At Audit Committee inauguration: GAR Minister expresses concern over rising legal cases

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, has urged the newly constituted Audit Committees (ACs) of Assemblies in the region to pay particular attention to the Assemblies’ rising number of legal cases and the subsequent garnishing of their accounts in order to strategise and address such issues.

He said that was a disturbing phenomenon plaguing the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the region.

Mr Quartey said this in Accra yesterday at the inauguration of the 26 newly constituted ACs of Assemblies.

He stressed that the effects of such issues were enormous on the assemblies that it crippled them completely as long as it stayed enforced.

“Therefore, permit me to use this opportunity to urge you to refrain from acting as security agencies but rather, stick to the principle that, internal auditing frequently involves measuring compliance with an entity’s policy and procedures,” he added.

Mr Quartey asked the committees to also establish and always maintain open lines of communication.

“You are not responsible for the execution of the Assemblies’ activities but rather, be proactive in the execution of your duties, see yourselves as part of management, prompt management to ensure timely submission of reports, give constructive advice and make meaningful contributions to decisions of management regarding how best to execute their responsibilities,” he added.

Mr Quartey entreated them to consider, in their efforts to ensure effectiveness and efficiency, the skills’ experience and training of members, participation of members at meetings, frequency and attendance of meetings, and the resources and support available to assist the committee in fulfilling its role.

Others were the relationship between the committee and senior management as well as reporting relationship between the audit committee and management.

Naa Aku Koranteng, an Internal Audit Agency Representative, who swore in the committees and gave a presentation on behalf of the Agency’s Director General indicated that established under section 86 (1) of the PFM Act 2016, (Act 921), ACs formed an integral part of the financial and administrative management of covered entities.

Therefore, she said ACs were recognised as a key principle in good governance by protecting and preserving the public purse.

“Thus the committees play an important corruption prevention role by providing oversight of the financial reporting and auditing process, the internal and external controls as well as compliance with laws and regulations,” she added.

Naa Koranteng said internal auditors were doing their best and had the support of the Internal Audit Agency, however, they were to follow the required standards in their line of duty, particularly in the submission of their reports.

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) ofAblekuma West, and the Dean of MCEs in the region, George Bray, urged the ACs to live up to the task and their rewards would follow.

He reiterated that the committees were not “policemen,” saying “we are supposed to be guiding the assemblies to be doing their work and not to sit on our necks.”

“So when we are going the wrong direction, you are supposed to guide us and not arrest us,” he added.

BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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