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General News of Monday, 12 April 2021

Source: GNA

Social Auditing Clubs trained to monitor development projects

SACS members in a group photograph SACS members in a group photograph

Social Auditing Clubs (SACS) have been charged to ensure the implementation of audit recommendations at the Metropolitan, Municipal, and the District Assemblies (MMDAs).

They should also ensure the auditing of community-based development projects.

Mr. Jacob Tettch Abuno, the Project Coordinator of Ghana Integrity Initiate (GII), made the call in a speech at a day’s Zonal level capacity building training in Cape Coast.

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) organized the training for SACS members from Central and Western Regions.

Mr Abuno said the training was to strengthen the capacity of members to monitor development projects and to engage duty bearers at their localities in the fight against corruption.

The participants were drawn from Shama, Ahanta West, Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region and Effutu Municipal, Gomoa Central Assin South, and Twifo-Ati Morkwa in the Central Region.

Mr Abuno said CSOs were required to help fight corruption by ensuring that public financial management system was instituted to protect public funds.

He said the formation of SACs was part of efforts to ensure grassroots participation in decision-making, monitoring of awards of contracts, and implementation and service delivery to ensure the efficient use of public resources and accountability in local governance.

The clubs are made up of volunteers who audit community-based projects, report shoddy works to local authorities for remedial action and acts of corruption to the appropriate authorities.

"Monitoring will go a long way to help strengthen the financial management systems of the MMDAs to prevent infractions," he stated.

The participants were taken through accountability mechanisms, the audit and assurance phase, the role of the Auditor-General and his report, and the importance of CSOs.

Mr. Benjamin K. Larbi, a resource person, said the CSOs were equipped with skills to effectively monitor development projects in their respective districts with a focus on procurement and value for money auditing.

"The enactment of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 633) as amended to regulate the processes for procuring goods, works, and services by public entities from the private sector should be done with the intention of ensuring value for the utilization of public money," Mr Labi added.

He said an understanding of the procurement and value for money processes was the surest way to ensure the judicious use of public funds at the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies.

Participants also discussed the basic concept of advocacy, lobbying, and strengthening of communication and information sharing capacities.

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