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SIGA, Audit Service and SEs Consult on Audit Infraction

A consultative virtual forum on reducing audit infractions by Specified Entities has been hosted by SIGA.

The forum was in line with a directive by the president for SIGA works with Auditor General to submit a report on the 2021 Audit infractions to the chief of staff with 4 weeks.

Over 140 CEOs, heads of institutions and the Deputy Minister for Information, Hon. Fatima Abubakar participated in the forum.

Audit Process

A Deputy Auditor General, Mr. Godfred K. Addison, took participants through the audit process, stating:

The audit process starts with an entrance conference, where the institution is briefed as to why the auditor is there. The auditor will request for the relevant book and a liaison officer from the entity to be audited.

The duty of the liaison officer is to assist the auditor in scheduling meetings. He does his observations and ask for answers. If he or she is not satisfied he or she will put them in the monitoring notes for the institution to answer. If he or she is still not satisfied it will end up in the management report.

When the audit is done, an exit conference will be held to clear all issues in the report. The entity has 30 days including holidays and weekends to respond to the issues raised in the management report.

If the institution fails the 30-day response period the infractions or issues raised in the management report it is carried into the Auditor General’s report.

The Auditor General bemoaned the practice of CEOs and Management not showing interest in the audit process and often leaving them to the audit staff and finance team to handle. Insisting that from the time an auditor enters an entity to the time of exit entities have about a year to resolve all issues and make things right.

Public Accounts Committee

The issues raised in the Auditor General’s are then sent to the Public Accounts Committee.

“When you are sending your responses to the public accounts committee copy the Auditor General’s Office otherwise, we will not be able to defend you”.

 

 

 

 

AG’s Caution

Names of entities that have not submitted their audited accounts were mentioned. He cautioned Specified Entities to not to appoint their own auditors. “Allow the Auditor General to do its work” he said.

Board members should note that when accounts are ready, they have to sign whether they were at post or not.

 

 

 

Q and A/Discussion Segment

In this segment, the Director-General explained the purpose of the meeting stating:

The President has tasked SIGA to work with the Auditor General to ensure that the infractions in the 2021 Auditor General Reports don’t reoccur.

NHIA complained that their accounts were not up to date because EOCO (Economic and Organised Crime Office) caused a forensic audit to be conducted on them.

Auditor General directed that before EOCO conducts any such audit they may have to consult the Auditor General’s Office.

Madam Kozie Yankey, CEO of Ghana Entrepreneurship Agency complained that as of now they still have not received a signed copy of their 2021 audited accounts. She further opined that the processes must be improved to prevent such delays in future.

There were other inputs from other entities seeking clarity on which department in the audit service responsible for auditing entities. The answer was, all Specified Entities are to be audited by the commercial department of the audit service.

There was a call for the Auditor General, to select independent auditors to audit entities and stop doing the auditing themselves. Others complained of double auditing. Who made the call? I don’t remember

The Graphic Communication Group Limited suggested that they should be allowed to appoint their own auditors. They were corrected that since their institution is run with public fund, the auditor general should audit them.

Summaries

The Auditor General advice entities to write to it with their management account, and should desist from submitting their accounts to the wrong bodies. He referred the forum to adhere to provisions and the reporting timelines stated in the PFMA and PFMR and the SIGA Act 2019 (Act 990)

The meeting ended with a reminder on the president’s call to see a marked improvement in the auditor general’s report.

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