President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged district auditors to live up to expectation in the discharge of their duties by ensuring that all avenues that amount to leakage of the public purse are blocked.
President Akufo-Addo advised district auditors to do their job well as people who constituted the first line of defence in protecting the public purse, adding: “if you do your job well, you provide an independent and objective assessment of district operations in the accomplishment of this goal…”
The President made the call when he opened the maiden edition of the District Auditors’ Conference in Kumasi, on the theme: “Ensuring the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the State Auditor in a Digitised Economy”.
President Akufo-Addo said the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) by simply reviewing contracts brought before it for approval under either sole sourcing or restrictive tendering between January 2019 towards December 2021 recorded savings to the tune of GH¢2.2 billion.
He said what the PPA had achieved was a reflection of what could happen when state institutions worked.
Touching on revelations at the hearings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, President Akufo-Addo said: “Every time that we wince at the details of the reports of the Auditor General at the hearings of the PAC of Parliament, we know that district auditors are not working as they should.”
Unfortunately, he said, it had become a routine for the Auditor General to uncover cases of financial malfeasance in the public service that would otherwise go unnoticed until those cases appeared before the PAC.
The fight against corruption, according to President Akufo-Addo, can be effective if district auditors work as expected of them.
“District auditors working as they should will bring confidence in the public sector. District auditors working as they should will keep in check not only lowly clerk but also the district chief executive and ultimately the President. The district auditor is one of the primary weapons in the fight for the protection of the public purse and the fight against corruption”
He however, assured the Service of the support of government and urged the Service to also reciprocate that by helping his administration in the fight against corruption to bring transparency and accountability into the country’s public financial system.
Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, Auditor General expressed the Service’s readiness to help in the fight against corruption.
He said: “The transformation of the Audit Service in recent times has put us in a position poised to take the fight against corruption to another level. We pledge our readiness to deliver as expected of us and even more”.
Professor Edward Dua-Agyeman, Chairman of the Audit Service Board, in his remarks thanked government for the continuous support to the Audit Service.
The two-day conference was to brainstorm ideas and to make recommendations that would enhance the work of district auditors as well as assist the Auditor-General to achieve his mandates as provided under Article 187 of the 1992 Constitution.
The conference was also to provide a platform to chart a common path for optimizing audit delivery in the most efficient and effective manner in a digitized economy.