Internal Auditors from Commonwealth countries are in Ghana to attend the 2nd Internal Audit Exchange programme under the Commonwealth Thematic Fellowship Programme.
The three-week training programme has 19 participants from 10 commonwealth countries including Ghana, Sri Lanka, Samoa, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Solomon Islands and Botswana.
Mr Patrick Nomo, Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency, said at the opening of the programme that the programme was aimed at helping auditors to learn and share experiences with their Ghanaian counterparts.
He said Ghana has made progress in internal auditing hence hosting the 2nd Internal Audit Exchange programme under the Commonwealth Thematic Fellowship Programme, which provided a mechanism for high performing commonwealth countries to learn to interact with their colleagues in a structured way to share knowledge and experiences.
Mr Nomo, who is also the chairman of the Commonwealth Africa Thematic Fellowship, said the programme was designed for public sector internal auditors who were members of the Commonwealth to help participants gain hands-on experiences in various aspects of internal audit practice in the public sector.
Internal auditors are people who ensure that money and other resources were used effectively.
Mr Nomo expressed Ghana's gratitude to the Commonwealth Secretariat for their continued support at efforts to improve internal audit practice in Ghana.
Mr Kaifala Marah, Adviser, Public Expenditure Management at the Commonwealth Secretariat, expressed worry about the current global financial crisis, which, he said, had spill-over effects on developing economies which could result in conducts that accounted for poor management, weak internal controls and reporting systems as well as conducts that prompted under-performance in external oversights.
"That is all the more reason why we are here in Accra, Ghana...to learn from this great nation's reform experience in internal audit and control and to take away values that are workable."
He suggested that the global financial crisis required governments to carve out long term mitigating strategies and commitment to stabilize national economies.
Mr Marah further suggested fiscal discipline, responsible monetary policies and effective oversight of the countries' financial markets to help stabilize national economies.
He also called for prudent allocation and management of national budgets and noted that the budget was the most important instrument of national development in its own right hence internal auditors' role to effectively measure and ensure that scarce resources were allocated rightly and accounted for.
Mr Marah announced that as part of the programme participants would be placed in counterpart institutions within the Commonwealth to exchange skills and new ways of exercising internal oversight.
Professor Samuel Woode, Chairman of the Public Services Commission, advised internal auditors not to see themselves as minor functionaries within the machinery of government.
This was because the public service needed internal auditors to strengthen the system for improved service delivery ensuring that governance goals of accountability and transparency were achieved.