The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, said government will not tolerate inefficiencies and financial irregularities.
According to him, there would be strict enforcement of all relevant laws, regulations and sanctions.
Mr Darko-Mensah gave the hint when he launched the public hearing of the Regional Composite Budget for 2023-2026, in Sekondi, on Thursday.
The hearing was for the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and the national technical team, to review Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) revenue and expenditure performance, and targets for the 2022- 2025 fiscal year.
It will also pay critical attention to adherence to government’s policies and strategies and linkage to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Darko- Mensah appealed to the Accountant-General, to allow assemblies to appoint their own accountants, noting that, the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) was acting to ensure that the queries from the Auditor-General’s (AG) report were minimised.
He said that: “You realise that, this year, when the AG’s reports was released, the Chief Executive of IAA was all over the place, to fashion out a new system that will ensure auditors are top of virtually every query that comes up.
“There has been situations where workers take loans from their departments and offices and do not repay.
“Nobody wants to tolerate this anymore, because, it’s disgracing all of us. If you look at infractions in the Auditor General report, more than 50 percent are committed by normal public servants,” Mr Darko-Mensah reported.
The Composite budget hearing, he stated, was in line with requirements 17(3) of PFM Regulations, 2019 LI 2378 and which placed responsibility on Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) to organise the exercise for all entities, including MMDAs.
This, the minister said, was important for public accountability and also ensure participatory budgeting process.
“It also enhances public education and transparency which are the bedrock of decentralisation,” Mr Darko-Mensah said.
He said: “You will bear with me that we are not in normal times, and this year is very peculiar in view of the global challenges on our economy and the negative effect on revenue performance.”
Mr Darko-Mensah said: “As indicated by the Minister of Finance, the financial challenges we are experiencing may persists into 2023, and as such, there is the need to adopt strategies to improve internally generated revenue to augment Intergovernmental transfers.”
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, SEKONDI