General News of Wednesday, 4 October 2017
The Administrator-General of Presidential Estates Unit (OAG) says it has held consultations with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to be hooked onto the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform for comprehensive inventory.
This would enable the OAG to automatically capture all procurements undertaken by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Regional Coordinating Councils and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies operating on the GIFMIS platform.
The move is intended to resolve the acrimony that often characterised the Presidential Transition processes, which creates opportunities for the misappropriation of state assets and ad hoc seizure of government properties due to the absence of a credible Asset Register.
Mr David Yaro, the Administrator-General of the Presidential Estates Unit, said this at a day’s Capacity-building Workshop for Estate Managers of the MDAs in Accra on Wednesday.
The training is one of the steps towards meeting the challenges of the OAG and equip asset managers with the requisite knowledge on how to produce a credible database register.
Mr Yaro said it was expected that after the training every MDA would have a credible Asset Register, on which the OAG could rely for the compilation of a comprehensive database for the country.
“It is presumed that at the end of this workshop one can say that some form of Performance Indicators have been set to pave way for a Performance Agreement between the OAG and the respective MDAs.
“This will serve as basis for future monitoring and evaluation exercises,” he stated.
Explaining the circumstances that necessitated the need for a credible asset register, Mr Yaro said a consultant was commissioned to review the 2017 Presidential Transition process, in consultation with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Office of the Administrator-General.
The transition review was to identify gaps, draw lessons and make recommendations that would guide future presidential transitions, he said.
The Administrator-General outlined some of the shortfalls that were identified by the consultant, including lack of a comprehensive inventory of state assets, limited resources of the OAG to effectively carry out its mandate, and the late submission of handing-over notes by the outgoing administration.
Others are the late awarding of contracts and policies, and key appointments made in the last few days of the previous government, which significantly impacted on the incoming administration.
Nana Kwasi Agyekum Dwamena, the Head of Civil Service, said the Service would co-operate with all the relevant institutions to ensure that they changed the negative narration of suspicion, which often characterised the presidential transition processes and ensure trust and transparency.
He said the Government was committed to changing the report of the dissipation of the state resources, which the Auditor-General’s Annual Report exposed, and ensure value for money of all public transactions.
Mr Dwamena noted that the Service would support the drafting of policy document that would give clear vision and mission to the OAG aimed at ensuring the compilation of a credible Asset Register for the country.
The Office of the Administrator-General of the Presidential Estates Unit operates in accordance with the demands of the Presidential Transition Act, 2012, (Act 845).
The Office is supposed to compile credible data on all state and government assets and properties and facilitate their handing-over from one government to another during presidential transitions.