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Help save Ghana from corruption – Auditors told

Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, the Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), has called on internal auditors to help salvage the country from corruption.

She said about 70 percent of the national purse was in the hands of government, which is under their control and there was the need to ensure it was properly managed.

Mrs Ofori-Kwafo was speaking at the opening session of a two-day conference of the Annual Internal Audit and Governance Conference held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).

It was organised by the Institute of Internal Auditors-Ghana (IIA).

This year’s conference is dubbed “Impact of Leadership on Institutional Governance” and it attracted internal auditors, accountants, chief executive officers and many others within the public sector from across the country.

Speaking on the theme: “Is the Office of the Special Prosecution (OSP) the ultimate panacea for ethical institution anaesthesia on corruption”, the Executive Director said, she was not underrating the mandate of the OSP but that alone cannot redeem Ghana from corruption.

She explained that it needed a collaborated effort with other institutions such as the CHRAJ, EOCO, Police and other stakeholders including the auditors to deal with the menace.

Learning from countries such as Jamaica, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda that separated their Attorney General from the Special Prosecution Office, could not win the fight over corruption, she added.

There has to be collaborated effort from all other institutions to save the situation. 

Ghana, apart from adopting a multi-institutional approach in the fight against corruption must make sure the institutions were well-resourced and transparent. 

Mrs Ofori-Kwafo stated that OSP was not only mandated to investigate, prosecute offenders as well as recover the proceeds of corruption, but also to prevent it, which could be done by the auditors.

Auditors, she said, could prevent corruption in their day to day activities and that would save Ghana billions of cedis that could be channelled into other developments.

She said the protection of people that wanted to fight corruption, especially at their work places, was not enough because their families and jobs were also at risk.

The Executive Director advised the participants to watch gifts that would be used as bribe, avoid collusion, promising, accepting or soliciting, that she said would not encourage transparency.

Mr Eric N. Yankah, the Chairman for the African Federation of Institutes of Internal auditors (AFIIA), advised the auditors not to think too much of their pay but stand for their responsibility.

They should not please their masters just because they were government appointees, but help protect the institutions they worked with.

Mr Yankah encouraged them to hold on to their integrity whether they were coerced, blackmailed or frustrated because it would pay one day.

He cautioned against those who took advantage to amass wealth when they assumed such positions, to desist from the habit because it was unethical. 

They should use their leadership to re-organise, reshape the thinking of others to create effective impact in the society as dealing with rot in the society was a shared responsibility.

Source: GNA

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