used for some roads have been taken to the laboratory for testing to assess the durability and quality, he said, after which the report would be published.
He urged the MDAs and MMDAs to take seriously the auditing observations submitted to them by the Audit Service to be able to improve internal controls.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS AND RAISSA SAMBOU