Heads of institutions to develop effective response strategies to audit infractions

Dr Eric Oduro Osae

Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Director General, Internal Audit Agency, has called on heads of public institutions to develop effective and comprehensive response strategies to audit infractions and boost audit compliance.

He urged heads of public institutions to strategise with their respective finance directors and internal auditors on how to respond to audit queries from external auditors.

“When external auditors pay visits, the leaders of the institutions frequently refer them to the department of finance or the internal audits.

“They throw everything on one person, and when they react, the heads do not take the time to read the finance directors’ responses. 

“When the internal auditors have completed and presented their findings, the audit report becomes an issue. You will notice that the heads of the institutions are unaware of the infractions in the report,” he said. 

The Director General made the call at a workshop for management and internal auditors on “Working Document Management and Responding to Audit Queries.

The workshop was organised by the Internal Audit Agency.

Dr Osae noted that working papers and management responses to audit queries were two factors that affected the activities of internal auditors.

“Many times, when we finish our report and it goes out, they push us to the wall to justify our findings and observations. 

“Aside from that, we may never know where your report will end up, whether with internal or external auditors, especially now that we are disciplining based on internal audit results.

“Working with institutions like EOCO has taught us the importance of paying close attention to our working papers so that people’s wrongful activities are exposed and they do not use their working papers to flee,” he said.

Report from the Audit Services infractions cost Ghana more than GH¢13 billion in 2023. The infractions include cash management, procurement, payroll, contract administration, tax collections, and non-payment of outstanding debts, among others.

Mr Samuel Gyekye-Mensah, Deputy Director for Technical, Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation at the Agency, urged heads of public institutions to tailor their responses to specific audit findings to gain trust from auditors.

 He called for collaboration between heads of public institutions and the internal audit to address audit infractions in the public sector. 

Mr Gyekye-Mensah urged internal auditors to use internal auditing as a tool for addressing infractions in the public instead of using it as a tool for witch-hunting. 

Source: GNA

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