Ghana is restructuring internal audit function to be more responsive – Oduro Osae

Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency, Dr Eric Oduro Osae has said that the Institute of Internal Auditors Ghana, the Internal Audit Agency and the State Interests and Governance Authority have been collaborating to drive change in the public sector of Ghana and it is yielding positive impacts.

He said they believe other countries can replicate this collaborative approach and we are willing to share our experiences.

Specifically, he said, they are developing a unified Corporate Governance Code to guide Boards and Management of Public Sector Institutions for improved Governance.

“Ghana is also restructuring and repositioning the Internal Audit Function to be more responsive to the needs of Boards and Management,” he said ina remark at the opening f the 9th Governance Forum of African Federation of Institutes of Internal Auditors on Monday, May 22.

Below is his full remarks…

REMARKS BY THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL, INTERNAL AUDIT AGENCY, DR. ERIC ODURO OSAE
AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 9TH GOVERNANCE FORUM OF
AFRICAN FEDERATION OF INSTITUTES OF INTERNAL AUDITORS
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2023 @ MOVENPICK AMBASSADOR HOTEL, ACCRA

I wish to thank the IIA for the invitation to this event. This AFIIA Governance Forum, themed “Innovate to Sustain” is closely related to the main Conference’s theme of “Sustainability Through Innovation”.

Given the theme, the Forum promises to be a rare opportunity for sharing knowledge, insights and best practices in all the organisational processes. It is an opportunity for benchmarking and collaboration with fellow professionals.

The Institute of Internal Auditors Ghana, the Internal Audit Agency and the State Interests and Governance Authority have been collaborating to drive change in the public sector of Ghana and it is yielding positive impacts.

We believe other countries can replicate this collaborative approach and we are willing to share our experiences.

Specifically, we are developing a unified Corporate Governance Code to guide Boards and Management of Public Sector Institutions for improved Governance.

Ghana is also restructuring and repositioning the Internal Audit Function to be more responsive to the needs of Boards and Management.

Recently, Ghana has signed onto the IMF Programme and we have committed to implement a number of post-COVID-19 Programme of Economic Growth (PC-PEG) aims at restructuring Macro-Economic Stability and wide-ranging reforms to build resilience and lay the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth.

Ghana’s strategy is to embark on an ambitious structural reform agenda aimed at reinvigorating Private Sector-led growth by improving the business environment, governance and productivity.

To this end, Government of Ghana has initiated a process to restructure the operations of the Internal Audit Agency (IAAI) to enhance independence, provide adequate resources, strengthen technical capacity and focus on the Internal Audit function to ensure the prevention of financial irregularities in public institutions.

The restructuring also includes professionalization of the Internal Audit function in the public sector and that requires a good partnership between IAA and the IIA.

The issue of new Audit Committee Guidelines in 2023 to govern operations of Audit Committees and Management shows our commitment to improve governance in public institutions for efficiency and value for money in public spending.

Since this forum targets participants with governance responsibilities, I advise board members and management to involve their internal auditors and Audit Committees at all levels of managerial decision making to enable them offer the best assurance and advisory services.

That way, we can create sustainable competitive advantages that can support business growth and development.

Weak institutional structures and systems have the potential of derailing gains and success made through innovation.

For this reason, I advise the Board, Management and all professionals gathered here (Internal Auditors, Accountants, etc.,) mainstream Enterprise Risk Management in their operations and identify risks associated with innovations and collaborate with key stakeholders to effectively manage these risks for sustainable growth and development.

The development of Africa, and the role of all professionals, particularly internal auditors, in promoting good governance cannot be overstated.

African problems can only be solved by Africans so let us collaborate to develop common solutions to our common problems.

Finally, I urge all participants to take opportunity of this forum to network, benchmark their practices with their peers. More importantly, we must all commit to supporting processes that help our organisations to create greater value through innovation.

Together, let us build a stronger, more agile, and more resilient organisations that are better equipped to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Thank you all for being here today.

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