The paper examines the factors that affect the effectiveness of internal auditing in local government institutions in Ghana. Questionnaires were administered to the Internal Audit staff and Audit Committee members of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly in the Greater Accra region. Factor analyses were used to answer the closed-ended questions whilst the open-ended type was analysed based on recurring themes. It was found that the internal auditors do have the requisite educational and professional capacity to execute their mandate and were accorded the requisite support. Yet lack of management support through IT skills training, failure to discuss and timely implement audit recommendations are rendering the auditors ineffective. This research helps to awaken the awareness of policy-makers and researchers on issues that could hamper internal auditors’ contributions to good governance strategies in local government institutions by calling on relevant stakeholders to address the thieving challenges. However, the current study covers only the perception of internal auditors and audit committee members. Future research may consider the views of stakeholders in other local government institutions in Ghana and other parts of the world to deepen the generalisation of the current findings. Nonetheless, lack of management support through IT skills training and timely implementation of audit recommendations have rendered the internal auditors as “dogs which can only bark but cannot bite”.
Keywords: Accountability, audit committee, Ghana, internal audit effectiveness, local government institutions.
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