Ghana Audit Service Act 

Ghana Audit Service Act

Section – 11 – Audit of public accounts generally

(1) The public accounts of Ghana and of all public offices, including the courts, the central and local government administrations, of the Universities and public institutions of like nature, of any public corporation or other body or organisation established by an Act of Parliament shall be audited and reported on by the Auditor-General.

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(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the Auditor-General or any person authorised or appointed for the purpose by the Auditor-General shall have access to all books, records, returns and other documents including documents in computerized and electronic form relating to or relevant to those accounts.

(3) The public accounts of Ghana and of all persons and institutions referred to in subsection (1) including computerized financial and accounting systems and electronic transactions shall be kept in such form as the Auditor-General shall approve and shall be subject to review by the Auditor-General.

(4) An internal auditor of an organisation or body to which subsection (1) applies shall submit a copy of each report issued as a result of internal audit work carried out to the Auditor-General.

(5) All financial and accounting systems in respect of the accounts provided under subsection (1) shall be subject to prior approval of the Auditor-General and any change in any such system shall be notified to the Auditor-General and shall be subject to prior approval before implementation.

(6) Any head of a public institution or other body subject to auditing by the Auditor-General who fails to comply with subsection (5) is liable to be surcharged with the cost of any loss occasioned by defective or deficient internal controls of auditing.

Section – 12 – Audit of foreign exchange transactions

(1) The Bank of Ghana shall, not later than three months

(a) after the end of the first six months of its financial year; and

(b) after the end of its financial year,

submit to the Auditor-General for audit, a statement of its foreign exchange receipts and payments or transfers in and outside Ghana.

(2) The Auditor-General shall, not later than three months after the submission of the statement referred to in section (1) submit his report to Parliament on the statement.

Section – 13 – Examination of accounts

The Auditor-General shall examine in such manner as he thinks necessary the public and other government accounts and shall ascertain whether in his opinion

(a) the accounts have been properly kept;

(b) all public monies have been fully accounted for, and rules and procedures applicable are sufficient to secure an effective check on the assessment, collection and proper allocation of the revenue;

(c) monies have been expended for the purposes for which they were appropriated and the expenditures have been made as authorised;

(d) essential records are maintained and the rules and procedures applied are sufficient to safeguard and control public property; and

(e) programmes and activities have been undertaken with due regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness in relation to the resources utilised and results achieved.

Section – 14 – Auditing of statutory corporation

(1) In respect of the accounts of a statutory corporation, a state enterprise or a public commercial institution operating under its own enactment, the Auditor-General or any person appointed by him shall upon the examination of the accounts of the body or institution, express his opinion as to whether the accounts present fairly financial information in accordance with the applicable statutory provisions, stated accounting policies of the Government and is in accordance with generally accepted accounting standards and essentially consistent with that of the preceding year.

(2) The Auditor-General or any person appointed by the Auditor-General to audit the accounts of statutory corporations shall in addition to the audit report draw attention to the following

(a) the profitability, liquidity, stability and solvency of the corporation and also the performance of the shares of the corporation on the capital markets, where relevant;

(b) whether there was delay in payment of government portion of any declared dividend, if any, into the Consolidated Fund;

(c) any significant cases of fraud or losses and the underlying causes;

(d) any internal control weakness noted; and

(e) the general corporate performance indicating

(i) achievement against set targets and objectives; and

(ii) whether the finances of the body have been conducted with due regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness having regard to the resources utilised.

Section – 15 – Examination on receipt of Controller and Accountant-General

The Auditor-General shall, upon receipt of the annual statements of public accounts required, under sections 40 and 41 of the Financial Administration Decree, 1979 (S.M.C.D. 221), to be made by the Controller and Accountant-General, examine the statement and certify whether in his opinion the statements present fairly financial information on the accounts in accordance with accounting policies of the Government and consistent with statements of the preceding year in accordance with best international practices, and may state such reservation or comment that he considers necessary.

Section – 16 – Submission of special audit report to Parliament

The Auditor-General may in addition to the audit of public accounts, carry out in the public interest such special audits or reviews as he considers necessary and shall submit reports on the audits or review undertaken by him to Parliament.

Section – 17 – Disallowance and surcharge by Auditor-General

(1) The Auditor-General shall specify to the appropriate head of department or institution the amount due from any person upon whom he has made a surcharge or disallowance and the reasons for the surcharge or disallowance.

(2) A sum specified by the Auditor-General to be due from any person shall be paid by that person to the department or institution as the case may be, within 60 days after it has been so specified.

(3) A person aggrieved by a disallowance or surcharge made by the Auditor-General may appeal to the High Court not later than the expiration of 60 days prescribed in subsection (2).

(4) In accordance with article 187(10) the Rules of Court Committee may, by constitutional instrument, make Rules of Court for the purposes of subsection (3) of this section.

(5) Any sum which is lawfully due under this section shall, on civil proceedings taken by the Head of Department in a court be recoverable as a civil debt and where the person surcharged is in receipt of remuneration from government or any institution, the remuneration shall be attached to the extent of the sum lawfully due.

(6) In any proceedings for the recovery of that sum a certificate signed by the Auditor-General shall be prima facie evidence of the facts certified.

(7) The Auditor-General may with the prior approval of Parliament revoke any surcharge made under this section.

Section – 18 – Independence and powers of the Auditor-General

(1) In the performance of his functions under this Act or any other law the Auditor-General

(a) shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority;

(b) may disallow any item of expenditure which is contrary to law and surcharge

(i) the amount of any expenditure disallowed upon the person responsible for incurring or authorising the expenditure;

(ii) any sum which has not been duly brought into account, upon the person by whom the sum ought to have been brought into account; or

(iii) the amount of any loss or deficiency, upon any person by whose negligence or misconduct the loss or deficiency has been incurred.

(2) Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) shall not preclude the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, from requesting the Auditor- General in the public interest, to audit, at any particular time, the accounts of any such body or organisation as is referred to in section 11(1).

Section – 19 – Adherence to international practices

The Auditor-General shall in the audit of accounts under this Act adhere to methods that are consistent with emerging practices in governmental auditing such as environmental and forensic audits adopted by the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions and other internationally recognised bodies.

Section – 20 – Submission of Auditor-General’s report to Parliament

(1) The Auditor-General shall, within six months after the end of the immediately preceding financial year to which each of the accounts mentioned in this Part relates, submit his report to Parliament and shall, in the report, draw attention to any irregularities in the accounts audited and to any other matter which in his opinion ought to be brought to the notice of Parliament.

(2) Without limiting the scope of subsection (1), the Auditor-General in his report to Parliament on the public accounts shall draw attention to any case in which he has observed that

(a) an officer or employee of Government has wilfully or negligently omitted to collect or receive any public money due to the Government;

(b) any public money was not duly accounted for and paid into the Consolidated Fund or other designated public account;

(c) an appropriation was exceeded or was applied for a purpose or in a manner not authorised by law;

(d) an expenditure was not authorised or properly vouched for or certified;

(e) there has been a deficiency through fraud, default or mistake of any person;

(f) applicable internal control and management measures are inefficient or ineffective;

(g) the use or custody of property, money, stamps, securities, equipment, stores, trust money, trust property or other assets has occurred in a manner detrimental to the State;

(h) resources have not been used with due regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness in relation to the results attained;

(i) in the public interest, the matter should be brought to the notice of Parliament.