Promoting Good Governance in Public Institutions : The Role of the Internal Auditor
All over the world there is a realization that the Internal Audit activity has the potential to provide hitherto unparalleled services to management in the conduct of their duties. This potential has been turned into a challenge and embodied in the new definition of Internal Auditing from the Institute of Internal Auditors (the IIA).
Background of the Study
The Government of the Republic of Ghana by the Internal Audit Agency A ct, 2003 (Act 658)established the Internal Audit Agency “as an apex oversight body to co-ordinate, facilitate and provide quality assurance for Internal Audit activities within the public sector” (Section 16 of Act658). The Internal Auditor’s value lies in how well he has been able to contribute to the achievement of the overall organizational objective. The Internal Auditor should constantly seek to make himself relevant to his organization by providing information that will make management take decisions that impact positively on their ability to achieve the organizational goals. However, according to research and surveys conducted by Deloitte & Touche (2004) and the Internal Audit Agency of Ghana (2006), much of the work of Internal Audit has been very restrictive in terms of scope. This needs to be addressed if the required return on investment in the Internal Audit activity is to be attained.
Public sector managers do not support Internal Audit. The Internal Audit function in the Ghanaian public sector faces a perception and, to some extent, a credibility problem as a value-adding unit of the organization. The Internal Audit Agency (2006) believes that the importance of Internal Audit is "shrouded in obscurity”. This unfortunate background continues to play down the importance of Internal Audit as a key function that can strengthen the oversight responsibility of the governing body. This reflects in the management...