Re-branding Internal Audit Agency
November 12, 2010
RE-POSITIONING PUBLIC SECTOR INTERNAL AUDITING IN GHANA
Distinguished Members of the Internal Audit Board, Management and Staff of the Internal Audit Agency, Our friends from both the Print and Electronic Media, Good Morning; As we all know, the Internal Audit Agency was established by the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658) with a mandate to ensure professional internal audit practice in MDAs and MMDAs. The ultimate goal of the Agency is to ensure accountability and good performance in the public sector of Ghana.
NII ADUMANSA-BADDOO, CHAIRMAN OF INTERNAL AUDIT BOARD
The Agency has therefore re-positioned itself, in line with international best practice, to build capacity in the IAUs of MDAs and MMDAs to ensure effective risk management and good corporate governance practices that will ultimately ensure the achievement of organisational and national objectives. In this regard, the Agency has been designing and implementing programmes to improve the human resource capacity of the IAUs for professional internal audit practice. The Agency has also implemented orientation programmes for managers of MDAs and MMDAs to deepen their understanding of the value that the internal audit function can deliver to their respective institutions.
Our Visionis to become an organization providing Value-added internal auditing for accountable performance through the implementation of the following strategies:
- Positioning managements of MDAs and MMDAs to actively support internal audit practice.
- Improving internal audit practice in all MDAs and MMDAs through capacity building.
- Increasing access to information on internal audit activities for MDAs and MMDAs and other stakeholders.
- Strengthening relationships with strategic partners for improved public service internal audit practice in support of good governance.
With the inauguration of a new governing board for the Agency, of which I am privileged to be the Chairman, our key focus is to chart a new strategic direction for the Agency through the re-branding and effective promotion of internal audit practice in Ghana.
- Re-enforcing a high performance work environment in the IAA.
The Internal Audit Board is advocating for the consolidation of internal audit staff of MDAs and MMDAs, with the Agency as the head of the class. This will go long way to ensure the objectivity, independence and protection of internal auditors. The proposal for the creation of internal audit class was recommended through a Needs Assessment Exercise carried out by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) based in Florida, US and the World Bank.
In submitting the proposals for the consolidation of Internal Audit Resources of the MDAs and MMDAs under the IAA, the IIA highlighted the following challenges;
- To receive and sustain the commitment of executive management to go forward with the consolidation in order to gain the necessary legislative support.
- To gain the support for consolidation from the senior and operating management groups in the MDAs and MMDAs, in the light of the fact that they will lose control of the IAU, as well as the budget resources that fund them.
- To gain the support of all internal auditors throughout the GOG, as they may be resistant to change.
The process of consolidation will be complex and will require careful planning and open communication with both the management and auditor groups.
- To develop an effective strategic action plan to implement the consolidation.
We as a Board will necessarily have to deal with these challenges and I have no doubt that we will rise to these challenges as part of our vision of rebranding the IAA.
Another strategy is to bring internal audit function to the forefront of our national developmental agenda through the building of strategic partnerships with relevant stakeholders. Some of these stakeholders include Ghana Audit Service, Public Procurement Authority, the Legislature, the Judiciary, Ghana Integrity Initiative, the media; just to mention a few. The Internal Audit Agency will, as part of its re-branding strategy, make strenuous efforts to increase public access to information on internal audit activities. Indeed, this is will be demonstrated by our proposed radio and television programmes that will effectively market our unique product, Value-Adding Internal Audit service.
Human capacity development is also fundamental to the core activities of the Internal Audit Agency. Training programmes are organised on continuous basis to update the knowledge, skills and attitudes of our personnel. This is complemented by on-site support programme to enable trained field staff deliver real value to our customers, namely the MDAs and MMDAs.
The Agency recognises the need to continuously sensitise public sector institutions on the role of internal auditing in fostering good corporate governance and challenge Public Sector managers to implement systems and procedures that will provide better opportunities for the achievement of organisational and national objectives.
During the five years of the Internal Audit Agency’s existence, some systemic weaknesses have run through the findings reported in the Agency’s Annual Reports to His Excellency, The President bordering essentially on Internal Control, Risk Management and Governance issues. The Internal Audit Agency believes that the root cause of these systemic weaknesses is traceable to the absence of effective performance and financial management systems in MDAs and MMDAs.
So far the Agency has made significant strides in the execution of its mandate. The following are some of its achievements:
- Orientation of 1,067 Management staff and members of Audit Report Implementation Committee (ARIC) of MDAs and MMDAs on internal auditing and the functions of ARIC in line with our mandate.
- Collaboration with the Institute of Internal Auditors (Ghana) to train 32 internal audit staff of MDAs and MMDAs in Quality Assessment
- Documentation of competency base of Internal Audit staff to form the basis for the development of comprehensive training plan for all Internal Audit Units. The Agency continues with both training to build the skills and competencies of IAU staff.
- Risk Management Policy, Framework and Implementation Guide have been developed for use by MDAs/MMDAs
- Completion of the development of the Agency’s website to facilitate the dissemination of information to the IAUs, and the filing of internal audit reports to the Agency.
- The Agency has continued to ensure that Internal Audit standards and procedures for planning, conducting, reporting as well as monitoring and evaluation of Internal Audit activities are adhered to by IAUs
- Memorandum of Understanding between Ghana Audit Service and Internal Audit Agency has been signed. The purpose is to outline the basis for collaboration between the two institutions in fostering the values of transparency, discipline, accountability and performance in the discharge of their statutory and professional duties.
- An Internal Audit Manual, which complies with international standards and best practices has been completed and distributed to staff of the IAUs. Training on the implementation of the Audit Manual has been conducted for all staff of the IAUs through the Agency’s On-Site Support programme.
- Curricula for training Internal Auditors in tertiary institutions and its associated Course Outline with Learning Outcomes have also been completed. Accreditation for the Curricula is currently being pursued with the National Accreditation Board.
These achievements, in our humble view, could be considered as providing a launching pad to set the right control environment for the deployment of internal auditing function in the public sector. The Government of Ghana is committed to re-positioning the internal audit function to serve as an invaluable management tool for implementing good governance, risk management and internal control.
- A Quality Assurance Manual has been developed and a Training of Trainers programme will be rolled out to equip them to effectively assess the quality of work done at the MDAs and MMDAs
In conclusion, internal audit professionals have sought greater recognition and respect for their activities. By the enactment of the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003, (Act 658) that recognition and respect has finally been secured. It is therefore, incumbent upon us to use this recognition, through our motto of Integrity and Professionalism, to ensure that heads of MDAs and MMDAs check corruption and improve probity and accountability.
I thank you all for your kind attention.