Government has voted $1.5million for the automation of the auditing process in the country to make the Ghana Audit Service more responsive to the changing dynamics in the fight against corruption.

An additional $500,000 has been allocated under the Public Financial Management (PFM) project to support the Service to train staff in the use of computer-aided tools and to build capacity for greater performance.

The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia announced these measures at the 8th Annual Accountability Lectures and launching of 2017 Financial Year’s Audit organised by Service on Monday in Accra.

It is under the theme, “Protecting the Public Purse – Our Commitment Towards Ghana’s Development Agenda”.

Dr Bawumia said automation of the audit process is part of the ongoing Public Financial Management reforms aimed at enhancing efficiency in the public sector.

“It is sad to say that while almost all government systems are either automated or are in the process of being automated, the Audit Service is still using manual auditing processes. Imagine the irony and the ineffectiveness of auditing automated systems using manual auditing processes.

“I am happy to say that following the mid-term review of the PFM project, the Audit Service has been allocated $1.5million to be used in automating the auditing process.

“A fully automated Audit Service will take the role of protecting the public purse to a level higher than it is today. It is time for the Audit Service to go paperless,” Vice President Bawumia declared.

Protecting the public purse was a major electioneering message for then-candidate Akufo-Addo and his team and Dr Bawumia was happy efforts are being made to ensure this comes to pass.

He commended the Auditor-General and his staff, whose decision to undertake a special audit into the liabilities of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies led to the disallowance of payments totalling GHC5.4billion to ‘ghost’ companies, a major saving to the public purse.

“This is a testimony that the Audit Service is committing itself to protect the public purse.

“I urge the Auditor-General to sustain this exercise in order to instil discipline in public financial management at all levels of government and to deter public officers who might be contemplating to dupe the State using their unpatriotic practices.

“Corruption is a destroyer of nation-building. It adversely affects all of us. It is not a partisan matter. The fight is on and we must succeed.”