Internal Audit Agency holds final consultations on Act amendment

The Internal Audit Agency on Monday held its final consultative forum for the amendment of the Act establishing the Agency to deal with deficiencies and implementation challenges hampering performance.

The forum was to consolidate views gathered from regional workshops to facilitate the amendment of the Act.

The Act was promulgated in December 2003 to coordinate, facilitate and provide quality assurance for internal audit activities within the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

In a speech read for him at the opening session, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said internal auditing had helped to improve governance process, control systems and by pre-examination of payment vouchers and other activities prevented some financial malpractices.

However, he said, despite the progress a lot was still to be done especially at the local level.

Dr Duffuor said if the proposed amendments to the identified areas in the Act were effected, it would ensure that the Internal Audit Units become more independent and allowed internal auditors to perform their duties in an objective manner.

To achieve this objective, the Sector Minister said, there was the need for support of the Agency to deal with the challenges faced in the implementation of the Act, including recruitment, transfers and general supervision of internal auditors with MDAs and MMDAs.

He urged the Agency to amend the law not to lose sight of the independence, objectivity, and assurance roles that Internal Auditing must play to add value and help improve organisations.

Dr Duffuor appealed to the Internal Auditors to stick to the principles of internal auditing and abide by their professional code of ethics as well as comply with an entity’s policies, procedures and financial laws of the country.

He said while they were not responsible for the execution of an organisation’s activity, they must however, ensure that they played their advisory role to management of public institutions by providing timely advice on better execution of responsibilities.

Mr Ransford Agyei, Acting Director-General of Internal Audit Agency, said the absence of a national internal audit class in the public service was a major challenge as it made it difficult to know which institution was responsible for recruitment and transfers.

Besides, he said, there was lack of ownership and control of the internal auditor as far as resources of the Internal Audit Units were concerned.

Mr Agyei said there was lack of clarity on the appointment, retiring age and other terms of employment of the Director General of the Agency.

He said the amendment being sought by the Agency would enhance the independence and objectivity of public sector internal auditors and consolidate oversight responsibility as well as improve governance and accountability.

Source: GNA

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