The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched an electronic travel card designed to specifically control the travel expenditure of government and public officials.
Known as the e-Travel Card, it seeks to facilitate the cashless disbursement of travel allowance and other payments for local and foreign trips of public officials.
It falls under the government’s policy of digitalising the country as all officials will be issued with the e-Travel card.
It is expected that, the implementation of the new policy would regulate and control waste and misappropriation of funds by travelling officials.
Dr Bawumia launched the card at the 22nd annual delegate’s conference of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) held at Cape Coast.
The conference was on the theme: “The role of CAGD in advancing the Digitalisation Agenda of Ghana”.
It was attended by delegates from all the 16 regions of the country.
Dr Bawumia indicated that, the system would automate and integrate all the processes from the point of initiation of card issuance, funding request of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and entities through approvals and disbursements.
He also stated that, the system would provide expenditure tracking and retirement of accountable imprest.
He explained that, e-travel card portal which had been designed for the implementation of the new system, would replace all manual systems of managing imprest in the public service.
The Vice President further said that, the system would provide delivery of personalised card to every government office and employee.
“This will deliver several attendant benefits including the elimination of the risks with cash transactions for official travels and cash disbursements,” he said.
That, he said, would also provide transparency and ease accountability, ensure timely retirement of accountable imprest, strengthen monitoring and controls of budgetary allocation to official travels.
Additionally, Dr Bawumia explained that, it would help avoid overspending while eliminating misapplication of funds and fraud associated with imprest.
He commended the Controller and Accountant General’s Department for playing a central role in the financial management of the country.
The CAGD, he said, had led in the implementation of key government interventions such as the public expenditure and financial accountability.
“This is consistent in the Government of Ghana’s commitment of cracking down on financial malpractices and wasteful public spending,” he said.
In his address, the Controller and Accountant General, Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, explained that, the e-travel card comes on the back of other digitilisation initiatives already undertaken by the CAGD.
That, he said, included the Ghana Integrated and Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), Third Party Reference System, Electronic Payment Vouchers and the Electronic Pay slip System.
The various initiatives, he said, were geared towards efficient management of public funds.
He also said that the introduction of the interventions, was an indication of the CAGD’s commitment towards the digitilisation agenda of the government.
FROM DAVID O. YARBOI-TETTEH, CAPE COAST