Ghana has dropped further from the grade “C” it scored in 2021 on the independence of its Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) i.e., the Auditor General’s Office to a “D” in the latest World Bank assessment covering the period 2023 to 2024.

In an Independence and Accountability in Governance report, assessing the independence of the Supreme Audit Institution in Ghana and reviewing the audit recommendation follow-up process, the World Bank reveals between 2023 and 2024, Ghana scored 6.5, which is a D, using its InSAI methodology for SAI independence.

This is a significant drop in the C (8.0-8.5/10) Ghana scored in 2021, in the 2021 Global Synthesis Report published by the World Bank.

The D score according to the World Bank, indicates a moderate SAI independence emphasizing that while some independence indicators were met, there is room for improvement.

The assessment of the SAI independence which is based on a benchmarking exercise against international standards and practices further highlights options for reforms to strengthen the independence of the SAI of Ghana.

Ghana is being encouraged to set clear Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to clarify the audit recommendation follow-up processes to all stakeholders and equip the (Internal Audit Units) IAUs with the required training, office equipment, and relevant tracking databases to carry out their work effectively.

The assessment further highlights the non-implementation of audit recommendations.

“There is the need to refocus attention on all types of audits as required by the laws of Ghana, to encourage and promote probity and accountability in governance and the deployment of limited public resources in the best interest of the public. The PFM Act, 2016 (PFMA) Act 921 places the responsibility of audit follow-up on Audit Committees, Internal Audit Agencies, Spending Officers, and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Despite the legal requirements, audit recommendations are not effectively followed up on or tracked.’, the World Bank asserts.

The assessment finally calls for Spending Officers to undertake a root cause analysis of audit issues and communicate these clearly to enhance understanding and increase the likelihood of resolution of identified infractions and/or irregularities.

Source: Ghana/ Kojo