‘Safeguard independence of internal auditors’

BY: Michael Donkor
Mrs Janet Ampadu Fofie(left),Board member, IAA in a chat with Mr Johnny O. Kofi(right), Deputy Chief of Staff. With them is Mr Eric S. Norgbey(middle), Board Chairman, IAA . photo: Victor Buxton.

The Chairman of the Internal Audit Board (IAB), Mr Eric Sewornuku Norgbey, has stressed the need for the independence of internal auditors to be safeguarded to make them more effective.

He said the independence of the internal auditor was enhanced when the functional reporting lines were strengthened.

Mr Norgbey made the call at the 10th annual Internal Audit Forum organised by the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) in Accra yesterday.

He said internal auditing acted as a catalyst for enhancing and protecting organisational values.

He said governing bodies and senior management of institutions relied on internal auditing for objective assurance and insight into the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations, compliance with relevant laws and the safeguarding of assets of their businesses.

Collaboration

To that end, Mr Norgbey said the agency would continue to collaborate with heads of institutions and chief executive officers to build an effective internal audit function that enhanced and protected organisational value.

On the work of the agency, he said it embraced both office and field work, adding that inadequate resources had, however, become a limiting factor in its field of operations.

He said the IAB was, therefore, engaging its key stakeholders to help motivate internal auditors and provide adequate resources for their work.

Mr Norgbey promised that the agency would continue to work closely with the Auditor-General and other key stakeholders to revamp their operations, adding that the agency would also support the government and all stakeholders to ensure good governance and accountability in the country at all times.

Achievements

For his part, the Director-General of the IAA, Mr Kwabena Obese-Jecty, said the agency had chalked up many successes, notable among them being the creation of internal audit units in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

He said under the Public Financial Management System Reform, the IAA was working with the Ministry of Finance and the Auditor-General to improve its independence and effectiveness.

He said that change would bring a significant improvement in the independence and objectivity of the internal auditor.

Key Strategies

Mr Obese-Jecty said the agency was improving internal audit practice in the MDAs and also improving on the human resource capacity of the agency for effective internal audit work and strengthening partnerships with donor partners, as well as sensitising the public to effective internal audit practice.

In a statement read on his behalf, President John Mahama urged internal auditors to exercise oversight responsibility over internal audit practice in the public service by coordinating, facilitating and setting standards.

He also urged them to provide quality assurance and support capacity building for good corporate governance and effective risk management.