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Fire Service undertakes training in risk auditing

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
Some Ghana National Fire Service  officers at the meeting. Picture: BENEDICT OBUOBI
Some Ghana National Fire Service officers at the meeting. Picture: BENEDICT OBUOBI

A two-day risk-based internal audit training meant to equip internal auditors of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) with knowledge and skills in risk auditing is underway in Accra.

The 24 participants attending the session were drawn across the country and will learn and adopt plans to strategically identify and manage risks, ensure efficient use of resources, as well as maximise opportunities within the service.

The forum is being organised by the Internal Audit Agency as part of national efforts to curb corruption and mismanagement of resources in public institutions.

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Timely training

In his address at the opening ceremony, the Chief Fire Officer, Mr Edwin Ekow Blankson, described the training as timely since the world was migrating from analogue systems to information technology services saying, “the GNFS is no exception to the global transformation agenda”.

“As business risks continue to increase, organisations are finding it necessary to implement some forms of formal risk management systems and an effective enterprise risk management programme (ERM) can help organisations manage their risks and maximise opportunities,” he said.

According to him, public sector organisations around the globe that had successfully implemented ERM had had benefits including improved risk-focused culture for their organisations, standard risk reporting and improved focused and perspectives on risk.

In addition, he said the system had also helped organisations to ensure efficient use of resources and coordinated regulatory and compliance matters effectively.

Addressing inefficiencies

The chief fire officer pointed out that the service had in recent times also recategorised operations in its fire safety department and placed emphasis on potential areas of concern in order to address inefficiencies in the service.

“Enterprise-wide risk management brings many benefits as a result of its structured, consistent and coordinated approach and the internal auditor’s core role in relation to ERM should be to provide assurance to management and to the board on the effectiveness of managing risk,” he said.

A Senior Audit Manager with the Internal Audit Agency, Mr Samuel Gyekye-Mensah, said risk-based internal auditing would offer internal auditors the capacity to conduct general assessment of risks facing an organisation in order for them to develop strategic plans to address them.

“This will, among others, allow internal auditors to undertake proper and relevant risk assessments departments of the organisation face and take measures to ensure efficient use of resources,” he said.