Internal auditors have been charged not to wait for corruption to occur, but rather be proactive and collaborate with stakeholders to identify early warning signs, to help save economic challenges of public sector.
The Immediate Past Public Service Commission’s Chairperson, Dr Mrs Janet Ampadu Fofie said this at the 2023 annual internal audit conference held in Accra yesterday on the theme; ‘Twenty years of internal audit practice in Ghana: Achievements, challenges and way forward.’
“It is my belief that the internal auditors should not wait for corruption to occur, often thought and then proceed to act as policemen and women. Rather, they should be proactive and collaborate with stakeholders to identify and recognise early warning signs of issues and assist public service organisations to find lasting solutions for effective management of public resources entrusted to them for the benefit of the Ghanaian public,” she said.
The Internal Audit Agency, (IAA) established by an Act of Parliament, the Internal Audit Act, 2003 (Act 658) with the object of coordinating, facilitating and providing quality assurance for internal audit activities in all public institutions.
She said the conference would create a common and truly unique platform where internal auditors would brainstorm and share ideas and best practices.
She said the IAA should serve as a gateway and control system to the fight against corruption, “internal audits must always be seen as exemplary, and consummate professionals who always strive to practice good values and are known to place a high premium on living and exhibiting high integrity and ethical conduct and behaviours.”
Senior Presidential Advisor to the President, Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, called on the IAA to continue to exhibit professional scepticism and scrutinise all instruments to ensure value for money in public transactions.
“Your institutions need you, the internal audit required this of you, the nation depends on you to achieve value for money for public transactions and other procurement and transactions,” he said.
He advised the agency to devise a means of educating all newly appointed ministers, CEOs and ambassadors on corporate governance, risk management and internal control processes immediately after assuming office.
The Director General of IAA, Dr Eric Oduro Osae said the internal audit community had demonstrated unwavering commitment towards improving transparent, accountable and efficient use of public funds across the public sector of Ghana since its inception.
“Our collective efforts have not only shaped the development of our country, but have also contributed significantly to its financial governance,” he said.
Dr Osae said the IAA was taking a critical look at the evolving nature of public sector internal audit practice in Ghana as an important tool in the financial governance of our country.
“As the backbone for effective public financial management practice, our dedication to uphold integrity in the management of public funds is key, since no nation can develop without appropriate fund management systems and structures,” he said.
BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG