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11.11.2008 Business & Finance

Internal auditors asked to sharpen skills

By Stephen Odoi Larbi - Ghanaian Chronicle

The second Ghana-Commonwealth Internal Audit Exchange Programme for internal auditors has ended with a call on participants to sharpen their skills to meet accepted standards of prudent financial performance, as well as to maintain a high quality control of internal systems in public services.

The programme, which brought together Internal Auditors from Swaziland, Sri Lanka, Samoa, Zambia, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Malawi, Solomon Islands and Ghana, discussed new trends and current approaches to internal audit and afforded participants the opportunity to share country experiences and learn other practices from member states.

Participants were also taken through 17 sessions of presentations on risk management, internal controls, governance processes, internal audit planning, execution and reporting, among other things, to help improve their understanding of roles as internal auditors in the public sector of their respective countries.

Mr. Kaifala Marah, Advisor, Public Expenditure Management, Commonwealth Secretariat, charged participants to consider themselves as the flag bearers of transformation, the change makers and drivers of reform. “Note that it has never taken a whole country to initiate a change. Your challenge is to go back, introduce a change and market it through the appropriate channels,” he charged the participants.

He further advised participants to move systematically as they introduce internal control and audit machinery in their jurisdiction. “You should adopt policies that could be effectively implemented to achieve desired results. Always review, monitor and evaluate your systems and processes by asking questions and by assessing yourselves”, he added.

He said participants were also attached to some of the public institutions in Ghana as interns to get first hand information on internal auditing.

Mr. Patrick Numo, Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency reiterated internal audit practices as one of the indispensable elements of good corporate governance, such as providing value-added assurance and advisory services to management, audit committees and boards of organizations. He therefore, charged participants to rise up to the challenge and to use their training and experience in organisational risk management, control and governance processes, in order to provide the much needed assurance and advisory services that will enable their organisations live up to the demands of accountability and performance.

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