‘Successful decentralisation requires sufficient funding’

The participants

The participants

The success of decentralisation requires sufficient financial resources to perform essential expenditure functions and responsibilities assigned to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), the Executive Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralisation, Salifu Mahama, has observed

 

This, he said was one of the reasons why the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act of 2016 (Act 921), was passed to encourage and ensure the judicious use of resources and improve financial management systems in the public sector.

 

Mr Mahama was speaking at the opening of a zonal workshop to re-trained staff of all 254 MMDA on the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (GIFMIS) which simultaneously took place in Sunyani, Kumasi and Accra.

 

GIFMIS’ introduction across MMDAs has made progress, although monitoring reports revealed some operational challenges which include inadequate understanding and skills of the users, poor record keeping on public financial transactions, undue delays in processing transactions, weak accounting and fiscal reporting system and delays in financial reporting.

 

The workshop which sought to build capacity of local government service created an opportunity for the 38 newly created MMDAs to be hooked to the GIFMIS platform and also gave the participants a platform to provide information and feedback on the status and reliability of connectivity at the MMDAs level.

 

It was organised by the IMCC Secretariat in collaboration with the Fiscal Decentralisation Unit and  PFM-Reform Project under the Ministry of Finance and the GIFMIS Secretariat under the Controller and Accountant General Department.

 

Mr Mahama said, while decentralisation aimed at transferring essential functions to the sub-national level, there was the need to ensure prudence and transparent use of funds.

 

He said the increased use of the GIFMIS for transactions was as a result of the expanded coverage of the platform to capture, track and report transactions related to funds.

 

The Executive Secretary said the relevance of technology to achieve modernisation and efficiency in government financial management should not be underestimated.

 

He announced that the PFM-RP and the GIFMIS team had worked to ensure that all the then 216 MMDAs had gone Live with GIFMIS and currently on-going with its usage stabilisation.

 

“I am personally interested in how we can find ways to improve our procurement processes and will be happy to hear your experiences about the rollout of the Procure–to-Pay (P2P) module of the GIFMIS and advised the participants to continually polish their ICT skills, since GIFMIS revolved around the utilisation of technology.

 

The IMCC is responsible for coordinating decentralisation reforms across sector MDAs which include core “local government sector” institutions such as the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Office of the Head of Local Government Service and other relevant MDAs.

 

GIFMIS is an integrated computerised financial management system used by the Government of Ghana to facilitate key PFM processes for all public funds including the Consolidated Funds, Internally Generated Funds, Statutory Funds and Donor Funds across Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs) and MMDAs.

By Times Reporter

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