The Director General of the Internal Audit Agency, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, has urged state agencies to prioritise performance over financial audit.
He said, until more emphasis is laid on performance audit which demands value for money for every cedi that is spent on a project, the country will be under developed.
“I am sure that is why we are not seeing a lot of development in the district assemblies since there is no transparency and accountability,” Dr. Osae said.
He made this known at the Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) conference in Accra.
He encouraged local government agencies to prioritise performance audit through questioning each amount spent on capital projects like roads, schools, hospitals among others.
“If every citizen would adopt a questioning attitude by getting value for money on expenditure, we would see development in this country,” he added.
Mission Director of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Kimberly Rosen, said they collaborated with the Government of Ghana on the GSAM activity for the past eight years.
He said, the goal was to increase citizen’s capacity to demand accountability from the trustees of public resources.
He further said that, the USAID–commissioned impact on the GSAM revealed that citizens’ action with the support of local civil society organisations (CSOs) has improved consultation between citizens and their respective local governments on infrastructure development.
Mr. Rosen said the evaluation found a key intervention with the Ghana Audit Service (GAS) to conduct value for money audits on district capital projects reduced the incidence of partisan manipulation of district budget by local politicians.
“Strengthening accountability in the delivery of public services, undoubtedly, would assure a more productive and healthy life to Ghanaians,” he added.
Representative of the Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Eric Tetteh Addison, said popular participation is a key pillar in decentralisation and any effort to strengthen and deepen its practice is critical for the decentralisation process.
“For this reason I am glad to be part of this event to close-out the Ghana-USAID GSAM activity after eight years of implementation,” he said.
He said probity and accountability as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution practically forms the basis of the social contract that duty bearers have with citizens and stakeholders towards the sustained socio-economic development of the country and the well-being of citizens.
Mr. Addae said the government is committed towards bringing improved governance, development and services to the doorsteps of the people.
By Hudda Bala Abdul Manan