The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) could not make any savings for the country in the year 2016, according to President Akufo-Addo.
The President said but “by simply reviewing contracts brought before it for approval under either sole sourcing or restrictive tendering, has, in the past 18-months, saved the country some GH¢1.6 billion”.
President Akufo-Addo made the announcement at the 2018 Annual Internal Audit Conference in Accra on Wednesday, August 1, 2018.
The conference was under the theme: “Leadership and Good Corporate Governance; A key to Effective Public Financial Management”.
“I have been made to understand that the Public Procurement Authority, by simply reviewing contracts brought before it for approval under either sole sourcing or restrictive tendering, has, in the past 18 months, saved the country some GH¢1.6 billion. The whole of 2016, the Authority made zero savings”, he said.
He added that “there is widespread dissatisfaction among the general public about the integrity of dealings in our public institutions because more than sixty years after our independence, we have not been able to achieve anything near the promise of our expectations”.
President Akufo-Addo charged on the internal auditors to up their games since their input in curbing corruption in the country is paramount.
“As internal auditors, you constitute the first line of defense in that fight against corruption. If you do your job well, you provide an independent and objective assessment of an institution’s operations; specifically, the effectiveness of its internal control structure. When something is going wrong, it can be quickly discovered”.
“Internal auditors, when they function well, use a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluate and provide assurance services, and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. If internal auditors are working well, structures of governance will work smoothly”.
President Akufo-Addo noted that “we are human, and I acknowledge that there will always be those among us who would try to abuse the system, and undermine whatever structures there are. There will be those who would try and see what they can get away with, and there are those who might be making genuine mistakes”.
He cited that “when people know that they cannot get away with spending 10 cedis of public money without accounting for it, they hesitate to take 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 cedis”.
“Every time that we all wince at the details of the reports of the Auditor General at the hearings of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, we know that our internal auditors are not working as they should. Unfortunately, it has become a routine for the Auditor General to uncover cases of financial malfeasance in the public service that would otherwise go unnoticed until he or she appears. It is not pleasant, but we cannot avoid the conclusion that the internal auditor must be either complicit or incompetent. We cannot afford to have internal auditors that would be complicit in the malfeasance they are expected to prevent, and, certainly, we do not need incompetent ones”, he added.