President Nana Akufo-Addo has called on internal auditors in the public service to complement governmentâ€™s efforts in fighting corruption in state institutions.
The Auditor Generalâ€™s report reveals that several millions of Ghana cedis go waste due to disregard for public procurement processes, financial irregularities and infractions within the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Speaking at the 2018 Internal Audit Conference, on Wednesday, 1st August 2018, on the theme, â€œLeadership and Good Corporate Governance; A key to Effective Public Financial Management,â€ President Akufo-Addo said such irregularities continue to thrive within the MDAs because internal auditors may be complicit.
Read: â€˜This dogâ€™ canâ€™t be hanged over corruption â€“ Akufo-Addo to critics
â€œWe cannot avoid the conclusion that the internal auditor must be either complicit or incompetent. We cannot afford to have internal auditors that would be complicit in the malfeasance they are expected to prevent, and certainly, we do not need incompetent ones,â€ he said.
As internal auditors, President Akufo-Add noted that they constitute the first line of defense in the fight against corruption, explaining that if they did their work well, they provide an independent and objective assessment of an institutionâ€™s operations; specifically, the effectiveness of its internal control structure.
â€œWhen people know that they cannot get away with spending 10 cedis of public money without accounting for it, they hesitate to take 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 cedisâ€¦the truth is that corruption thrives when no one is checking,â€ he added.
Whilst acknowledging the fundamental role that internal auditors play to prevent, detect and reduce corruption, leakages and waste of public resources, he added that internal auditors help to ensure accurate and timely information, which helps to improve financial management systems in organizations.
â€œInternal auditors lead in the safeguarding of resources and help to strengthen the control system, compliance with laws, policies and procedures in organizationsâ€¦ Even more important is their role in ensuring accountability, transparency and the quality of performance in the organization,â€ he said.
PPA saved Ghana GHc1.6bn by reviewing contracts
President Nana Akufo-Addo at the programme disclosed that the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) saved the country some GHc1.6 billion by reviewing potential sole-sourcing contracts.
He said the PPA by â€œsimply reviewing contracts brought before it for approval under either sole-sourcing or restrictive tendering, has in the past 18 months, saved the country some GHÂ¢1.6 billion.â€
Read: Audit Service surprised by rate of fraud in the public service
This, the President said, â€œis what can happen when our institutions workâ€, adding that â€œI know that there is no better way to retain the confidence of the people than to ensure that public institutions work.â€
â€˜Corruption allegations wonâ€™t shake me and my familyâ€™
President Akufo-Addo has said he is not perturbed by the various allegations of corruption seeking to tarnish his image and members of his family.
â€œI want to say that the stringent and desperate efforts being made by my political opponents to tarnish me and my family members with corruption will simply not wash. I did not come into public life to make money out of public service and the members of my family know fully well that they have to behave and are not involved in anything untoward,â€ the president said.
â€œI am aware that you give a dog a bad name in order to hang it but this dog will not be hanged.â€