Ghana: Embrace digital technology for internal auditing… Veep Tasks Internal Auditors
Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia called on internal auditors to leverage the government’s digitization drive to quickly identify risks and control weaknesses in public institutions and provide timely recommendations to improve decision-making.
He explained that as internal auditors in a digital economy, their ability to provide independent assurance that the risk management, governance and internal control processes of public sector institutions were operating effectively depended largely on their adoption of digital technology.
He therefore advised boards and heads of institutions, in both the private and public sectors, to provide the necessary training and information technology (IT) infrastructure to enable internal auditors to add value in the digitized environment.
The Vice President was speaking yesterday in Accra at this year’s National Annual Conference of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Ghana.
It was held under the theme “Elevating Impact in a Digital Economy”.
Dr Bawumia said that as part of attempts to tackle the threat of bribery and corruption in the public sector, the government had focused on rolling out technology and digitalization as as an anti-corruption strategy.
One of the key attributes of a digitized economy, he said, is the transparency it brings about processes, impacts and failures for government and citizens.
This, the Vice President noted, has enabled internal auditors to provide government with independent impact assessments on the implementation of interventions in the digital economy to build public trust, drive adoption and inform policymakers. future policy interventions.
Due to the critical role of internal auditors in public financial management (PFM) and in safeguarding the country’s scarce resources, he said practitioners needed to evolve to meet current demands.
“The internal audit profession has evolved over the years. Internal auditing techniques have moved from being reactive and control-based to a more proactive and risk-based approach.
“This enables the internal auditor to anticipate risks and opportunities and provide assurance, guidance and insight where it is most needed,” Dr. Bawumia added.
Citing the fight against corruption as an example, he said it could not be won by adopting the antiquated tactics of firefighting and called for the adoption of digitalization to ensure transparency and efficiency.
Already, he indicated that the government’s digitization campaign is yielding the desired results, including the efficient delivery of public services by all ministries, departments and agencies on the Ghana.gov portal, the fight against corruption by removing intermediaries and “ghost names” in many deals, bringing more Ghanaians into the formal sector and mobilizing domestic revenue, among others.
The Vice President said the next step in the process of digitizing the country is to leverage derived data to inform socio-economic policies and interventions to foster national development.
The Director General of the Ghana Audit Service, Johnson Akuamoah Aseidu, in a speech read on his behalf, reiterated the importance for internal and external auditors to work together to tackle breaches of law and support each other to build the capacity to use computerized tools to achieve the desired benefits.
Chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), James KlutseAvedzi, has urged internal auditors to work to reduce or end breaches in the use of public funds, adding that passage of the Auditors Bill internal auditors, currently under consideration, would strengthen the internal auditors. to perform their duties effectively.
The President of the African Federation of Institutes of Internal Auditors, Emmanuel Johannes, has called for the introduction of effective legislation to remove barriers to the practice of internal auditing for better accountability and efficient use of resources.
The President of The IIA, Ghana, Harriet Akua Karikari, said that the month of May has been set aside by The IIA Global as International Internal Audit Awareness Month to raise awareness of the internal audit profession and its value, dispel misconceptions about the profession and improve the business community‘s awareness of the critical role internal audit plays in strong organizational governance