Risk-based internal auditing training for public sector

Internal Audit Agency (IAA)
Internal Audit Agency (IAA)

The Internal Audit Agency (IAA) has begun a two-day training for public institutions across the nation on the preparation of the 2023 Annual Risk-Based Internal Audit (RBIA) work plan.

The training is intended to provide staff members in Internal Audit Units (IAUs) with the knowledge and abilities needed to complete the 2023 RBIA work plans on time, in the format required by the agency, and in accordance with the agency’s standards.

It also aims at making them aware of the ongoing Public Sector Internal Audit (PSIA) reforms, which support the use of RBIA to prevent and reduce irregularities in the management of public funds.

Speaking on behalf of the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Seth Acheampong at the opening session, Mr John Donkor, Acting Director of Eastern Regional Coordinating Council (ERCC), stated that the training workshop was crucial because the ERCC places a high value on internal auditing.

Internal audit offers evidence in the areas of monitoring, backstopping, and rapid response when and where it is required, among other things.

Mr Donkor said monitoring had its own chapter in the RCC checklist, and it included all critical areas such as cash and financial irregularities or infractions, as well as risk management.

He added that the RCC did not play with internal audit issues, so, a team led by a regional external auditor was dispatched to investigate audit matters pertaining to the assemblies and make recommendations to the regional minister, explaining that the RBIA would be required for dispatched evaluation of internal audit work.

Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Director General of IAA, said IAA was transitioning from traditional pre-auditing to risk-based internal audit in which the internal auditor would become proactive and look into the future to advise management on their operations.

The workshop he said was therefore designed to prepare internal auditors to develop and implement their 2023 work plan in public institutions that spend public funds.

He urged management to help internal auditors by providing them with the resources they required.
“If you provide internal auditors with the resources they require, external auditors will not have anything to report on,” he added, and stated that internal auditor’s job was to minimise irregularities that were reported by external auditors.

The internal auditors asked the government to pass the Internal Audit Service Bill to strengthen the independence and objectivity of internal audit in their methods of work, as well as ensure continuing and targeted capacity building and professionalism on internal auditors.

Dr Osae said internal auditors were subjected to several irregularities since they were not given attention by management but stressed that the role of internal audit was to protect the utilisation of resources and to guarantee that public money was spent properly and efficiently.

“If internal auditors do not play their role, they are disappointing the citizens of the nation,” saying, “If you allow people to engage in procurement fraud and misuse public funds, the development of the country would be retarded.”

Dr Osae asked all internal auditors to be vigilant and investigate public expenditures.

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