Mr Nathan Yankey, Acting Director of Operations, Internal Audit Agency (IAA) says the increasing number of syndicated fraud and cybercrime cases underscores the importance of internal audit in Public Financial Management (PFM).
He said internal audit units acknowledged the challenge and were repositioning themselves to strengthen mitigating mechanisms and controls to limit the use of technology to steal resources meant for development.
Mr Yankey disclosed these at the end of a five-day workshop internal auditing practice to improve the skills of management secretariat of Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, staff of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and officials of the Department of Social Welfare.
‘’We face terrible problems from these technology-related cyber miscreants but we believe sharpening the skills of internal audit players would strengthen the base to plug out those loopholes,’’ Mr Yankey said.
Mr Myles Ongoh, the Assistant Director, LEAP Programme, said the lukewarm attitude and negligence on the part of internal auditors could aggravate the fight against corruption. He said enterprise risk management, fiscal transparency and accountability should be underpinned by stronger cash management, spending, execution and budget monitoring.
Alhaji Ibrahim Yahaya, Principal Accountant, MoGCSP, said training and retraining had brought participants to speed on reforms being undertaken in respect of budget implementation, payroll sanctity, and internal audit procurement.
Mrs Stella Agbezuhlor Mawutor, the Volta Regional Director of Social Welfare, said personal judgement was not enough to take pragmatic decisions hence the need to constantly upgrade one’s skills on critical areas such as ERM and negotiations. ‘’Let’s not take for granted that we know it all but let’s be open to learn new skills to strengthen our capacities,’’ she added.
Mr Colson Akanbasiam, Head of Communication, LEAP programme, told the Ghana News Agency that the development of a risk register, which is in a draft stage, is expected to profile all conceivable risks to guide and guard against leakages, to trigger control and pre-emptive actions to curb corruption.
He said risks profiling of all internal audit units would ensure value for money based on understanding of the existing law and the use of scientific approaches to reduce adverse findings, which usually are anti-climax. Mr Nassam Sualisu Adam and Ms Jennifer Asare, participants, said the lessons learnt would practically impact on their work schedules and improve the quality of internal auditing in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Topics discussed for the workshop include enterprise risk management, public financial management, soft skills in negotiation, internal audit value addition and action plan preparation with participants going away with certificates.