Ensure prudent financial management, ARIC members urged
Mr Alexander Zormelo, the Western Regional Head of the Internal Audit Unit, has urged members of the Audit Reporting Implementation Committee (ARIC) to protect national resources against waste and fraud.
He called on them to ensure efficiency, value for money and accountability in their daily operations at their respective Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
“With your status, you are better placed to advise management on good financial practices, however, you needed to be exposed to the basics of financial auditing, reporting and analysis in order to play your roles efficiently”, he said.
Mr Zormelo said this at the opening of a two-day workshop in Takoradi, for ARIC members under the French Project christened, “Strengthening Accountability in the Western Region”.
ARIC is a statutory body backed by section 30(1) of the Audit Service Act 2000 (Act 584) and the Internal Audit Agency Act 2003 Act 658) section 16(8).
He said ARIC members have three main functions including Risk Management, Internal Controls and Ethical issues at the various Assemblies, saying “your mandate is backed by law; therefore, you must ensure that resources are used judiciously”.
The workshop aimed at enhancing the skills of Presiding Members (PMs) who serve as chairpersons of ARIC at the 22 MMDAs in the Region, to improve accountability and transparency at the local government level.
The Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) is spearheading the implementation of the project which spans from 2014 -2017.
Mr Solomon Asiedu, the Regional Coordinating Director, in an address, asked the participants to work in harmony with officers of the assemblies to avoid unhealthy audit findings leading to the appearance before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament.
He urged them to follow up on audit findings and submit the status of implementation to the Auditor-General and other relevant bodies, as well as holding regular meetings to address emerging all audit issues.
They must also submit their plans for approval and facilitate the implementation of their plans to safeguard the resources of the MMDAs, he said.
Mr Asiedu entreated them to work hard as the knowledge and skills they acquire would help improve upon their performance and function as Chairmen of ARIC.
Making reference to the 1992 Constitution and the Local Government Act, Act 462, the Regional Coordinating Director, noted that the ARIC Chairmen have important roles in ensuring the progress and development of the Assemblies.
This requires them to convene and preside over meetings, append signatures on documents like fee fixing resolutions as well as acting as Chairmen of the Public Complaints Committee.
Mr Simon Bokor, the Dean, Management Development and Training at the ILGS, said the Institute was tasked to develop an action plan including supporting the coordination functions of the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs).
It is also to help strengthen the auditing at the MMDAs, focusing attention on monitoring and evaluation at the local levels and improving the local governance system and processes.