Accra, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday said accountability was important if the country is to make progress in its developmental efforts.
To that effect, he said, public officers should be accountable for their decisions, actions, inactions and general behaviour in the use of public resources.
In this connection, monitoring, supervision and evaluation mechanisms should be strengthened in all public institutionsto ensure that public office holders were monitored, supervised and well evaluated on their performance and the use of resources for accountability of their stewardship, he added.
In a speech read on his behalf by Mr Yaw Osafo-Marfo, Senior Minister, at the opening of the Annual Internal Audit Conference in Accra, the President said, we need to change the fundamentals of the economy and also change our attitudes towards management of public resources.
The conference is being organised by the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana to provide a platform for deliberations and discussions by managers and other stakeholders of public institutions to craft a roadmap towards addressing their challenges as well as find solutions to problems in their quest to safeguard national resources.
The two-day event was on the theme, Safeguarding National Resources through Effective Public Financial Management and it has attracted all managers from both public and private institutions across the country.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said: Without an efficient public financial management system that is anchored on fiscal discipline, effective allocation and utilization of resources and efficient service delivery, our efforts to develop this nation will elude us.
Sound financial management systems lead to better control and management of public resources and government attaches high priority to improving financial management practices in the public sector. Our commitment to this is reflected in the number of programmes and reform initiatives that have been put in place towards the stabilization and the ultimate acceleration of the economy, he added.
The President said government was committed to directing its energies into the creation of rigorous internal audit systems in the public sector as part of its commitment to protect the public purse.
Mr Kan Dapaah, Minister of National Security, noted that Ghana’s challenges were not lack of resources but poor management of the abundant resources, especially in the public sector called for attitudinal change.
Mr Ransford Agyei, Acting Director-General, IAA said aside the numerous challenges faced by Internal Auditors; the fundamental issue has been their compensations as compared to their counterparts in other classes of employment.
He advised those heads of institutions who used transfers as a tool to punish officers of Internal Audit Units by reason of their work to stop as the act was unacceptable.
Mr Agyei noted that Internal Auditors in the public institutions were required to play a competent role of ensuring that control systems such as specified under the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act, (2016), Act 921 were effective for improved accountability and performance in public service.
Mr Agyei said the Agency continued to train its officials to make them more efficient for the tasks ahead.
Mr Daniel Dormelevo, the Auditor General, called for greater collaborations between the public and private institutions beyond their heads to enhance efficiency and progress.
He suggested a conference for both Internal and External Audit officers to brainstorm on issues affecting their various institutions. Dr Esther Oduraa Ofei-Aboagye, a Researcher in Public Administration and Local Governance, and the Chairperson for the event, said effective public financial management was crucial for good governance and the programme was very critical for Ghana’s economy.
She said improved delivery of public goods and services was critical for the industrial growth of every country, adding that it was commendable that Ghana had a new Public Financial Management Act (2016), Act 921 to strengthen public financial management system.
Dr Ofei-Aboagye explained that the PMF Act would mitigate fiscal indiscipline and ensure proper management of public resources for economic growth.
Efficient public financial management is central to creating a relationship of mutual trust and shared consensus between government and citizens that is at the core of the development,” she added.
The conference would see 16 topics captured under the theme, being discussed with appropriate recommendations to propel the country’s efforts towards economic viability.
Source: Ghana News Agency