Procurement Authority saves GH¢1.6bn in 18 months
The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has saved the country GH¢1.6 billion in the past 18 months by simply reviewing contracts submitted to it for approval under either or restrictive tendering, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has disclosed
the opening session of this year’s annual conference of the Internal Auditors Association in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said what the PPA had achieved was a reflection of what could happen when state institutions worked.
The conference, under the auspices of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), was on the theme: “Leadership and good corporate governance: A key to effective public financial management”.
President Akufo-Addo charged internal auditors to constantly check their systems to ensure that the public purse was respected and protected.
He assured them of the support of the government and urged them to also reciprocate that by helping his administration in the fight against corruption to bring transparency and accountability into the country’s public system.
“I believe internal auditors have what it takes to contribute to good corporate governance and good leadership in the public sector. We promise the auditors our support in fulfilling their mandate under the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658) and the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
“I, therefore, came to reiterate that I need your help in the fight against corruption. I came to renew publicly the sacred vow that I took to protect the public purse. I came also to acknowledge that this is not a battle I can wage or win alone.
“There are many layers to the protection of the public purse and internal auditors are its primary defenders.” the President added.
President Akufo-Addo advised internal auditors to do their job well as people who constituted the first line of defence in the fight against corruption, adding: “If you do your job well, you provide an independent and objective assessment of an institution’s operations, such as the effectiveness of its internal control structure, so that when something is going wrong, it can be quickly discovered.”
“I know that I shall keep hope alive when people believe that both the government I lead and I are serious about the fight against corruption in public life,” he noted.
Public Accounts Committee
Touching on revelations at the hearings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, President Akufo-Addo said: “Every time that we all wince at the details of the reports of the Auditor General at the hearings of the PAC of Parliament, we know that our internal auditors are not working as they should.”
Unfortunately, he said, it had become a routine for the Auditor General to uncover cases of financial malfeasance in the public service that would otherwise go unnoticed until those cases appeared before the PAC.
“It is not pleasant, but we cannot avoid the conclusion that the internal auditor must be either complicit or incompetent. We cannot afford to have internal auditors who will be complicit in the malfeasance they are expected to prevent and certainly we do not need incompetent ones.
“I want to say that the stringent and desperate efforts being made by my political opponents to tarnish me and members of my family with corruption will simply not wash.
“I did not come into public life to make money out of public service, and members of my family know fully well that they have to behave and are not involved in anything untoward.
“I am aware that you give a dog a bad name in order to hang it, but this dog will not be hanged,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He promised to empower institutions such as the Auditor-General’s Department, the Internal Audit Agency, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and other statutory institutions to carry out their so that relevant laws and policies were complied with.
The President further urged internal auditors to conduct their activities quietly and effectively, devoid of drama, by ensuring the smooth running of their departments, an impression could be created that the internal auditor had not been effective.