Divisional Officer Grade One (DOI) Paul Opoku Peprah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Fire Officer, on Tuesday appealed for allocation of enough budgetary for the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) for the prevention of fire outbreaks.
He cited that the GNFS needed requisite funding for effective anti-bushfire campaign, training of fire volunteers and fire safety education.
DOI Peprah made the call at the opening of a capacity building workshop on finance and accounting for regional and district commanders and accounting personnel of the GNF in Sunyani.
Participants attending the three-day seminar, which is on the theme “financial management, a tool/key to organizational development”, were drawn from the Northern, Ashanti, Upper East, Upper West and Brong-Ahafo Regions.
They would be taken through procurement and internal controls, budgeting, salaries and Single Spine Computation, pensions (old system), audit findings and regulations and preparation of payment vouchers, among others.
DOI Peprah explained that prevention or elimination of fires was a collective responsibility and appealed to the general public to assist the Service carry out its duties.
He noted with regret that bush and domestic fires had become an annual ritual especially in Brong Ahafo, indicating that though the service was confronted with a number of challenges, it was working hard to bring the situation under control.
Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, Regional Minister, mentioned personnel accommodation as the main problem that confronted almost all the security agencies in the region.
He said that Government was entering into partnership with South Korea to undertake a housing project to mitigate the country’s accommodation problems.
Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo said that the role of the GNFS in development could not be downplayed, noting that even though the Service was bedevilled with challenges it continued to contribute to national development.
He expressed worry that equipment stacked in the stores of some government departments and agencies had no labelling and proper records for identification, which according to him was contributory to theft at work places.
The Regional Minister said that Government would remain committed to good governance and would not side with any department or agency that might mismanaged state funds.
Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo expressed concern about the delay and inefficiency in financial reporting by some public institutions.
Divisional Officer Grade Three Braro Appiah, Head of Internal Audit of the GNFS, said that the programme had resulted in drastic reduction in the numerous audit queries the Service used to receive from external auditors.
He said that the workshop sensitised participants on the provisions of the three financial Acts passed in 2003 and regulation in 2004.
Divisional Officer Grade III said “The said Acts are FAA 2003 Act, PPA 2003 Act, IAAA 2003 Act and the FAR 2004 LI (1802).
He said that officers would appreciate their responsibilities when conducting businesses on behalf of the Service.
The focus of these Acts, DOIII Appiah said, was to ensure that Government activities were conducted with effectiveness, efficiency and transparency.
He asked participants to take the programme seriously to avoid audit queries.