The acting Controller and Accountant General, Mr Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, has charged state agencies to use the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) to process all financial transactions or face sanctions.
He said it was unlawful for state agencies, including ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), statutory funds and metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), to process payments outside the GIFMIS, which was instituted to track all government expenditure and match them with budgets.
He was speaking during a durbar with staff of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) to spell out his vision for the department and solicit their commitment and support to serve the country.
Apart from the GIFMIS, Mr Kwaning-Bosompem also advised state agencies to conform to other public financial management initiatives and reforms such as the Electronic Salary Payment Voucher (ESPV), the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer.
“Collectively and individually, these initiatives have come a long way in ensuring that issues to do with wanton corruption in the public sector, ghost names on the government payroll and other malpractices have been brought down significantly,” he said.
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GIFMIS is an integrated computerised financial management system that facilitates budget preparation and execution, accounting and financial reporting, cash management, assets management, human resource and payroll management in the public sector.
It brings all government payments into a centralised location and in most cases makes direct transfer of funds to the payee, as the system is linked to the government’s accounts at the Bank of Ghana.
It is part of a wide range of reforms by the government introduced to improve fiscal discipline, contain deficit and eliminate corruption as part of concerted efforts to ensure good governance.
As of March 2018, 156 MDAs, MMDAs and other state agencies had been migrated onto the system.
Mr Kwaning-Bosompem advised heads of finance and accounting departments in the public sector to be vigilant and closely scrutinise all financial reports for accountability.
“Effective financial reporting is essential for good public financial management. It is also important due to the public interest in the proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee,” he said.
On his vision for the CAGD, the controller and accountant general said he would build on what his predecessors achieved and move the department to a higher level.
He said under his tenure, the CAGD would embark on a payroll sensitisation on the use of the electronic salary payment voucher (E-SPV) and other related payroll uses to ensure a credible government payroll.
He further promised to provide an enabling environment for all staff of the CAGD to encourage them to give of their best.
However, he warned that he would not tolerate bad working behaviour such as lateness, insubordination and fraudulent activities that would tarnish the reputation of the department.
“I will not compromise on this issue at all. As responsible officers, we must all adhere to the rules regarding punctuality and good working ethics in the Civil Service,” he said.
For his part, the Chief Director at the Office of the Head of Civil Service, Mr Joseph Brocke, advised staff of the CAGD to work hard to help improve the public sector.