Data from the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) has revealed that, in 2020, GH¢211,245,050.33 savings were made for the country after it detected infractions amounting to GH¢522,915,562.26 at various Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) nationwide.
The data explained that the IAA reviewed 1,563 quarterly internal audit reports submitted by the Internal Audit Units (IAUs) of covered entities, in line with the agency’s function under Section 16(3) of Act 658. While in the process, systemic control weakness identified in the reports led to various irregularities including procurement, cash management and payroll.
A further breakdown of the report showed that the weaknesses revealed a total audit observation infraction of 9,068 – of which 6,699 were recommendations with a monetary value of GH¢522 million. The IAA pursued the covered entities to the tune of about GH¢451million of the recommendation, out of which it was able to save the country some GH¢211million. The Agency says it is following-up on the rest in 2021.
The Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, made this known during his welcome address at the IAA’s new website launch at the Ministry of Information.
He noted that the Agency is poised to ensure it executes its mandate without fear or favour but according to the law that set it up. As a result, a restructuring of public sector internal audit function is in motion to support the fight against corruption.
“The Agency continued its pursuit to reform and restructure public sector internal auditing with a view to strengthening the Internal Audit Agency and the IAUs of Covered Entities. The restructuring will align the internal audit function to support national financial priorities and strategies set by government.
“The restructuring will require amendment of the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658). With support from the European Union (EU), a cabinet memo and a draft bill for the restructuring has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance for onward submission to Parliament after Cabinet consideration,” Dr. Osae said.
Training and Capacity Building
In pursuance of its mandate, the agency has trained a total of 1100 public officers from 55 Covered Entities in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Risk Based Internal Auditing (RBIA), Procurement Audit, Public Financial Management Act, and Information Technology Audit. Training in soft skills was also provided to staff of IAUs.
National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP)
The Agency continued to play its roles under NACAP as a partner in the fight against corruption, by facilitating the formation and functioning of 37 additional Audit Committees and working with other anti-corruption Agencies to reduce corruption.
Training Audit Committee Members
The Internal Audit Agency benefitted from funding by the European Union (EU) toward implementation of the Ghana Public Finance Management Support Programme. Among activities of the Agency under the Project was the training of 200 Audit Committee Members.