President John Evans Atta Mills on Thursday asked internal auditors to use their professional skills to limit the exposure to fraud, waste and reduce opportunities for mismanagement and abuse of resources in the public service.
In addition, they must promote accountability for the stewardship of resources allocated to institutions and contribute to the successful implementation of policies and procedures designed to eliminate bias and conflict of interest.
President Mills made the call in an address read for him by Mr Mike Hammah, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, at the opening session of the Sixth Annual Forum of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) in Accra.
It is on the theme: “Internal Auditing – A Strategic Asset in Corporate Governance.”
The two-day forum brings together public sector Managers, Ministers of State and Chief Directors to discuss the use of corporate governance tools as a way of ensuring transparency and optimal use of resources.
President Mills underscored the commitment of Government to reposition the internal audit function to serve as a management tool for implementing good governance, risk management and internal control in the public service.
He, therefore, called on chief directors, spending officers, managers, accountants and auditors to demonstrate a strong commitment and cooperation to internal auditing to ensure effective use of resources.
President Mills pointed out that the ultimate goal of the IAA should be to ensure accountability and good governance.
In this direction, there must be continuous education of public sector institutions on the role of internal auditing and the implementation of systems and processes to achieve organisational and national objectives.
Nii Adumansa-Baddoo, Board Chairman IAA said the Agency’s review of internal audit reports showed bad corporate governance in financial operations and corrupt practices in some Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
He said it was important therefore, not only to bring the issue of corporate governance to the forefront for discussion but also to institute appropriate corrective actions to address these issues.
Nii Adumansa-Baddoo said for good corporate governance to work in the various government institutions, there must be open and honest communication as well as clear lines of authority and responsibility between the Board and Management of each MDA and MMDAs.
In addition, the internal audit function must be embraced and resourced to function effectively.
Mr Ransford Agyei, Acting Director General of IAA said it was rolling out programmes for professionals to improve internal auditing practice in the public service.
He said the forum aimed at providing management of MDAs and MMDAs with best corporate governance principles, concepts and techniques to help institutionalise the practice in their organisations.