CAG to sanction officers for spending outside GIFMIS

The Controller and Accountant General (CAG), Mr Kwesi Kwaning-Bosompem, has warned all spending officers that any expenditure outside the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) will no more be tolerated.

He added that offenders would be sanctioned in accordance with the laws.

Mr Kwaning-Bosompem gave the warning at the opening of a three -day national training programme on public sector financial management organised for middle level accounting officers of the Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD)  in the Western and Western  North regions  in Takoradi on Tuesday, to discuss ongoing reforms within the public sector.

The GIFMIS comprises a system for planning, budget preparation and execution, human resources management, payroll management, accounting and reporting by Ministries, Departments and Agencies across government.

He added “Indeed, Regulation 81 and 82 of the Public Management Financial (PFM) Act, 2016, Act 921, mandate all Principal Spending Officers of covered entities to use the GIFMIS to process all financial transaction. Payments outside the GIFMIS must stop. The use of GIFMIS is to promote transparency, record keeping and accounting reporting. You can’t commit government with expenses without using the GIFMIS. The Auditor General will disallow such an expenditure and you will have to pay.  Can you imagine what will happen when you are made to pay such expenses?”

He continued: “GIFMIS is an important tool in the PFM value chain. Very soon, some of you will be called to the headquarters to be questioned; so take note and comply with the law.  You will have no excuses. And you in the regions must use the GIFMIS in all financial transactions for transparency. I repeat!  Payment outside the GIFMIS must stop.”

Mr Kwaning-Bosompem stressed that a transparent public financial management supported national accountability by disclosing to the public and government, information and the state on the use of public resources “which is a critical element of accountability and good governance.”

As ambassadors,  the Controller explained that Chief Accounting Officers  represented  a larger  proportion  of the department,  and,  therefore, their  outputs had a direct impact  on  budget executing,  accounting, financial  reporting and advisory role.

“Our inability to exercise our advisory role effectively has contributed to most of the infractions contained in the Auditor General’s report on Ministries Department and Agencies and the Assemblies.The PFM Act enacted  in 2016 and its  related regulations  provide a sound legal and institutional foundation for  the regulation of financialmanagement  in Ghana, they  define  responsibility  of persons entrusted  with the management  and  control of public resources,ensuring that  public funds are sustainable and consistent with the  level  of public debt,” Mr Kwaning-Bosompem said.

The Regional Director of the CAGD, Mr Joseph Agyei, also noted that the department was committed to crack down on financial malpractices and wasteful public spending and achieving the targets set out in the PFM strategy which focused on right policy changes.

FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TAKORADI

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