He said the agency, when well positioned, would be an effective tool in fighting corruption and in helping to identify and address shortfalls in Ghana’s governance system.
Mr Osei Kofi made the comments at the opening of the 10th Annual Internal Audit Forum in Accra, where he represented President John Dramani Mahama.
The Forum was on theme: “Internal Auditing: An Effective Management Tool for Good Governance”.
He said the Government, as part of the public financial management system reforms, was restructuring the composition of the ARICs to make them more independent and effective in playing the critical role.
The Deputy Chief of Staff said Ghana was faced with a number of governance challenges, including adherence to laws, regulations, procedures, and enforcement of sanctions.
“The laws, regulations, policies and procedures of our public financial management system are designed to mitigate the specific risks and define appropriate processes to ensure effective and efficient management of public resources,” he said.
Internal auditors have a duty to constantly remind us where we fall short and to help to correct these shortfalls.”
Mr. Osei Kofi noted that although Audit Report Implementation Committees (ARICs) were mandated to ensure the implementation of audit recommendations, they had so far been largely ineffective in carrying this role due to lack of independence and in some cases the lack of the capacity to do so.
He said the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan was progressively being monitored by the high level implementation committee.
He said: “Fighting corruption requires a multi-faceted approach with all hands on deck”, and called on citizens, public servants, the private and public sector to be engaged and committed to ensure the success of the national efforts.
Mr. Kwabena Obese-Jecty, the Director-General, of Internal Audit Agency, said the independence and effectiveness of ARICS would result in the independence and objectivity of the internal auditor.
He noted that poor conditions of service of internal auditors in the public service undermined efforts to adequately staff its unit across the country, and pleaded with the President to go to the aid of the agency by providing the resources and logistics needed to carry out its mandate.
In spite of this, the Agency had chalked various successes, including the facilitation of the creation of internal audit units in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), training, and capacity building for internal auditors, and publication of internal audit manuals among others.
Mr. Eric Sewornuku Norgbey, the Chairman of the Internal Audit Board, said the theme for the Forum was apt, considering the increasing demands from the public for accountability and transparency in the management of public resources.
This, he said, called for the internal audit professionals to abide by their code of ethics in order to be accepted by the various institutions and society at large.
“I take this opportunity to urge Internal Auditors to live above reproach and continue to be very professional in their work…,” he stated, and also urged public institutions to ensure their ARICs were functional.