The Internal Audit Agency (IAA) has announced the mass inauguration of over 200 audit committees at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) across the country.
Sections 86-88 of the Public Financial Management Act 2016(Act 921) requires ‘Covered Entities’ including MMDAs and RCCs to have Audit Committees to support them to implement and adhere to sound financial controls and systems in the use of the public funds, says a ‘press release’ that was issued by the IAA on June 5, 2022.
“It has however come to the attention of the IAA that, most MMDAs and RCCs are currently functioning without properly constituted Audit Committees (due to expiration of tenure after the two-term mandatory period provided for by the PFM Act),” the statement signed by Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, Director-General of the IAA disclosed.
Consequently, the IAA in collaboration with the RCCs is undertaking a mass inauguration of new Audit Committees for all RCCs and MMDAs across the country from June 6 to June 13, 2022, the IAA statement said.
Corruption Watch data analysis shows that MMDAs and RCCs have featured prominently in the IAA’s special publication of ‘Covered Entities Defaulters’ List’.
The Agency uses the publication as a discrediting tool to openly shame public institutions that do not comply with rules governing the submission of ‘Quarterly Internal Audit Reports’ and ‘Annual Internal Audit Plans’ to the IAA.
The maiden ‘Covered Entities Defaulters’ List’ published on February 5, 2021 contained eight (8) MMDAs and four (4) RCCs.
The most recent ‘Covered Entities Defaulters’ List’ published on May 9, 2022 contained 150 MMDAs and six (6) RCCs.
Among other functions, audit committees support internal audit units of public institutions to prepare and submit their ‘Quarterly Internal Audit Reports’ and ‘Annual Internal Audit Plans’ to the IAA in compliance with internal audit and public financial management rules.
In its June 5, 2022 press release, the IAA stated that “It must be noted that, it is an offence under Section 98(1d) of the PFM Act 2016 (Act 921) for a Local Government Authority (RCC or MMDA) or a Covered Entity to operate without a properly constituted Audit Committee”.
222 Audit Committees
According to a list that Corruption Watch obtained from the IAA, a total of 222 will have their audit committees inaugurated during the eight-day mass inauguration exercise.
There are 213 MMDAs and nine (9) RCCs taking part in the exercise across the country.
Report by Frederick Asiamah, Journalist, Corruption Watch