Section 16 (1) of the Internal Audit Agency Act 2003 (Act 658) makes it mandatory for all public institutions to set up their own Internal Audit Units (IAUs).
Section 32 (1) of the University of Health and Allied Sciences Act, 2011 (Act 828) also reiterates the need for UHAS to establish an Internal Audit Unit (IAU).
Section (83) 1 and 2 of the recently promulgated Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) also states ‘a covered entity shall have an Internal Audit Unit'. The head of the Internal Audit Unit shall report administratively to the Principal Spending Officer and functionally to the Audit Committee of that covered entity’.
Mandate of the Directorate
As an internal oversight unit, the Directorate is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor and the University’s Governing Council for the effectiveness of the University’s risk management, control and governance processes as well as arrangements to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the University’s operations.
Focus of the Directorate
a) Preparing audit plans and conducting audits based on the plan approved by the Audit Committee of the University’s Council.
b) Evaluating the design and effectiveness of the internal control systems in the University and making recommendations for improvements.
c) Making recommendations to safeguard assets and ensure the integrity of financial transactions and financial reporting.
d) Conducting periodic examinations of the accounts of the University.
e) Monitoring to ascertain whether all expenditure incurred have been authorized and are within budgetary provisions.
f) Liaising with External Auditors and ensuring that appropriate action is taken on reported audit findings.
g) Communicating audit results functionally to the Audit Committee and administratively to the Vice-Chancellor.
h) Generally, responsible for ensuring that the University complies with the Internal Audit Agency Act 2003 (Act 658).
i) Undertaking other assignments commissioned by the Vice-Chancellor.
The Directorate has three Units. The core mandate of each Unit is described below:
a) Financial Audits Unit:
The unit is responsible for the review of the University’s accounting and reporting of financial transactions, including commitments, authorisations and receipt and disbursement of funds. It helps to verify that there are sufficient controls over cash and cash-like assets and there are adequate process controls over the acquisition and use of resources. It also focuses on the components of the University’s major business activities such as payroll, cash handling, inventory and fixed assets and their physical security, grants as well as contracts.
Other areas include the University’s internally generated funds, Government funding, Budgeting, Procurement, Accounts Payable and Account Receivable, Imprests and Advances, Students’ Representative Council Accounts, Cash management and Investment.
This Unit is headed by Mr. Mohammed Arimiyao.
b) Performance Audits and Investigations Unit
This unit examines the use of the University’s resources to evaluate whether those resources are being used in the most effective and efficient manner to fulfill the University’s mission and objectives. That is, value for money audits.
Key auditable areas covered by this Unit includes Library Resources, Laboratories, Vocational Training Programme, Faculty Teaching Load, Transport Services, Students Hostels, Human Resources, Admissions and Examinations Processes, Works and Physical Development Audits, Students’ Feeding for level 100 students.
Also, where fraudulent activity is present or suspected, it is this Unit which conducts investigations to among other reasons, confirm the presence and extent of the fraud and also to provide the necessary evidence for legal purposes.
This unit is headed by Mr. Okanto Lartey Addison.
c) Compliance and Information Technology Audits Units
This unit assesses the University’s adherence to laws, regulations, policies and procedures. These include Tax laws, Public procurement laws, Public Financial Management Act and Regulations, Labour laws, Policies and Guidelines of Regulators such as National Accreditation Board, National Council on Tertiary Education, Medical And Dental Council, Nursery and Midwifery Council, Allied Health Professional Council, Pharmacy Council and all other Regulatory Bodies that the University deals with.
It assesses the University’s adherence to grant agreements with Partners as well as the University’s own Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.
The Unit is also responsible for auditing the information technology components of the University’s systems and processes. These audits include such things as the University’s financial management system and students’ online information systems, hardware, software, change or version control as well as virus protection and firewalls.
The unit is headed by Mr. Lebene Israel Klu.
d) Sub offices
The Directorate has plans to open two sub offices at the Hohoe and Keta campuses of the University in the not too distant future to ensure that there is effective and efficient internal audit coverage in all campuses of the University.