The Audit Service has embarked on a special audit of the Scholarship Secretariat to determine the level of irregularities associated with the operations of the Secretariat.
It is especially to determine whether scholarships have been administered in accordance with the rules, regulations and directives governing them, as well as how efficient scholarship funds have been disbursed over the years.
John A. Y. Klinogo, Chairman of the Audit Service Board, made this known yesterday when he led executives of the Audit Service to call on President Mills at the Castle, Osu, said the auditing of the Secretariat was prompted by repeated “unrest among Ghanaian students abroad against delays in receiving their remittances.”
He explained that the auditing of the Scholarship Secretariat was part of special audits being carried out on various government agencies to effectively control the use of scare resources including the current auditing of all the 170 district assemblies in the country.
“The objective is to determine the total amount of liabilities or financial commitments which the District Assemblies have made,” he said.
Touching on some of the achievements by the Service, which is marking its centenary this year, he said the Service had been able to submit 12 Auditor-General’s Reports to Parliament between June 2009 and January 2010.
Those reports, he explained, included the Auditor-General’s Reports on the Consolidated Funds, and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, which were tied to the Multi-Donor Budget Support to Ghana
“We are happy to report that for the fourth year running, these reports have been submitted to Parliament in accordance with the statutory deadline of June 30 following the year ended on December 31 of the previous year,” he said.
He said some of their audits had resulted in huge savings to the nation, adding that the savings resulted from recoveries from misapplication of funds, errors in the financial statement, unauthorised payment and over-statement of expenditure among others.
Mr. Klinogo pledged the full commitment of the leadership of the Service to undertake its mandate of helping to promote efficient use of resources, and called for more support to enable the Service to enhance its operation.
“The Audit Service intends to continue to break new grounds by expanding the scope of its audit to include forensic and environmental auditing,” he said.
As part of the visit, Mr. Klinogo informed the President of planned activities for the centenary celebration, and invited the President to a grand durbar in August to climax of the event.
President Mills for his part, commended the Service for the contribution towards ensuring transparency, accountability and efficient use of national financial resources, and encouraged the Service to do more.
“Do not relent in your effort,” he said, adding that there was a need for all public officials to be made to account for their stewardship.
That, he said, was necessary because “there are people who think they can occupy public positions and not account for their stewardship.”
The President was particularly interested in the audit of the District Assemblies, which are currently said to be engulfed in huge debts, saying “we are looking forward to the reports with keen interest.”
He assured the Service of the necessary support from the government, stressing, “we have to beefup your capacity so that you can be better positioned to perform the task entrusted to you.”