The Internal Audit function of Ministries, Departments and Agencies is a very important element of their governance and public financial management processes. Public sector internal audit supports senior management by objectively assessing the organisations’ overall performance in fiscal discipline, and their allocation of resources against priority needs and delivery of public services.
In an effort to ensure a high standard of professionalism and quality of service, the Institute of Internal Auditors require practising internal auditors to implement quality assurance programmes. Ongoing and periodic reviews of internal audit unit’s performance allows for:A determination of the IAU’s compliance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards)
The Internal Audit Agency of Ghana’s vision is to provide value – added internal audit services for accountable performance in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
As an oversight body, the Agency is responsible for ensuring the establishment of Quality Assurance Review Scheme (QARS) in Internal Audit Units (IAUs) of MDAs and MMDAs. Its accomplishments to date in the development and practice of Quality Assurance are as follows:
- Monitoring of the IAU audit plans and reviewing of audit reports;
- Conducting annual evaluation of the IAUs using a set of criteria and providing feedback on the quality and performance of the IAUs;
- Developed a draft Quality Assessment manual;
- Facilitated workshops for staff of IAUs from six Public Universities; and
- Sponsoring selected Agency and IAU staff’s participation in Quality Assurance workshop facilitated by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Inc.
However, the Agency does not possess the competency level required to fully implement quality assurance programmes in all MDAs and MMDAs. Key areas of support required by the Agency include:
- Developing its capacity and competencies to lead changes in current quality assurance practices and associated internal audit work;
- Providing it with an appropriate methodology and skills to revise/update the quality assurance manual thereby ensuring relevance and currency to the profession, their work and needs of key stakeholders;
- Developing its capacity to effectively train IAUs personnel in performing quality assurance practice in accordance with the IIA’s standards; and
- Developing its capacity to perform quality assurance reviews and streamlining them into the Agency’s existing monitoring and reporting mechanisms.
The Agency therefore requires technical assistance in developing an effective quality assurance and improvement programme for internal audit units of Ghana’s public service.
Project purpose and objectives
The primary purpose of this project is to strengthen the capacity of the Internal Audit Agency of Ghana to lead and oversee the development and implementation of Quality Assurance Programmes in the IAUs of Ghana’s MDAs and MMDAs.
The project is expected to improve the Internal Audit Agency of Ghana’s capacity and competencies to effectively lead the implementation of quality assurance programmes in the IAUs of MDAs and MMDAs, in accordance with Ghana’s statutory requirements and international internal audit standards.
Implementations and scope of work
Under the direct supervision of the Director General, the consultant will work closely with the Acting Director - Operations of the Internal Audit Agency of Ghana.
Stage 1: March/April 2012 (8 person days)
The expert will perform a desk top review of the draft QA manual and all related documentation and provide advice by email in the following areas:
- Identify gaps and/or weaknesses in the current draft of the Agency’s QA manual;
- Critique IAA’s approach to identifying, designing and implementing an effective and efficient Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme (QAIP) and associated QARs (including peer reviews) in:
a. the Internal Audit Agency of Ghana; as well as;
b. MDAs and MMDAs of Ghana;
Provide suitable recommendations, giving consideration to the IIA’s standards, Ghana’s Internal Audit legislation and regulation, vision and objectives, and applicable leading practices within the profession;
Design a proposed structure and mechanism for IAA to effectively monitor the operations of IAUs in MDAs and MMDAs; also to be included in the QA manual.
Hold initial consultation meetings with the Agency via email and develop a detailed work plan for this project;
Prepare training materials for the Manual Revision/Validation and QAIP workshops.
The IAA team is required to review the recommendations and liaise with the consultant during this period by email to ensure that the first draft of the revised manual is available for the second phase.
Stage 2: 16-27 April 2012 (10 person days)
During the consultant’s first visit to Ghana, s/he will, among other things:
- Consult with the IAA and assist in developing a comprehensive quality assurance strategy for IAA and its IAUs. It should be aligned to IAA’s strategic and operational plans and budget so that it can be administered by the Agency;
- Provide advice and guidance to the Internal Audit Agency in developing a pilot /phased implementation action plan for QAIPs and QARs in MDAs and MMDAs;
- Convene a 2 day Manual Revision and Validation workshop with key stakeholders, to:
- Demonstrate an appropriate methodology for manual revision; and
- Validate the revised draft QA manual;
- Facilitate a 3 day Quality Assurance Workshop, primarily for IAA staff providing guidance on QARs, with an additional one (1) day for a train-the-trainer component. The workshop should be designed to ensure that participants benefit from hands-on experience in QA implementation and reviews.
Stage 3: May 2012 (4 person days)
The IAA is required to conduct a customised QAR exercise at an IAU, evaluate their application, the tools and guidance in manual, and prepare the QA report which also highlights the lesson learnt and determine where changes may be necessary in their QA programme. During this period, the consultant will be available by email to assist in their preparation for the exercise and will review their report and lessons learnt.
Stage 4: 1-8 June 2012 (6 person days)
During the consultant’s final visit to Ghana s/he, will as part of the implementation plan:
- Conduct one 2-day training session for 20 IAA and IAU staff in implementing quality assurance improvement program; and
- Co-facilitate with IAA another 2-day workshop. This is to ensure that the IAA develops the skills/competencies to continue training IAUs in QAs.
The additional two days are to assist with preparation and post event analysis with the IAA.
The Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD) requires the consultant to provide the following:
Desk Review and Offsite Support
- A work plan for the project
- An inception report
- First draft of the revised QA manual
- Training Materials for Validation and QA workshops
First Field/Onsite Visit
- QA Strategy and Implementation Plan for the IAA
- Validation and Manual Review Workshop completed
- Validated QA manual
- QA and Train-the-Trainer workshop completed
- Report of Field assignment
- Report on IAA’s performance of piloted QAR exercise
- Two QA workshops for IAUs completed;
- Post evaluation report
The Project Adviser, GIDD will make a follow up/evaluation visit during Stage 4 of the project.
The total budget of the assignment is an all inclusive fee of £14,400 (i.e. consultancy fee, 2 return economy class tickets, per diem and incidentals). An initial payment of £4,000 will be paid upon signature of the contract, second payment of £5,000 upon receipt of the field assignment report of stage two with the balance paid upon receipt and acceptance of the post evaluation report of stage four.
Qualifications and experience
- A t least 10 years of internal auditing experience, with a least five at the managerial level;
- Professionally-recognized audit/accounting certification – e.g. Certified Internal Auditor, Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (F/ACCA), Chartered Public Finance Accountant (CPFA);
- Current knowledge of the Institute of Internal Audit (IIA) Standards;
- At least 4 years experience in the IIA Quality Assurance methodology including establishing quality assurance programmes and conducting quality assurance reviews;
- Computer skills, including word processing, spreadsheet, power point presentation;
- Strong presentation, facilitation &negotiation skills;
- Proficiency in written and oral English;
- Masters Degree in Accountancy, Finance, Auditing, Project management or equivalent;
- Practical experience in Commonwealth Secretariat project finance management policies;
- Possesses team leadership skills as well as interpersonal and communication skills;
- Experience working with governments of Commonwealth developing countries