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Employment ministry inaugurates audit c’ttee

BY: Joshua Bediako Koomson
 Dr Eric Oduro Osae (right), Director General, Internal Audit Agency, administering the oath to the seven-member audit committee
Dr Eric Oduro Osae (right), Director General, Internal Audit Agency, administering the oath to the seven-member audit committee

The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) has inaugurated a seven-member audit committee with the mandate to ensure proper and effective financial management practices at the ministry.

This is in accordance with the provisions in sections 86 and 87 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), which require that all government institutions establish audit committees.

Chaired by Dr Abdulai Alhassan of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICA), the members include Martin Adjei and Mrs Patience Adwoa Hanson of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), and Hayford Amoa, Emmanuel A. Adjorles and Mrs Faustina Teiko Dankyi, all from the ministry.

During yesterday’s inauguration in Accra, the Chief Director of the ministry, Kizito Ballans, thanked the outgoing audit committee members for ensuring that the ministry chalked several successes during their tenure.

“Looking at the 2020 Auditor General’s Report, there are only two issues from our ministry, and even those issues came from departments and agencies under the ministry, and that shows our audit committee members are working harder,” he said.

Major roles

Mr Ballans further urged the newly inaugurated committee to develop a working relationship with the departments and agencies under the ministry.

He indicated that the audit committee was an important statutory institution, with mandatory, advisory and supporting roles.

Mr Ballans noted that in recent times, audit committees focused only on financial recommendations, and, therefore, urged the committee to also be interested in performance audit as well to check on the extent to which the agencies and departments were able to deliver on their mandate.

On the advisory role, he urged the members to put their individual expertise to good use.

“The sitting allowance we pay you is not enough, but please consider this as national service, and if you have a particular expertise, please don’t hesitate to put it to use,” he said.

“Labour issues are risky so support them in mainstreaming and implementing their risk management policy so that we will be able to be proactive. Work through the internal audit directorate or unit to provide on-the-spot advisory services,” he added.

Payroll clean-up

Another role, he said, was also for them to ensure that the ministry, together with its agencies and departments, complied with all public management financial rules.

That, he said, included helping the ministry to clean up its payroll.

“The Ministry of Finance recently issued a directive about ghost names, and cabinet has adopted that directive, so please help the ministry to clean up its payroll.

“Very soon we will be required to submit payroll validation report to the internal audit agency, and once you submit it to us, we will follow up and validate,” Mr Ballans said.

The Chairman also gave the assurance that the committee was going hand-in-hand with the ministry to ensure that its purpose was achieved.

He further gave the assurance that the professional expertise of his colleague members on the committee would be brought to bear on their duties to support the ministry to run effectively.