The Auditor-General (A-G), Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo, has asked private audit firms contracted to carry out audits on his behalf to report any institution (auditee) which obstructs the audit for the needed action to be taken against such an organisation.
Mr. Domelevo said his Office had observed with concern, the uncooperative attitudes of State institutions. The audited entities often give excuses such as “we are not ready or we are now going to look for the records or give us one week to locate our cash book”. He said that these reasons are all opportunities for audited institutions to tamper with their records. To the AG, this attitude is a sign of indiscipline and the private audit firms should not accept these lapses in the course of their audits…He said the Financial Administration Act 2016 requires all public institutions to make records available in the course of audits. He said that “anyone who is managing or keeping public funds, has a statutory duty to keep records. He added that Section 33 of the Audit Service Act- 2000 (Act 584) makes it an offence for anyone to obstruct an audit.
Mr. Domelevo said this at a Workshop that the Audit Service organised in Accra for private auditing firms that the Auditor-General has contracted to carry out audits on his behalf in accordance with Regulation 29 (7) of the Audit Service Regulations (C.I.70),
The A-G warned that the Audit Service would withhold the salaries of persons who failed to respond to audit observations (management letters) within 30 days as provided by Section 29 (2) of the Audit Service Act 2000, Act 584. Thereafter, if they fail to provide the responses with the necessary supporting documents, they will be served with a notice of disallowance and surcharged if need be.
The workshop was aimed at addressing challenges that these private audit firms encounter during audits and to improve the audit quality in the country.
The contracted audit firms are obliged to follow international auditing standards as well as the ethics that are the pillars of the accounting profession.
The A-G in accordance with Regulation 27 (7) of the Audit Service Regulations, 2011 (CI 70) engages the services of Audit Firms to carry out audits and related services on his behalf.
Mr. Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, the Deputy Auditor-General in charge of Commercial Audits in an address encouraged the auditing firms to submit their reports in a timely manner to conform to the period that the AG is supposed to submit his report to Parliament.
A Director of the Legal Services Department of the Audit Service, Mr. Vincent Odikro Nyame, in a presentation on Disallowance and Surcharge advised the auditors to keep the evidence of their records because they could be called upon to defend their work when the need arises.
He added that the evidence the auditors provide would inform the AG’s decision to levy a disallowance and or a surcharge against anybody who may have been found to have misappropriated state funds.
Present at the workshop were all the Deputy-Auditors General and some Assistant Auditors-General of the Service.