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 four 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, which includes commitments, authorizations, receipt and disbursement of funds. It helps to verify that there are sufficient controls over cash and cash-like assets and there are also 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.
This Unit is headed by Mr. Mohammed Arimiyao.
b) Performance Audits Unit
This unit basically examines the use of the University’s resources and evaluates 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.
This unit is headed by Mr. Okanto Lartey Addison.
c) Compliance Audits Units
This unit assesses the University’s adherence to laws, regulations, policies and procedures. These include tax laws, Public procurement laws, Financial Administration Act and Regulations, Labour laws, etc.
The unit is headed by Mr. Lebene Israel Klu.
d) Information Technology Audits and Special Investigations Unit
This unit is responsible for auditing the information technology components of the University’s systems and /or processes.
These audits include such things as operating systems, hardware, software, change or version control as well as virus protection and firewalls.
Also, where a fraudulent activity is present or suspected, the unit conducts investigations to among other reasons; confirm the fraud and further determine the extent of the fraud and also provides the necessary evidence for legal purposes.
The unit is currently headed by the Director of Internal Audit.
e) 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.