The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, urged internal auditors to leverage the government’s digitization program to identify risks and weaknesses in the public financial management system.
This, he said, would enable them to provide timely advice and recommendations to prevent corrupt practices.
The Vice President, who was speaking at this year’s Internal Audit and Governance Conference in Accra yesterday, said it was essential that governance leaders embrace digitalization for development.
“As internal auditors in a digital economy, your ability to provide independent assurance that the risk management, governance and internal control processes of public sector institutions are operating effectively depends, above all, on your adoption of the digital technology.
“We need, for example, The IIA Ghana to provide us with seasoned professionals who can lead these IT governance regimes in our public institutions and support institutional capacity building to enable us to achieve our stated goals,” said he added.
The IIA Ghana is an international professional association which was registered in April 2001. Its parent body is the Institute of International Auditors (IIA), headquartered in Florida, USA.
The two-day conference, themed: “Scaling Impact in a Digital Economy,” is the first in-person meeting since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions on public gatherings.
Dr Bawumia said the internal audit profession has evolved over the years, with internal auditing techniques shifting from a reactive and control-based form to a more proactive and risk-based approach.
This, he said, enabled internal auditors to anticipate risks and opportunities and provide assurance, advice and information when needed.
On corruption, he said, “The fight against corruption in our contemporary times and times cannot be won by adopting the antiquated tactics of firefighting.
On the contrary, he said, “we should be seen as doing more prevention than cure. This forces us, as a nation, to build strong oversight institutions, without which impunity becomes the very foundation upon which corrupt systems are built.”
The President of the African Federation of Institutes of Internal Auditors, Emmanuel Johannes, praised the government for working with the IIA to ensure that the association becomes one of the best in Africa.
He said that with appropriate legislation in place, barriers to the practice of internal auditing would be removed to ensure accountability and efficient use of resources.
Auditor General Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, in a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Auditor General Agyin Evans Kobina, said auditors complement each other as they all work to ensure that public resources are protected.
He said digitalization has become a key driver for improving service delivery and driving growth, creating jobs, improving productivity in all sectors, reducing corruption, among others.
For her part, The IIA, Ghana President, Harriet Akua Karikari, said institutions must continue to adapt to digitalization and technological solutions in their operations.
According to her, internal auditors were required to take proactive and action-oriented approaches to identify emerging risks and help their respective entities address those risks.