Business News of Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Heads of finance and treasury officers in state institutions have been warned to guard against engaging in activities that will contravene the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act, 2016 (Act 921), otherwise they will be imprisoned or punished severly commensurate with the offence.
The Controller and Accountant-General, Mr Eugene Ofosuhene, who gave the warning, said the heads of finance must remain firm and not allow themselves to be pushed or compelled by any person or authority to engage in illegal financial practices, since such infractions would be met with strict sanctions in line with the law.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department after a two-day sensitisation and training seminar in Accra for heads of finance and accountants of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) on the PFM Act.
The statement quoted Mr Ofosuhene as saying that the PFM Act was a significant step towards the strengthening of financial management systems in the public sector to ensure discipline, the effective and efficient use of public resources to enhance service delivery.
It said the Controller and Accountant-General urged accountants and treasury officers to assert themselves as professionals and assured them that as long as they did the right things and performed according to the tenets of the PFM Act, the Controller and Accountant General’s Department would support and protect them to the hilt.
A Deputy Controller and Accountant-General in charge of Financial Management Service, Mr Kwasi Owusu, said the enactment of Act 921 had become necessary in view of the new global trends in the accounting profession and the need to have appropriate laws to deal with any malfeasance.
Mr Owusu, who is also the Chairman of the PFM Act Implementation Committee, said the CAGD had rolled out a programme to sensitise heads of finance and treasury officers of MMDAs to the Act to ensure that every staff embraced the tenets of the PFM Act.
He implored them to study and understand the Act, which should also be their guide and source of reference.
An Assistant Controller and Accountant-General in charge of Cash and Revenue Management, Dr Saani Abdulai Mohammed, took the participants through the Act, emphasising the penalties for offending persons and the need for them to consider the Act as their ‘Bible and Koran’ in their practice as accountants.
Dr Mohammed, a key member of the PFM Act Implementation Committee, explained that the law was promulgated to ensure prudent management of public finances and for the custody, safety and integrity of public funds.
The seminar also provided the opportunity for the Controller and Accountant-General to interact with the staff of the department working with MMDAs.