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Ghana Audit Service bids farewell to EU technical team   
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Mr Richard Quartey, the Acting Auditor-General, has paid glowing tribute to the team of experts from the European Union (EU) that visited the country to provide technical assistance to the service since 2001.

Speaking on Friday at a dinner organised by the Ghana Audit Service in Accra to bid farewell to the experts, he said the Phase I and Phase II projects sponsored by the EU, had left an indelible legacy of knowledge, skills and a huge potential to expand the capacity of the service.

"We recognise the support of EU as a challenge to GAS to properly fulfil our role as the supreme audit institution in this country, as the foremost institutions in the common quest to secure transparency and accountability in public financial management systems and processes of this country," he said.

Phase I of the project, which started in 2001 and ended in 2004 provided 90 officials of the GAS with the requisite knowledge to apply modern auditing techniques in their operations with 23 auditors being trained in performance auditing methodologies.

Under the project, 460 computers were distributed to the offices of the service throughout the country with administrative and accounting practices computerised and modernised.

Phase II of the project was designed to deepen the benefits and interventions brought about by the Phase I and to add a new areas such as the production of a corporate plan for 2010 through to 2014, implementation of a resource management system as part of the audit service's planning and budgeting cycles.

Mr Quartey said the overall objective of the Phase II had been to enhance efficiency, accountability and transparency in public financial management of the government.

To ensure the sustainability of the gains made by the EU projects, he said counterpart officers from GAS have been deployed to work with the team of experts to co-ordinate and manage activities executed.

"I am happy to say that the service selected officers who have worked closely with the technical assistance team for about two to three years have become very conversant in their areas," he said adding that the EU team had reduced its involvement in the project activities and had handed over to the counterpart officers.

Mr Wilf Henderson, Project Manager of the EU team, called on government to be committed towards supporting a fully independent modern audit service, stressing that without such an institution, people's confidence in the proper use of state funds would wane.

He commended the Ghanaian team for the hospitality shown his family since 1999 when he came to Ghana and expressed the hope the successes chalked out would be sustained.

Mr Claude Maerten, Ambassador to the EU delegation said the EU was committed towards assisting Ghana effectively to use the development assistance from the Union to meet its development agenda.

He expressed the hope that the strong bilateral relations between the Union and Ghana would help develop the "Better Ghana " touted by President John Evans Atta Mills.
Source: GNA

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