Errant internal auditors risk five years in jail — Director-General
The Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Dr Eric Oduro Osae, has warned that any internal auditor who misconducts himself or herself could be imprisoned for five years if found guilty by a court.
Such a conviction, he said, could also come with an additional fine.
He, therefore, advised internal auditors to strictly go by the standard of International Practice Frameworks (IPF), as prescribed and adopted by the International Audit Agency (IAA).
Dr Osae gave the warning when he addressed a two-day risk-based internal auditing training for public sector internal auditors (PSIA) in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital, last Monday.
The two-day training brought together internal auditors from state institutions throughout the country to be equipped with the requisite skills to enable them to comply with the required standards.
It was also to sensitise them to the preparation and submission of the 2023 risk-based auditing (RBA) work plans in time in the form and the manner that comply with the IAA's standards.
Public funds, new bill
Dr Osae said to avoid or reduce the irregularities reported by the Auditor-General in his annual reports, internal auditors should work with the managements of organisations and also ensure that they aided covered entities to manage public funds efficiently and effectively.
With regard to the working conditions of internal auditors, he made it known that the government was working on a new Internal Audit Service Bill (IASB) to convert the agency into a service, rationalise the conditions of service of internal auditors and improve the independence and objectivity of practitioners in their approach to work.
That, he said, would ensure continuous and targeted capacity building of internal auditors.
The director-general asked the participants to advise managements at their workplaces on exactly what to do and what not to do in order to bring sanity into the fiscal aspect.
He said managements, for their part, should support internal auditors.
Dr Osae expressed the hope that the participants would transfer the knowledge acquired at the training to other members of staff of the service.
The Eastern Regional Coordinating Director, John Donkor, reminded the internal auditors of their responsibility of preventing irregular and corrupt practices in the accounting systems of state institutions.
They were also to advise managements against over-spending while running their institutions.
Some of the participants told the Daily Graphic that the seminar had been beneficial to them, since it had sharpened their skills in internal auditing.
They gave an assurance that they would protect the public purse at all times for the smooth running of their establishments.