The United Kingdom, on Thursday, signed a memorandum with Ghana to provide the nation’s public financial management system with a £12 million support towards better revenue utilisation and accountability.
The Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) is a project that aims to improve the effectiveness of expenditure, reduce wasteful spending and make it easier to track what government monies have been spent on.
Mr Eric Hawthron, Country Director of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, (DFID) who signed the agreement on behalf of his country, explained that £10 million out of the total grant will be directed to the GIFMIS while the remaining two million Pounds will be used to support technical assistance for specialized consultancy services when necessary.
He pointed out that the DFID, now UKaid, is the public face of the UK government’s Department for International Development, which has been introduced to help make it easier for people to see where the UK’s aid budget is being spent and how it is being used to tackle global poverty.
“The UK government is committed to assist Ghana to reduce poverty and reach a middle income status as envisaged by the government of Ghana,” he said.
He stressed that the GIFMIS would help the country improve service delivery and the allocation of resources by using new tools and processes as well as ensuring best practices.
Mr Hawthron also announced UKaid’s intention to provide additional £1.863m to the Project and Financial Analysis unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to ensure that value-for-money considerations were taken into account in major public investments.
The Project and Financial Analysis Unit was created in 2007, funded on a pilot basis by the UKaid, and has now been mandated to take on responsibility for policy on Public-Private partnership as well as reviewing proposals.
Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who signed the agreement on Ghana’s behalf, said under the GIFMIS project, the government would publish standard annual financial reports and strengthen internal controls and auditing capabilities.
The GIFMIS, he said, would also enhance annual budget preparation, modernize revenue collection processes, empower local government units, modernize electronic data transmission, storage and disaster recovery systems, among others.
Dr Duffuor commended the UK government for her continued support for Ghana and pledged the government’s commitment to do everything possible to make real progress in the country’s public financial management systems to propel the Better Ghana Agenda.