Audit reports can boost accountability, Ghana told

1 Oct 18

Audit reports can be used as a tool to enhance accountability and tackle corruption if governments take their recommendations seriously, according to a senior policy analyst.

Vivek Ramkumar, senior director of policy at the International Budget Partnership, urged supreme audit institutions to show citizens what governments are doing to tackle fraud in their reports and push for governments to implement recommendations, in a seminar in Ghana last week.

He said when citizens trust that government is addressing audit recommendations, the reports can be “tools to enhance accountability”.

The IBP believes that a strong auditing system is an essential tool in ensuring public funds are spent effectively, Ramkumar added.

At the two-day seminar in Accra, organised by the IBP and Ghana Audit Service, former auditor-general of the Philippines Gracia Pulido-Tan also said audited institutions must be willing to implement auditor’s recommendations to make an impact.

James Klutse Avedzi, chair of Ghana’s public accounts committee, said most recommendations in the African country are being implemented as a result of the Public Financial Management Act of 2016, which created an independent body to oversee the process.

He added: “The inception of audit committees has enhanced implementation of audit recommendations but they need to be resources by the Ministry of Finance for them to work efficiently and effectively.”

Meanwhile, Ghana’s auditor general Daniel Domelevo, has warned that auditors are ignoring the problem of corruption when they should be speaking up.

Domelevo said at the lecture organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana, that professionals have “looked away for too long”, and were aiding corruption instead of fighting it.

He added that these professionals have “compromised” their positions due to intimidations from their superiors, which has resulted in ongoing indiscipline, local news outlet GhanaWeb reported.

“As a professional body, topical issues on auditing and accountancy arise in this country and we best understand such issues but all we do is shut up,” he said.

He called on the profession to “issue public statements in favour or in disfavour” of these issues. “It is the only way people will begin to take us seriously,” he said.

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