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Jean Mensa receives award for protecting public purse

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, has received the prestigious title of the best head of entities under the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) category for the 2022-2023 auditing year, as declared by the Internal Audit Agency (IAA).

Jane Mensa earned this accolade for her exceptional leadership in implementing a series of reforms at the Electoral Commission that have significantly enhanced accountability and transparency in managing public funds within the Commission.

The award was presented to her by Senior Presidential Advisor. Yaw Osafo-Maafo during the IAA’s annual conference held at the University of Professional Studies in Accra on Friday, September 15.

The citation accompanying the award recognized Mrs. Mensa’s commitment to timely implementation of audit recommendations and her unwavering support for the internal audit unit’s activities. The citation further commended her for ensuring that the internal audit unit received adequate resources, space, and logistics, enabling it to fulfill its mandate objectively and independently without intimidation.

Jane Mensa’s actions were acknowledged as having substantially improved the internal control systems of the Electoral Commission.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic after receiving the award, Mrs. Mensa expressed her satisfaction that the Commission’s behind-the-scenes efforts to establish systems for efficient resource management had been recognized by the IAA.

Highlighting some of the Commission’s interventions, she noted that in 2020, they successfully reduced the cost of elections from $13 per voter to $7.70, resulting in a substantial savings of $90 million compared to the 2016 elections.

The Electoral Commission also adopted various procurement practices, primarily employing competitive bidding processes, and established an internal audit unit staffed by professionals in 2020.

Furthermore, the Commission introduced an audit committee, an external body that collaborates with the Commission to ensure compliance with the Public Financial Management Act and the Public Procurement Act.

Jane Mensa emphasized the Commission’s commitment to transparency and accountability, and she viewed the recognition by the IAA as not only a collective achievement but also a motivation to continue ensuring the prudent use of public funds.

“Mainly, we have used a competitive bidding process by advertising about 95 per cent materials in the newspapers with the exception of printing which we have to rely on companies that have been printing since the 1990s.

“We are a commission that believes in transparency and accountability and to the very best of our ability, we try to be prudent in the use of the public purse,” she stressed.

The Internal Audit Agency operates under Section 23 of the Internal Audit Agency Act 2003, (Act 658).

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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