Auditors urged to be bold in execution of duties

Accra- Mr Daniel Domelevo, the Auditor General, has charged auditors to be bold in the execution of their duties and continuously upgrade their skills to add optimum value to their various institutions.

He said internal auditors have a primary role to play to prevent corruption and waste in the public sector and asked them to build stronger ties with external auditors to achieve sustainable national development goals.

To this end, internal auditors from several Commonwealth nations have agreed to embed risk management into their organisational objectives and processes, while strengthening collaboration with fellow nations.

Mr Domelovu said this at the end of a five-day Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Exchange Learning Conference, organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with Ghana’s Internal Audit Agency (IAA), held in Accra from May 14-18.

It was under the theme: Achieving Sustainable Development: The value-added role of Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management.

Mr Ransford Agyei, the Acting Director General of the IAA, said the ERM was one of Ghana’s main strategies to ensure effective use of resources, enhanced growth and productivity, transparency, accountability and value for money in all aspects of governance.

Mr Augustus Cole, the Public Financial Management Advisor of the Governance and Peace Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, said addressing the huge challenge of financing the Sustainable Development Goals could be aided by improving tax administration, efficiency of government expenditure and addressing corruption.

He, therefore, advised the delegates to focus on risk management to achieve the broader development goals, network, share experiences and harness partnership opportunities with fellow participants.

Delegates, at the end of the conference, said they found the engagement as a useful learning opportunity, especially when they worked in teams to develop learning outcomes, recommendations, and the next step.

Mr Whitfield Harris, the Financial Secretary from Antigua and Barbuda, said the conference had given him a much fuller appreciation of the place that the risk management function should occupy in organisations and the role that Internal Audit may play in implementing an effective and robust risk management framework.

He commended the management and facilitation of the sessions, noting the effective programme design ensured maximum knowledge transfer in the time allocated.

Mr Zodwa Ngwenya, the Director of the Internal Audit Office, Kingdom of Eswatini, said: The conference afforded me an opportunity to get invaluable ideas for immediate implementation and long-term strategies on strengthening internal audit and risk management functions for improvement of governance and public finance management in the Government of Eswatini.

The Exchange Learning Conference was in line with the Commonwealth Secretariat’s commitment to supporting ministries of finance and other key institutions in member countries to enhance their public financial management systems.

While several interventions over the years have sought to address critical issues of transparency, accountability and service delivery, effective internal audit remains a challenge due to ineffective coordination of IA functions across government, non-risk-based audit approaches, and weak follow-up of external audit recommendations.

These challenges have been magnified by the necessity of implementing National Development Plans and Sustainable Development Goals in an uncoordinated and unsystematic risk management environment.

The delegates, representing 12 member states from Commonwealth Africa and the Caribbean, learned about the various internal audit arrangements and risk management structures in each member state.

They also visited the Ghana Grid Company and the National Minerals Commission to learn about the challenges and successes of their ERM implementation journey.

Senior Internal Audit and Finance delegates from Ghana, Antigua and Barbuda, Botswana, Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), the Gambia, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone participated.

Source: Ghana News Agency