The Audit Committees of Health Facilities of the Ghana Health Service in the Bono, Ahafo and Bono East Regions have been inaugurated in Sunyani.
It is a statutory corporate governance committee in the Public Financial Management system, charged with the utmost responsibilities to ensure the effectiveness of public accountability, transparency, operational and financial performance, safeguarding efficient and prudent use of public purse and assets.
The Committee also has a mandatory responsibility to ensure the implementation of recommendations contained in Internal Audit reports, Parliament’s decision on Auditor General’s reports and Management letters that deal with financial matters. The Committee shall prepare Annual Activity Reports. It is empowered to investigate matters relating to suspected cases of fraud and misuse of public funds. Its advisory functions are derived from international best practices of Audit Committees in ensuring that risks are identified, assessed and managed in the operations and management practices of Health Institutions to provide internal control and good corporate governance.
The 5-Member Committee in each jurisdiction is made up of three independent members from Internal Audit Agency (IAA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants – Ghana (ICAG) and two members from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for two years tenure renewable for a second two-year term subject to performance.
The Committee shall report to GHS, IAA, Auditor General and Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.
In an address read on his behalf, the Director-General of Internal Audit Agency reminded health institutions to be guided by Section 86 (1) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) and ensure compliance with the Public Financial Management Regulations 2019 (L.I – 2378), the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2003 (Act 663) as amended and all other applicable laws. He called on all relevant stakeholders to support the Committee to execute its mandates.
The Director of IAA Operations Nathan Yankey was hopeful that the existence of the Audit Committee would curb fraud, mismanagement, and misappropriation of public funds.
The Regional Director of GHS for Bon, Ahafo and Bono East Dr. Kofi Issah disclosed that he would initiate the Performance Appraisal Index to assess the work of the Committees with emphasis on integrity.
Members of the Committee were sworn in by a Circuit Court Judge His Honour Sylvester Nii Okain Ablor- Esq. who cautioned members of the consequences of the Oaths including removal from office.