MMDAs asked to ensure efficiency in provision of services

Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been asked to ensure efficiency in provision of services to spur growth and development of communities.

That can be achieved if personnel are well-versed in laws, policies, programmes, standards, regulations, and rules that support, assist and bolster Public Fiscal Management (PFM) system.

Dr Alexander Otopah, a chartered accountant, and Head of Finance at the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council, who made the call, urged MMDAs to offer PFM training seminars to key personnel so as to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in their dealings.

“The PFM in the MMDAs is an ecosystem that includes the planning, budget, procurement, engineering, finance, and internal auditors, with the Coordinating Directors and Chief Executives serving as superintendents.

“In order for the country to achieve fiscal discipline and sound financial management in MMDAs and actors must be familiar with the requirements of the PFM Act 921 and its regulations and any oversight in one of the departments might prompt an audit inquiry, which can result in an assembly being called before the Public Accounts Committee,” Dr Otopah cautioned.

He noted that the PFM cycle, an output unit from the assemblies 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.

Dr Otopah explained that the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) was introduced to support PFM operations and transition away from manual to computerised means of processing the government’s financial transactions.

Additionally, he indicated that if assemblies strictly adhered to their utilisation, financial anomalies would be decreased, and service management would be improved and was concerned, however, about situations in which service providers appeared unconcerned about submitting receipts after payments were made via electronic funds transfer.

According to him, such a practice could lead to cash management irregularities and implored MMDAs’ PFM personnel to work together to guarantee financial and operational efficiency and effectiveness.

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