The Auditor-General (A-G), Mr. Daniel Y. Domelevo has appealed to the President, H. E. Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo to bring Internal Auditors (IAs) working in both central and local government institutions under the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) to ensure the independence of Internal Auditors. To the Auditor-General, it is better to prevent corruption. As a result making IAs independent is one of the controls Government can put in place to prevent corruption
He also urged the Presidency to consider the inclusion of the Director General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) in Government’s Economic Management Team (E. M. T.) to help control expenditure within certain strategic sectors. In his view, the Internal Auditors will provide timely information on lapses within the Public Financial Management system to enable the E. M. T. take judicious measures to address identified inefficiencies.
Speaking at the maiden Anniversary Lectures jointly held by Ghana Audit Service and OccupyGhana, a Civil Society Organisation, on the theme “From Surcharging to Safeguarding: Next Steps in the Fight to Protect the Public Purse”, Mr. Domelevo said that the Internal Auditors are the “ears and eyes of every Management and we must use them effectively in Ghana.”
The A-G stressed that Internal Auditors are “professionally abused” and “their independence unduly compromised”. He said that there are weak internal audit systems in the public sector because Internal Auditors are often threatened by corrupt officials who see IAs as threat to their nefarious activities. “Take an auditor’s independence from him and he becomes useless. The most important thing about auditors is their independence,” he reiterated. Mr. Domelevo therefore appealed for Internal Auditors to be separated from principal spending officers to enable them to provide independent opinions on the activities of the spending officers.
The A-G suggested that government should not only decentralize prosecution but consider commercializing it as another way of preventing corruption. This he believes will be an incentive for citizens to join the fight against corruption in the society.
In his closing remarks, the Chairman for the occasion, a Supreme Court Judge, Justice Jones Dotse, said that all laws on record to fight corruption should be practicalized and Government should ensure that institutions mandated to enforce these laws are resourced. He added that Government should have people explain their wealth and “put measures in place to ensure it is not easy to loot the public purse”.