Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has named internal auditors as the key to stopping fiscal indiscipline plaguing the public sector.
The Vice President revealed this during a speech at the 2022 Internal Auditors conference in Accra held Tuesday, August 16th 2022.
Speaking on the theme “Injecting Fiscal Discipline in Resource Mobilization and Utilization for Sustainable Development”, Bawumia described internal auditors as gatekeepers of financial discipline whose crucial role can not be over emphasised.
“The role of internal auditors as gatekeepers of financial discipline with covered entities cannot be over-emphasized. Internal auditors ensure that the processes of public financial management are complete by ensuring that the required controls are working whilst drawing management attention to avoid pitfalls in public spending.” the Veep said.
“By their advise and vigilance public sector waste and abuses have been minimized and annual infractions reported by the Auditor-General have seen some level of decline between 2019 and 2020.”
Dr Bawumia and the NPP government have made reducing public waste a cornerstone of their agenda in a bid to raise adequate revenue to meet all the country’s needs.
In opposition, President Akufo-Addo famously opined that ’y3te t3 sika so’, to wit ‘we are sitting on money’.
The NPP government has tried its hardest to use this existing revenue to administer the country but embedded corruption in the public sector presents a huge challenge.
Bawumia has concentrated on trying to fix this issue via the digitisation agenda and now, via empowering auditors to do their jobs.
“To this end, Government will continue to restructure and reposition public sector Internal Audit in Ghana as an important public financial management institution to put public officers on their toes towards observing fiscal discipline in spending public funds.
“Going forward, ladies and gentlemen, to effectively utilize internal audit resources in the country, all Internal Auditors will be brought under the management, administrative, technical control, and supervision of the new Internal Audit Service (IAS),” Bawumia added.
Expenditure Validation and Revenue Enhanced Measures
The Vice President revealed government aimed at significantly increased revenues by taking prudent measures combined of increased revenue mobilisation and prudent expenditure.
“A key focus of the 2022 budget is fiscal consolidation to enhance debt and fiscal sustainability as we implement our economic revitalization and transformation programme to better the lives of Ghanaians.
“These measures, which include expenditure validation and revenue enhanced measures are to reposition the Ghana economy for accelerated growth. Indeed, implementation of the measures highlighted in the 2022 budget will lead to significant fiscal adjustment from a projected fiscal deficit including Energy IPP Payments and Financial sector Clean-up cost of 12.1% of GDP in 2021 to 7.4% in 2022, representing an adjustment of 4.7 percentage points in just one year.” he said.
Bawumia added government took difficult and pragmatic decisions to ‘balance the fiscal position and restore fiscal discipline in the wake of the banking crisis, covid-19, any the Russia-Ukraine war etc,”
“In January 2022, Government announced and, immediately, began implementing a 20% expenditure cut as part of fiscal stabilization and debt sustainability measures through the Minister for Finance.
This was followed by an additional 10% cut in discretionary expenditure all in an attempt to balance the fiscal position and restore Fiscal discipline following the banking crises, covid-19, the Russia Ukraine war etc.” he added.