Finance officers at the Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies and Agencies have been urged to adopt the Public Financial Management Act (921) as their guide and source of reference in all their duties as professional gate keepers of state finance.
The Act, which was passed in 2016, is to among others ensure, discipline, effective and efficient use of public funds as well as safety, custody and integrity of public funds in line with the new global trends in accounting.
Mr Eugene Ofosuhene, the Controller and Accountant General, said this when he interacted with the Western Regional staff of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) as part of a day’s working visit to the region.
The Controller and Accountant General visit which has already taken him to the Volta and Central regions is to enable him to know at first hand the challenges and successes of the department.
Mr Ofosuhene said his outfit would not support or defend any staff of the department who goes contrary to the Act, adding that “whether you preparing a budget or gathering any financial information, the Act should be your source of reference”.
He said finance officers should not allow politicians, particularly MMDCEs to push them around to spend outside the assembly’s budget adding that no MMDCE can remove or sack them, “it is only the CAGD that can decide your removal or transfer”.
Mr Ofosuhene said the Department would continue to support and stand behind them so far as they perform their duties professionally, efficiently and effectively.
The Controller and Accountant–General said the management of public finance is a fundamental responsibility of all governments and that the CAGD is calling on them to be committed and dedicated in the discharge of their duties.
Mr Ofosuhene said a number of policies and interventions have been introduced by the Department to strengthen and enhance service delivery in the financial sector, including the Ghana Integrated Finance Management and Information System (GIFMIS) and the Electronic Salary Payment Voucher (ESPV), Treasury Single Account (TSA) as well as the promulgation of the Public Financial Management Act 2016.
He said the GIFMIS is to facilitate budget preparation and execution, accounting and financial reporting, cash management, assets management and payroll management among others and that since the implementation of GIFMIS in 2012 a total of sixty MMDAs have benefited and that very soon the remaining 156 MMDAs across the country would also benefit.
He said in the Western Region, five out of the 22 districts have already benefited and urged the staff of the department to take the GIFMIS programmes seriously since many of them would become irrelevant in their duties if they are not able to process documents through the GIFMIS.
Touching on the ESPV, he said its implementation has brought positive results which has among others down sized the government payroll, adding that in August the salaries of 9000 workers was stopped because they were not validated and that in September another 7000 had their salaries stopped due to the same problem.
“Since its introduction in 2014 the ESPV has to a large extent reduced the incidence of what has become known as ghost workers and thus making significant savings for the state”.
The Controller and Accountant General said it is important that all join the band wagon of computerization or be left out of the noble accountancy profession.
Mr Joseph Adjei, Regional Director of the Department, took the staff through the core values of the department and enumerated the challenges and achievement of the department in the region.
He said inadequate staffing, promotion, grading and training remained a challenge for the department in the region.