There is a brewing tension between the Internal Audit Service and the Ministry of Finance over delays in authorising the payment of salaries of Internal Auditors working with the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
While the Internal Audit Service accuses the Finance Ministry of deliberately refusing to authorise the payments since May 2007, the finance ministry is also blaming the other for refusing to adhere to regulations, when it was told to seek financial clearance before recruiting the Auditing staff.
Clarifying some points to The Statesman, the Principal Internal Auditor, Albert Banahene said the Local Government Council in conjunction with the Internal Audit Agency appointed and posted the Internal Auditors to the Minstries, Department, Agencies, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in May 2007.
According to Mr Banahene, for almost one year, various efforts were made to seek authouritisation from the Ministry of Finance to facilitate the payments of salaries of the Internal Auditors but to no avail.
"It's shocking to know that the inputs for monthly salaries for the staff are lying in room 24, at 1st floor of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development while the affected staff continue to beg for their daily bread." he said.
That he said is completely against the fight against corruption embarked upon by Government, since the Internal Auditors could be manipulated to take bribes in order to survive.
"Eight months is too long for one authorisation letter to be written. If our services are not needed the authorities should tell us to find a living elsewhere", he added.
But Cecilia Akwetey, Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Finance told The Statesman that the two Agencies were told to seek financial clearance from MOFEP before embarking on the recruitment exercise.
However, the two parties ignored the directive and went ahead to recruit the staff.
"It was realised that the 2007 budget of the Local Government Ministry could not pay the salaries of the internal Auditors. In that regard they were told to include it in the budget of the Local Government ministry for 2008 and we are still checking whether it was done or not" she said.
She said, she was still clarifying whether it was included in the 2008 budget to enable them clear the payment. However, she could not tell whether the Auditors would still be paid if their inputs were not found in the budget. "We are still checking," she told this paper.
By Adu Koranteng