Says failure to submit report will henceforth incur severe penalties
BY GLORIA USMAN, ABUJA – The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, has warned that Auditors in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government that fail to submit timely reports of their activities will henceforth be severely sanctioned.
He also said Heads of Internal Audit in such defaulting MDAs will be duly considered complicit in a deliberate attempt to abuse existing extant financial regulations and undermine the AGF’s authority.
Idris specifically noted that most MDAs are embarrassingly behind in their audit reporting while others have wilfully refused to render their reports in clear violation of the provision of the financial regulations.
He therefore harped on the need for Auditors to always forward their reports promptly as specified by FR 1706 which states that; “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”.
AGF Idris, who spoke during a zoom virtual meeting with Directors and Heads of Internal Audit of MDAS on Wednesday in Abuja, also identified Audit modernisation as a key component of government’s Economic Reform and Governance Project (ERGP).
He said trainings of Audit Monitoring Department personnel will go a long way to assist in training other Internal Auditors on Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAAT).
The AGF further stated that 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 explained that as part of the Public Financial Management Reforms, his office engaged a Consultant (Cowater International Inc.) with the objective of Modernising 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 recognised best practices.
According to him; “Some of the recommendations 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”.
Idris further said the OAGF established 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, adding that for this purpose, 20 numbers laptops and 20 desktops computers have being acquired.
He said; “I have no doubt that the deployment of the IDEA software would enhance and optimise the internal control environment”.
Idris said approval have also being granted for the acquisition of five 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.
He said; “The IDEA software is a computer based file interrogation tool that can be used by numerous individuals and organisations including auditors, accountants, investigators and IT staff.
“It analyses data in multiple ways and allows for extraction, sampling and manipulation of data in order to identify errors, problems, specific issues and trends”.
“It is in continuation of the Audit Modernisation project that the audit Monitoring department is organising this interactive/sensitisation session to bring to the knowledge of all Internal Auditors about the IDEA software, since it is meant to be deployed service-wide”, the AGF said