Internal auditors tasked to ensure financial discipline

 Internal Auditors in public institutions in the country have been advised to ensure strict financial discipline in the use of public funds as the 2024 general election approaches.

The Director-General (D-G) of the Internal Audit Agency, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, who gave the advice, said there was the need for them to keep their eyes on their internal control systems and ensure that no budget overruns in the course of spending.

He also advised them to support External Auditors, Management and Audit Committee to ensure adherence to sound “financial man­agement practices” in the public sector.

Dr Osae gave the advice during a two-day training workshop held in Koforidua for internal auditors in public institutions in the Eastern Region on the National Adoption of the new 2024 Global Inter­nal Audit Standards (GIAS), Auditing International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) Based Financial Statements and Application of the PFM Commitment Control Checklist.

The training forms part of a nationwide training of the internal auditors to expose them to the requirements of the new GIAS, and the review­ing of IPSAS-Based Financial Statements and Application of the PFM Commitment Control Checklist indicated in the 2024 Budget.

The training also sought to empower Public Sector Inter­nal Audit practice in Ghana in line with global standards.

Dr Osae also indicated that the government had enacted the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act, 658) and the Public Financial Management Act (PFM), 2016 (Act 921) to strengthen the position and practice of internal audit in the country, hence the training to build their capacity to ensure they were well-equipped with the needed knowledge and skills to strengthen the sector.

“Currently, Ghana has initiated major legislative and policy reforms to restructure internal audit to in­ject fiscal discipline in the manage­ment of public funds,” he noted, and added that internal auditors played a critical role in ensuring effective in the 2024 Budget.

Dr Osae further stated that the government was committed to implementing a number of interventions towards improving accountability and transparency in the management of public funds.

He mentioned verification and validation of arrears identified as at the end of December 2022 before payments was made, alignment of quarterly budget allotment with cash flow forecast, among many others as part of the intervention towards ensuring accountability.

The D-G added that key reforms in the public sector internal audit practice such as encouraging public institutions to mainstream Enter­prise Risk Management (ERM) process and systems into their operations as required by the PFM Laws in Ghana, working with EOCO to prosecute based on in­ternal audit reports, among others had been put in place in order to ensure discipline among auditors.

He called on the internal audi­tors not to “compromise on the required ethical and professional standards governing the practice, as we enter the elections this year.”

For his part, the Eastern Region­al Minister, Mr Seth Acheampong, in a speech read on his behalf, thanked the Audit Committees and Internal Auditors for the good work they were doing in their respective institutions.

He indicated that citizens had the right to know what the work of the government and how it impacted their lives, adding that the government had the obligation to account and be transparent to its citizens.

The regional minister said the adaption of the new global internal audit standards and auditing IPAS would enhance transparency, accountability and good financing reporting in the public institutions of the country.


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