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Minority reacts to Bawumia’s allegedly missing GH¢7b

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The Minority in Parliament has reacted to Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s imputing that the previous government failed to account for GH¢7 billion they spent while in office.

Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, Ranking Member on Finance, told a news conference in Accra, that the GH¢7 billion expenditure was captured in a special government data system at the Finance Ministry.

“As we interrogated the data to see exactly why our public finances are in the state they are, we found that there is GH¢7 billion of expenditure that has not been disclosed,” Vice President Bawumia had said.

The Vice President said, “I wondered why data for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 fiscal years given the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) are not complete. Where have the [GH¢7 billion] been hiding all these years? he queried in a reaction to the amount as the NPP Government gets itself ready for the 2017 Budget.

However, the Minority National Democratic Congress, addressing a press conference in Accra said the expenditures were captured under a new financial management system called the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (GIFMIS), which the current government does not understand.

He says previously, it took three to six months for government expenditures to appear on government database as arrears that the state should pay. But under GIFMIS, expenditures are captured immediately, hence the GH¢7 billion figure.

“We in the Minority are displeased with the tendencies of Dr Bawumia to rushing to the population and media with the information particularly the structural measures and reforms without taking the time to understand the rationale for its implementation.

“The government is obliged to incorporate the commitment as a first charge to ministries departments and agencies budget for 2017,” he stated.

Mr Forson explained that the reforms formed part of the budget responsibility provisions in the new Public Financial Management (PFM) law, then move on to pass the regulations needed to ensure a shift to commitment basis of accounting.

“We have noted already that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) may not have been aware of this new FM law as they claim they want to implement their manifesto.

“We charge the NPP to focus on enhancing the contract database which is part of the next phase of the PFM reforms than the unnecessary politicking since the political campaigns are over,” he said.

Source: GNA

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