Do not use audit reports to settle personal scores – Auditors
Mr Abednego Agorholm, a member of the Internal Amendment Committee of the Ghana Audit Service (GAS), on Wednesday warned auditors to desist from settling personal scores or grievances with the audit reports they issued.
According to him, the Auditor-General or any person authorized for the purpose of auditing shall have access to all books, records, returns, reports, documents and facilities related or relevant to those accounts, programmes and activities underlying the accounts but this should not be a passport to intimidate clients.
Mr Agorholm said this at a forum for heads and staff of the Service in Cape Coast, to offer opportunity to all staff and heads of the Service to study and assess the proposed amendment to enable them to make meaningful contributions and suggestions towards the reviewing of the GAS Act of the 1992 Constitution for onward submission to the Constitution Review Commission.
The proposed amendments were drawn up by an internal nine-member committee of the GAS who critically analyzed the various laws and acts of the operations of the Service and came out with several amendments which they deemed important to help ensure efficiency of the work of the Service.
Mr Agorholm, together with Mr Samuel Amoako, also a member of the Internal Amendment Committee of the GAS, spearheaded the presentation of the proposed amendments.
Mr Amoako said the GAS, in its quest to propose possible changes in the Constitution, adopted the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions model which had the ideal framework the Service would employ in its operations.
The independence and appointment of the Auditor-General, immunity of the Audit Service, operations of the Audit Service as well as access to records were among the five main articles which were addressed in the proposed amendment.
It was further proposed that the President shall acting in consultation with the Council of State and on recommendation of Parliament shall appoint the Auditor-General and that the Auditor-General who shall hold office for a maximum period of 10 years.
It was also proposed that a person is not eligible for appointment as Auditor-General unless he/she has served as a public officer for a period of 20 years, five of which must be in top management position.
Another proposal was that the Auditor-General or any person serving or acting in his office on his behalf shall not be subject to prosecution in civil or criminal proceedings or be personally liable for any act or omission done in good faith in the exercise of the functions of the Auditor.
Mr Isaac Sam, Deputy Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education and Chairman of the forum, stated that the Audit Service could be likened to a mirror through which individuals in all spheres of society looked into in order to assess themselves.
He said commitment, hard work and loyalty of its staff could facilitate the country’s development through proper accountability.
He called on the Constitution Review Commission to take a critical look at the proposed amendment of the GAS and make meaningful inclusions.