• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Accountant General to sanction defaulting MDAs on submission of audit report

Ahmed Idris

Ahmed Idris, Accountant-General of the Federation has threatened to sanction Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government that fail to comply with the provisions of Financial Regulations that bothers around submission of audit reports.

The AGF while addressing a virtual meeting of directors/Heads of Internal Audit of MDAs said that most agencies off government are often submit their reports late, while others have wilfully refused to render these reports which are clear violation of the provision of the Financial Regulations.

“May I inform that refusal to forward these reports by any MDA forthwith would be regarded as an attempt to undermine the authority of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Head of Internal Audit of such defaulting MDA(s) will be duly sanctioned”.

But to facilitate the audit process, the AGF introduced the Interactive Data Extract Analysis (IDEA) software to be deployed to MDAs and expected to enhance and optimise the internal control environment. The Audit Modernization is a key component of the Economic Reform and Governance Project, Idris noted.

“We are upgrading the level of audit from current practices to a level where audits are conducted in line with international best practices, using modern approach and information and communication technologies,” he stressed.

He explained that the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, as part of the Public Financial Management Reforms, engaged a Consultant (Cowater International Inc.) with the objective of Modernizing the Internal Audit Function in the Public Sector with the view of recommending measures to increase professional performance of Internal Auditors in accordance with Internationally recognized best practices.

“Some of the recommendations of the Consultants include enhancing the effectiveness of internal audit functions and establishment of a professional cadre within the Public Service for Internal Auditors as against the current practice”.

“It is gratifying to note that we have made significant progress towards the audit modernization project in the following areas; Trainings of Audit Monitoring Department staff to assist in training other Internal Auditors on Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAAT); the establishment of an audit Data capturing centre with a view to securing an interface with the IPPIS and GIFMIS Platforms through which transaction can be viewed online-real-time”.

“For this purpose, 20 numbers laptops and 20 desktops computers have been acquired; Approval have also being granted for the acquisition of five (5) numbers of Interactive Data Extract Analysis (IDEA) software Licences that would be used by the Audit Monitoring Department and deployed to some Pilot Agencies that indicate interest to acquire the software”.

According to the AGF, The IDEA software is a computer based file interrogation tool which analyses data in multiple ways and allows for extraction, sampling and manipulation of data in order to identify errors, problems, specific issues and trends.

“I have no doubt that the deployment of the IDEA software would enhance and optimise the internal control environment. I encourage all MDAs concerned to key into this project by acquiring this software so as to speed-up the Internal Audit functions Modernization”.

Idris reiterated on the need for Auditors to put in their reports promptly as and when due as specified by FR 1706 which states thus: “The Internal Auditor shall produce monthly, quarterly and half-yearly reports for the Accounting Officer on the progress of the audit with copies to the Accountant-General of the Federation and Auditor-General for the Federation”.