By Enock Akonnor, email@example.com
The Ashanti Regional Health directorate has inaugurated the audit committee for health sector institutions under the Ghana Health Service.
It constitutes 250 nominees.
The execution of their mandate which will fall in line with the Public Financial Management ACT, 2016 (Act 921) will cover 77 health facilities in the region.
Mr. Hayford Dowuona Hammond (Head of Operations-Internal Audit Agency) represented the Director-General of Internal Audit Agency Dr. Eric Oduro Osae and also officiated their swearing-in which was held on Tuesday 9th May 2023.
Speaking on behalf of the latter at the occasion, he stated that “majority of the over GHs 1,080,913,824 irregularities identified in the 2021 Auditor General’s report are on Health Institutions.
The 2021 Auditor-General’s report indicated that MOH institutions are among the 17 out of the 32 whose financial statements were qualified.
Also, 52 out of the 212 pages Audit report were on health Sector Institutions”.
The foregoing according to him suggests that Internal control systems in the health sector are weak hence the inauguration.
He added that “similarly, in 2021 Auditor-General’s report on Public Corporations and other statutory institutions, irregularities in four Health Institutions amounted to GHs 22,704,173.45.
The audit committee he said will address the above since it is aimed at improving internal control structures in public institutions to enhance value for money.
Mr. Dowuona also noted that the audit committee is a high-level corporate governance committee which contributes to the effectiveness of public accountability and the appropriate use of public resources.
The Ashanti regional Director for Health Service Dr. Emmanuel K. Tinkorang in his welcome address said the inauguration was a culmination of enormous collective effort of government and backed by the Public Financial Management Act, Act 921 of 2016 which seeks to regulate financial management of public sector, within the microeconomic and fiscal framework defining the responsibilities of persons entrusted with the management and control of public funds, assets, liabilities and resources.
He underlined that with the demand for public goods and services on the increase and with limited resources to meet these needs, managers of public institutions must use cost-effective ways to manage the resources made available to them.
“Auditing acts as a catalyst for enhancing and protecting organizational values.
He therefore urged members of the audit committee to live above reproach and continue to be very professional in providing advice, promoting business ethics, monitoring compliance with relevant laws and evaluating policies to improve the governance practices within the various health institutions.
Dr. Tinkorang also admonished them to acquaint themselves with all the key strategic documents and internal policies of Ghana Health Service.