The Ministry of Finance has launched a manual to guide the implementation of a composite budget for metropolitan, municipal and district Assemblies (MMDAs).
The composite budget forms part of public financial management reforms by the government aimed at improving efficiency and accountability of MMDAs operating at various levels.
Also, the composite budget is to see to the effective allocation of resources to enhance service delivery of the various MMDAs.
At the maiden conference for MMDA budget officers in Accra, a Deputy minister of finance, Mr Kwaku Ricket Hagan, explained that the various reforms by the ministry was to deal with challenges of public financial management to put such systems on a sound footing and propel the country for growth and also move it from the present low middle income status into a higher middle income bracket.
He said the government was committed to ensuring that resources for decentralised functions were transferred through the composite budget process to MMDAs to improve service delivery.
“I assure you that government is taking the necessary steps to ensure that resources are disbursed in a more predictable and timely manner,” he said.
According to Mr Hagan, the ongoing fiscal decentralisation reforms which entailed entrusting the assemblies with the authority and capacity to generate, allocate and utilise financial resources to promote socio- economic development of the districts would not make any meaning unless the lapses in financial management at the MMDA level were addressed.
The forum, he said, was apt as it provided the opportunity for stakeholders to discuss their respective roles in improving financial management and service delivery on a more sustainable basis.
The deputy minister also charged the budget officers at the MMDA level to play their roles effectively in ensuring the elimination of weaknesses that undermine budgeting performance and produces poor budgetary outcomes.
The acting Director of Budget at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Patrick Nomo, appealed to participants to use the platform created to network extensively and share experiences as part of strategies to improve budgeting and financial management at the districts.
By Jessica Acheampong – Accra
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