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CDD, IAA sign pact to improve accountability

BY: Kester Aburam Korankye
Professor Kwasi Prempeh (left), Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, and  Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Director-General of the IAA, signing  the agreement documents
Professor Kwasi Prempeh (left), Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, and Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Director-General of the IAA, signing the agreement documents

The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) to institute a public financial accountability index, dubbed: “The District Accountability Index (DAI)”.

The DAI project is a public financial accountability performance index that will present information on financial irregularities by district assemblies in a manner comprehensible to citizens that will generate interest and make them demand accountability from their local government officials.

The IAA and the CDD- Ghana signed the MoU on 14th February, 2022.

The CDD-Ghana Executive Director, Professor Kwasi Prempeh, signed on behalf of his organisation, with the Director-General of the IAA, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, signing on behalf of the audit agency.

Index

A statement from the CDD said the index, which would be dependent on irregularities highlighted in the Auditor-General's reports and other administrative data, would measure the performance of all the 260 districts relative to their financial management.

“With the index in place, it is expected that there will be improvement in transparency, accountability, stakeholder participation and value for money in the use of public funds, leading to improved accountability of public resources,” the statement added.

The DAI project would positively impact social and human resource capitalisation for sound financial and economic governance towards sustainable and emancipative development, it said.

Internal Audit

The IAA was established by the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658) to exercise oversight over internal audit practices in the public service by setting standards, providing quality assurance and supporting capacity building for good corporate governance.

According to its 2020 status report, out of the expected 260 audit committees of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), 249 had been established, with 11 committees yet to be constituted.

The number of charters signed was 239 out of the 260 expected MMDAs, while 252 audit work plans have been submitted, out of the expected 260, with eight outstanding.

"Delay or non-submission of reports indicates non-compliance, a phenomenon that poses a risk to sound control systems and effective public financial management," it stated.

The IAA and the CDD-Ghana are, therefore, expected to support each other to achieve the joint mandate with the agreement.

The Director-General of the IAA, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, emphasised the readiness of the agency to meet all the deliverables of the MoU.

“This MoU is very critical because when you have a DAI that publishes a list that indicates that there are accountable weaknesses in various state agencies, we can zero in on those institutions and strengthen those institutions," he said.

He added that "by that we can use the preventive approach to reduce corruption, or even prevent it from happening at all.”

For his part, Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Professor Kwasi Prempeh, was hopeful that the DAI would go a long way to assist the IAA and other policy and decision-makers to ensure accountability in Ghana’s public financial management system.

The DAI is funded by the Governance for Inclusive Development Programme of the German agency for international cooperation (GIZ).