The Internal Audit Agency (IAA) Board is in the process of undertaking a nation-wide comprehensive audit of the purchase and utilization of fuel and utilities by State Enterprises, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
The audit, which is to start within the next few days, was requested by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) following growing concerns by the public about the use of public sector financial resources for private purposes.
Mr Samuel K.A.B Crabbe, the Chairman of the IAA Board, made this known in a speech read on his behalf at a stakeholders' workshop on internal audit regulations and standards in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region yesterday.
The meeting was, among other things, aimed at creating a forum for the stakeholders to come out with effective contributions and suggestions to enhance the quality of the Internal Audit Regulations and the Internal Audit Standards.
District Chief Executives, District Co-ordinating Directors and heads of other state establishments in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions attended the workshop.
Mr Crabbe said the increasing demand from the government, the media and the general public for improvements in accountability and transparency within public sector financial administration had necessitated the audit.
Consequently, he said, his outfit was responding appropriately to prevent the wanton dissipation of state funds. He stressed the need for “a robust, professionally oriented public sector auditing with a well documented internal auditing.
He cited the problem of the ineffective implementation of Act 658, which established the board and said that the IAA Board was to advise the President to prescribe the necessary regulations for the effective implementation of the Act.
Mr Crabbe further stated that in spite of the initial challenges, the board was working to ensure that there was a marked shift in the approach of public sector internal auditing with much focus on Audit Standards, Audit Manual and Audit Programme to reflect the best internal audit practice.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E. A. Owusu-Ansah, whose speech was also read on his behalf, said national resources needed to be adequately safeguarded at all cost. To realize this objective, the Minister said, the law had given and equipped the IAA with the powers to operate without any interference.
The Regional Minister said there was the need for the participants to enrich the documents they intended presenting to the President so that it would help move the nation forward.