By Emelia B. Addae
Koforidua, Sept. 26, GNA – Dr. Alexander Otopah, a chartered accountant, and head of Finance at the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council, has advised Municipal and District Assemblies to offer public fiscal management (PFM) training seminars to key personnel.
He said it would ensure the personnel were well-versed in laws, policies, standards, regulations, and rules that support and bolster Ghana’s PFM system.
“And, in order for the country to achieve fiscal discipline and sound financial management in Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), actors must be familiar with the requirements of PFM Act 921 and its regulations,” he added.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) Dr. Otopah described the PFM in the MMDA as an ecosystem that included the planning, budget, procurement, engineers, finance, and internal auditors, with the Coordinating Director and Chief Executives serving as superintendents.
He said that any oversight in one of the departments might prompt an audit inquiry, which could result in an assembly being called before the Public Accounts Committee.
According to the PFM cycle, an output unit from the assembly might be used as an input for another unit. “For instance, the annual action plan births the budget, which in turn births the procurement plans before the execution starts,” he said.
He said Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) was introduced to support PFM operations and transition away from manual to computerised means of processing government financial transactions.
Additionally, if assemblies strictly adhered to their utilisation, financial anomalies would be decreased, and service management would be improved.
He was concerned, however, about situations in which service providers appeared unconcerned about submitting receipts after payments were made via electronic funds transfer, claiming that such a practise could lead to cash management irregularities.
He asked the MMDAs’ PFM actors to work together to guarantee financial and operational efficiency.