Auditing Must Go Beyond Mere Bureaucratic Procedures – Minister

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has said auditing needs to go beyond mere bureaucratic procedures to become an integral part of long-term planning of institutions.

     “l expect the Audit Committee to take a keen interest in the state of the property and equipment of both the Ministry and our Missions abroad so that we can develop a more pre-emptive and proactive system of maintenance.

     “l also believe that better management would ensure that the situation where many of our Missions are saddled with unacceptable high costs of maintaining over-aged and unserviceable vehicles, as well as building and equipment that are generally in the state of disrepair, becomes a thing of the past.” 

     Madam Botchway said this in a speech read on her behalf at the inauguration of a five-member Audit Committee of the Ministry on Wednesday.

     The Committee members are Mr T.A. Thompson-Aryee, a Director at the Internal Audit Agency, Dr S.T. Akrobor, a Lecturer at the University of Professional Studies, and Mr Isaac Adomako, the Director of Finance and Administration, Allianz Insurance Company (Ghana) Limited.

     The rest are Mr James Nyasembi, a Foreign Service Officer and Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Bureau of the Ministry and Mrs Audrey Abayena, a Foreign Service Officer and Acting Director, Legal and Consular Affairs Bureau, also of the Ministry.

     The Committee is to assist the Ministry in fulfilling its obligations under Section 86 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 ( Act 921), whichs aims at regulating financial management within public institutions, including Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

      The Minister said: “We are, therefore, expected to ensure that there is value- for-money in the disbursement of public funds by the Ministry and its Missions abroad”.

       She urged the members to perform their duties diligently and review the Audit Reports objectively, adding that; “It is my desire to ensure that the observations and recommendations made by the Committee will be carried out in a dispassionate manner”.

      The new law requires that the Audit Committee members ensure that issues arising from the Auditor's reports as well as Parliamentary directives are implemented by the MDAs.

       Her Ladyship Sophia Benasko Essah later led the members to swear the Oath of Secrecy and Allegiance.

       Dr Akrobor, on behalf of his colleagues, said they were grateful for the responsibility and assured the Ministry of their preparedness to ensure due diligence in discharging their duties.

       He appealed for the total support of the Ministry to enable them to discharge their duties diligently to justify their appointment.