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publicationJune 18, 2024

Independence and Accountability in Governance: Assessing the independence of the Supreme Audit Institution in Ghana and reviewing the audit recommendation follow up process

Independence and Accountability in Governance: Assessing the independence of the Supreme Audit Institution in Ghana


  • This assessment has been conducted to review the independence of the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Ghana.
  • According to INTOSAI, a Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) is a critical link in a country’s accountability chain. Also audit recommendations unimplemented, are lessons unlearned.
  • The review of audit recommendations follow-up processes indicates the following:
  • Ghana scored a C (8.0-8.5/10) In 2021, in a review performed as part of the SAIs Independence Index, as shown in the 2021 Global Synthesis Report published by the World Bank.
  • Between 2023 and 2024, Ghana scored 6.5, which is a D in another assessment by the World Bank using the InSAI methodology for SAI independence, indicating that SAI independence is Moderate, i.e, some independence indicators were met, but there is room for improvement.
  • The assessment of the SAIs independence is based on a benchmarking exercise against international standards and practices. It highlights options for reforms to strengthen the independence of the SAI of Ghana. These include both policy and operational recommendations.
  • In terms of policy recommendations, some policies can be reinforced and, several INTOSAI principles may be included in the legal framework, and these include but are not limited to the recommendations below.
  • There is the need to set clear Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to clarify the audit recommendation follow-up processes to all stakeholders and equip the IAUs with the required training, office equipment and relevant tracking databases to carry out their work effectively.
  • Engage in stakeholder dialogues to promote effective collaboration between the IAA, IAUs, Audit Committees, Spending Officers and PAC to promote effective implementation of the SOPs.
  • In addition, there is the need to refocus attention on all types of audits as required by the laws of Ghana, to encourage and promote probity and accountability in governance and the deployment of limited public resources in the best interest of the public. The PFM Act, 2016 (PFMA) Act 921 places the responsibility of audit follow-up on Audit Committees, Internal Audit Agencies, Spending Officers, and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Despite the legal requirements, audit recommendations are not effectively followed up on or tracked.
  • The assessment also calls for Spending Officers to undertake a root cause analysis of audit issues and communicate these clearly to enhance understanding and increase the likelihood of resolution of identified infractions and/or irregularities.