Accra, May 23, GNA - The Institute of Accountancy Training under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is to be affiliated to the University of Ghana to enable the University to supervise its examinations.
The Ghana Education Service is the body that currently examines students of the Institute, established in the 1970s to award diplomas in Public Finance and Administration, Business Studies and Public Administration after a three-year course.
Speaking at a Public Accountancy Week Lecture in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Kwame Gyasi, a Member of the Governing Council of the Institute and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, said the Institute as a tertiary organisation needed such affiliation so that it could properly manage it affairs and earn other benefits it deserved.
He explained that the first phase of the process involving the assessment of staffing, syllabus and the programmes of the Institute had already be done by a Committee of the University, which would soon present its report to the Board.
The three-day Accountancy Lectures, on the theme: "Building Enterprising and Accountable Corporate Public Sector" is being patronised by students of the Institute most of whom are working with the civil and public services.
Mr Patrick Nomo, Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), who presented a paper on the "Role of Internal Audit in Achieving Corporate Goals-Implementation Challenges of the Internal Audit Agency" said the enactment of the Internal Audit Agency Act 2003, had brought along greater recognition and respect for the activities of auditors in the country.
Mr Nomo stressed that internal audit played a key role in ensuring adequate oversight of internal control and assisted management or board in discharging its governance responsibility.
He said at present there were about 643 internal auditors working in the public sector, mainly with the ministries, departments and agencies as well as at the district assemblies instead of the 863 needed.
On challenges, Mr Nomo said there was a problem with the creation of internal audit staff establishment for all MDAs and attracting and retaining qualified staff to such audit units as well as developing a remuneration structure for internal auditors.
On the way forward, the Director-General noted that career progression programmes had been adopted under which auditors were trained both locally and in foreign lands to entice members to stay in the public sector.
He advised internal auditors to show high standard of professionalism and to maintain their independence and objectivity. Mr Theophilus Hanson, Director of the Institute, said recent criticism of the public sector for lack of performance called for timely strategies and interventions that would sharpen the skills of workers in the sector and also to equip them to be more productive.