Legal Practitioner, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae says the Auditor General’s report on GETFund is fair as due process was followed.
According to Dr. Osae, the issues people have with the report is due to them not realising that the Auditor General, Daniel Yao Domelevo was not performing a financial audit, rather a performance audit.
He explained the differences between the performance audit and the financial audit.
“It is important we make people understand that the Auditor General indicated that he undertook a performance audit. A performance audit is trying to establish whether the institution has performed its mandate according to the establishment instrument. It is not a financial audit.
“The difference is that in a financial audit, the institution has its financial statement; the auditor goes there to perform verification and vouching to establish whether the verification statement shows a true and fair view of the activities of the institution.
“Vouching can be done in financial audit, but when it comes to performance audit verification is key. And performance audit is more qualitative than quantitative, except that sometimes you need some quantitative information to support the qualitative conclusion. So basically the auditor did a performance audit.”
According to him, certain factors are key when conducting a performance audit, which according to him, the Auditor General had satisfied to come out with the conclusion that GETfund was not supposed to go into the direct administration of the funds.
“Now in doing a performance audit, the functions of the organization as per the establishment instrument are critical. So once you define this, then the professional standards require that you comply with standards that come into play when you’re performing a performance audit.
“And these standards require that you meet with them at an entrance conference, you request for certain key information.
“And let me also explain that the auditor is expected to do either sampling audit or 100percent audit. The 100 percent audit is where the volume of transactions is not that voluminous and he’ll be able to do everything. But looking at the space of time, I suspect he used a sampling audit.
“Now sampling audit requires that you set materiality level in auditing. You can say that transactions above this value I’ll not review them because they’re immaterial. So then once he’s set the materiality level and he samples, he can pick and choose then. So if you’re not finding certain names in the report, it is because of the audit approach.
“Secondly, once you set up those limits you’d have to gather reliable and sufficient audit evidence that will support your conclusion and that’s what he did.
“That’s the conclusion he’s drawn, that GETFund is not supposed to go into the direct administration of the funds, they are to rather supplement it or give it to the scholarship secretariat for the secretariat to implement it. That conclusion I have seen.”
He also added that the Auditor General was being fair when he incorporated the response of the GetFund administration into his report. However, he was not certain why the Auditor General had entirely focused on the administrators and not the board of trustees who are expected to direct the operations of the Fund.
“But my question is why did the Auditor General over concentrate on the administrator? Because when you look at the GETFund act we have a board of trustees and the functions for the board of trustees have been provided for under section 7. It is clear that they are expected to provide directions to the management of the funds.
“So if there is any culpability, you hold them responsible because the administrator merely implemented the directives and the directions of the board of trustees.”
He concluded saying “but my view is that the auditor applied auditing procedures expected of him under that particular circumstance. His conclusions are fair and anybody who thinks that he’s being unfair to them can take the auditor on.
“The auditor owes a duty to all of us, to third parties, to apply the due care, skill and diligence required of a professional and there is also professional negligence in there if you feel he’s been negligent.
“So my personal view is that he’s done his work, we should leave it at that, those who feel slighted by his work can take him on, on another level.”