Business News of 2014-08-21

Veep challenged auditors to ensure better governance

Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has challenged internal auditors to ensure better governance in their organisations by complying with lay down procedures.

He said audit reports being published in the newspapers illustrate a breakdown in internal controls because agencies do not comply with financial and other controls.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur was speaking at the 9th Annual Internal Audit Forum in Accra. The two-day forum scheduled for August 19-20 is on the theme: “Improving governance in the public sector.”

The meeting which seeks to improve governance in the public service is being attended by internal auditors from the Ministries, Departments (MDAs) and Agencies as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said rather than feeling apprehensive at the threat of an audit query, managers of public institutions simply ignore them because auditors have been subordinated to these non-performing officials.

He said the current auditors need to restore the intimidation that the auditors of the 1960s and 70 conveyed by exhibiting competence in their work and the subject areas as well as being timely in the quality report that addresses the challenges of the organisation.

He also expressed the hope that the forum would come out with measures to correct the world of the auditor because it has become an unfortunate feature of the public service management.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur expressed regret about the deterioration of good governance in public institutions, which he said is not good for the development of the country.

He said in addition to competence, improving governance requires honesty and high degree of transparency and accountability.

He noted that public institutions could achieve these beautiful qualities when they exhibit zero tolerance for corruption.

Mr Nii Adumansa-Baddoo, Chairman, Internal Audit Board charged the management of public institutions to set high standards that would translate into transparency and accountability.

He said improving governance in the public sector requires a robust and effective internal auditing practice which would provide the appropriate platform for proper financial management and prevent corrupt practices and abuse of national resources.

Mr Adumansa-Baddoo noted that the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) in pursuance of its mandate has assisted about 95 per cent of the MDAs and MMDAs in the country to establish Internal Audit Unit as required by law.

He said the Agency is also providing training to build the capacity of staff at the units to carry out their functions effectively and safeguard public resources.

He said it has become apparent that professionally, internal audit is best served when it is part of the management of an organisation.

Mr Kwabena Obese-Jecty, Director-General, IAA called on parliament to pass the Freedom of Information Bill which is a key legislation in the fight against corruption and improve governance in the public service.

He said improving governance in the public sector involves many processes, systems and informal networks.

He therefore called for measures to look at management and the internal auditor, the custodians and operators of management controls and systems of internal control.

He also drew the attention of managers of public institutions not to use transfer and posting as a means of punishment in the public service.

Source: GNA
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