The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo, has stressed the need for stronger internal audit controls of Ministries, Departments and Agencies for effective disbursement and management of public finances.
According to her, appropriate audit controls were necessary to prevent fraud and misuse of public funds and promote efficient use of the country's scarce resources to further development.
The Minister was speaking yesterday, in Accra, during the inauguration of the five-member audit committee for the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice.
Chaired by Eric Norgbey, retired Deputy Commissioner, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and representative of the Internal Audit Agency, other members include Alhassan Fuseini, also a representative of the Internal Audit Agency and Mrs. Helen A. A. Ziwu, Solicitor General of the Ministry.
The rest are Alhassan Yahaya Seini, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Scheme and Isaac Kwaku Asare, a representative of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG).
Primarily, the committee, Ms. Akuffo said, support and ensure that Internal Audit Units were functioning effectively and ensure the implementation of recommendations contained in both external and internal audit reports, parliament's decisions on the Auditors General's reports as well as reports of internal monitoring units.
The committee, she noted also was expected to advice the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice on sound, transparent and reliable financial management practices and review internal audit plans, internal audit charters and risk assessment reports.
It was to help achieve organisation-wide strong and effective controls in the Ministry and collaborate with Internal Audit Agency to investigate matters involving fraud or misuse of public finance by the principal spending officer.
As part of its responsibilities was to follow up on significant issues, investigations and disciplinary actions, ensure the risk management process was comprehensive and effective and review corporate policies relating to compliance with the laws and regulations, ethics, conflicts of interests and investigations of misconduct and fraud, she said.
Ms Akuffo noted that the committee was further required to review current and pending corporate governance in relation to litigation and regulatory proceedings to which the Ministry was a party and review audit reports for assurance on efficiency and effectiveness in the administration of programme and operations of the Ministry.
The Minister was confident that the committee would provide the Ministry with the professional advice and guidance to ensure that all its operations were in line with the requirements of the Public Financial Act and other financial laws of the country.
Mr Norgbey, on behalf of the other member, thanked the Ministry for the opportunity to support in management of the financial resources adding that the Committee would ensure all recommendations were implemented to prevent external queries on the use of funds allocated the Ministry.