The 2018 Ghana Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Performance Assessment Report was on Saturday, launched in Accra, with a call on policy makers to implement its findings to promote transparency in the public sector.
The report which is the fourth edition since the adoption of PEFA in 2006, accesses how public funds are used as well as employing effective ways of protecting the public purse.
Put together by a six-member team of consultants engaged under the Public Financial Management Reform Project (PFMR) on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, the report establishes a baseline for Public Financial Management (PFM) using the revised framework which came into effect in 2016.
The Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr Grace Bediako, who launched the report said, it was based on the 2016 assessment framework which acted as the baseline on which PFM performance of the country would be benchmarked.
She said the report provided a comprehensive outlook of the strength and weaknesses of the country’s PFM systems in relation to areas of budget reliability, predictability and control in budget execution.
Dr Bediako explained that these bordered on issues of the transparency of public finances, management of assets and liabilities, policy based fiscal strategy and budgetary, predictability and control in budget execution, accounting and reporting.
She noted that in the ministry’s quest to contribute to the President’s vision of a ‘Ghana beyond Aid’, priority must be placed on achieving the targets set out in the PFM Reforms Strategy.
In this direction, she stated that: “There are a number of ongoing PFM reform initiatives that the ministry is undertaking including: the operationalisation of the PFM Act 2016 (Act 921) and its related regulation; the deployment of an Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) to all the 254 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and the development of Audit Management Information System (AMIS) to aid the work of the Auditor-General.”
The Director, Dr Mahammed Saani Abdulai, on his part, explained that the PEFA 2018 report was to provide government with an objective indicator led assessment of the PFM systems in a concise and standardised manner in order to promote a restructured understanding of the overall fiduciary environment of the system.
He said it was also to assist in identifying those parts of the PFM systems in need of further reforms and development.
Dr Abdulai said the rationale for the PEFA assessment was to review how well the PFM system of government were working and whether its current PFM reform strategy needed some adjustment.
The Head of Mission and Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana, Mr Matthias Fieldmann said the launch of the report marked a major milestone in Ghana’s PFM.
He said the Swiss government would continue to support in strengthening the country’s PFM system and ensure that the reforms being undertaken were successful for the benefit of all.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL