The Internal Audit Agency (IAA) has organized a sensitization programme for Internal Audit Committee members of Municipal and District Assemblies as well as other agencies in Sunyani in the Bono Region to keep them abreast of the new guidelines of the agency aimed at injecting fiscal discipline in the management of public funds.
The new Audit Guidelines was issued by the Minister for Finance on the advice of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) this year to replace an old one issued in 2017. The new Guidelines aim at retooling and restructuring Audit committees across the public sector to be effective in supporting public financial management in Ghana.
Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, the Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), in his speech delivered by Mr. Senanu Mensah Deputy Director of Enterprise Risk Management said the purpose of the new Guidelines which became effective in April, 2023, provided guidance on the composition, roles and responsibilities of public sector Audit Committees in Ghana. He added that Government has resolved to strengthen control structures and systems in the public sector. The IAA, he noted was working with key institutions to restructure and strengthen Audit Committees in critical sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
The Director-General noted that the Board and management of the IAA were working hard to reposition and restructure the Public Sector Internal auditing in Ghana to meet global standards. He reiterated that for the IAA to be effective in the discharge of its responsibilities, an Audit Committee requires the support of all relevant stakeholders, especially top Management, and the Governing Boards/Councils of Covered entities.
Madam Justina Owusu Banahene, Bono Regional Minister in her speech read for her by the Chief Director of Bono Regional Coordinating Council (BRCC) Mr. Andrews Okumah Nawil observed that in recent times, audit reports on public sector institutions including, Municipal and District Assemblies were ripe with incidence of pervasive corruption, misapplication of public funds and other related issues of procurement irregularities, which have become serious matter of public concern, notwithstanding the numerous legislative instruments promulgated to help curb these financial malfeasance.
The Minister call on management and all other stakeholders at the RCC and various MDAs to fully cooperate and support the smooth working of the Audit Committees to help address the gaps that contribute to financial malfeasance. "Your assistance and cooperation is crucial to the work of the Committees, which will not only ensure efficient utilisation of resources for national development but also ensure public accountability to promote good governance at the local level," she emphasized.
Madam Justina urged the Audit Committee members to perform their duties diligently in the best interest of the nation and therefore, let integrity be the hallmark in the discharge of their duties.