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18.09.2009 General News

Auditor-General’s Department has a backlog of 27 reports for Parliament

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Accra, Sept. 18, GNA – The Auditor-General's Department has by the end of June this year, a backlog of 27 reports to be presented to Parliament due to financial constraints.

Other reasons are; inadequate staff, delays and failure by audited organisations to submit their financial statements to the department for validation and issuance of annual reports.

The department's report on tertiary educational institutions has been in arrears for eight years, whilst reports on statement of foreign exchange receipts and payments of Bank of Ghana; metropolitan, municipal, district assemblies and traditional councils; district assemblies' common fund; earmarked and statutory funds, and public boards, corporations and statutory organisations were in arrears for four years.

Mr John Atta-Senya, Deputy Auditor-General, in-charge of Education Institutions and District Assemblies who announced these in Accra said the report on pre-university educational institutions was also in arrears for three years.

He was addressing the second stakeholders' awareness forum of the Audit Service on Friday.

The forum to highlight activities of the department to the public was on the theme: “Audit Service – Achievements and Challenges in the New Millennium,” and organised in collaboration with the European Union.

The first forum was organised in 2007 to correct public perceptions about the service.

Mr Atta-Senya noted that the report of the Auditor-General on ministries, departments and agencies as well as the consolidated fund had since June 2006 been submitted to Parliament on schedule.

He said their inability to implement their audit mandate was due to reductions in Service Activity Vote allocation and appealed to government for budgetary assistance to clear the backlog.

Vice President John Dramani Mahama, in a speech read on his behalf said government was aware of some of the challenges facing the department and promised that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning would consider their plight in the 2010 budget.

However, he appealed to the staff to work hard to minimise or eliminate the adverse discourse that followed the release of the Auditor-General's reports.

Mr. Richard Q. Quartey, Acting Auditor-General said apart from limited funding and staffing, the department was faced with lack of logistics, infrastructure and human resource training, which made it difficult for them to fully execute their audit mandate.

Mr. Kurt Cornelis, Acting Head of European Commission Delegation in Ghana said the requirement to have an efficient and effective Ghana Audit Service was further reinforced by the recent increase in the budget.

He said the oil discovery which would increase revenue inflows to government and budget support to Ghana within the framework of the Multi Donors Budget initiative, would create an effective demand for timely production of quality audits.

Mr. Cornelis said EU's assistance to the department was to strengthen its capacity to perform its role effectively as a supreme audit institution.

“The objective of EU assistance to the department is to achieve enhanced efficiency, accountability and transparency in public financial management of the Ghana,” he said.

Mr. Emile Short, Commissioner of Human Rights and Administrative Justice called for collaborative efforts between the Auditor General, Public Accounts Committee and the Commission for further investigations on the department's reports before or after they had been presented to Parliament.

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