The Internal Audit Agency (IAA) has inaugurated 150 audit committee members to serve in 21 health sector institutions in the Greater Accra Region.
They are expected to within the next four years ensure effective functioning of the control systems in the facilities and report irregularities to external auditors.
The committee members will serve in Polyclinics, District and Regional Hospitals and advice management of the hospitals on the proper use of funds.
Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency, who inaugurated the committees said the initiative was aimed at improving internal control structures in public institutions to enhance value for money.
“We have realised that the Audit Committees in the health sector are not functioning properly, the 2021 Auditor General report identified a lot of irregularities in health sector so the Agency is working with them to put the control structures in place, ” he said.
He said a majority of the over GHS1,080,913,824 irregularities identified in the 2021 Auditor-General’s report were in health institutions.
“The 2021 Auditor-General’s report indicated that the MOH institutions are among the 17 out of the 32 whose financial statements were qualified,” he said.
Dr. Osae said 52 out of the 212 pages Audit Report were on the health sector institutions, an indication that the internal control systems in the health sector were weak.
He said in the 2021 Auditor-General’s report on public corporations and other statutory institutions, irregularities in four health institutions amounted to GHS 22,704,173.45.
He said the Agency was also working with the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) to improve accountability and control systems in the education and health sector institutions to improve access by women and the vulnerable.
Dr Charity Sarpong, Greater Accra Regional Health Director, said the audit committee was very important in the governance of health institutions and required the backing of management and all-important stakeholders.
She urged the committees to work together with the management of the hospitals to ensure the proper use of funds and resources.
The Regional Health Director entreated the committees to be abreast of the laws that governed their works and be guided by it.
“I hope the audit committees inaugurated today will live up to expectations and contribute towards strengthening controls and accountability systems among health sector institutions,” Dr Sarpong said.