Failure to use GIFMIS for budgeting: Govt to deal with MMDCEs

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Government will sanction metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) who fail to adhere to the use of the Government Integrated Financial and Management Information (GIFMIS) in preparing their budget.

Regardless of the source of their revenue, the government said it was imperative that all MMDCEs adhere to these rules as contained in the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act 2016.

In a speech read on his behalf at the 2020 Regional Budget Hearing of Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Assemblies (MMDAs) in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ofori-Atta said, “It has in fact come to my attention that some key officials involved in financial management have not been using the GIFMIS for the processing of financial transactions, accounting and reporting as required.

“Let me strongly caution MMDCES from the procurement and use of systems and software not approved by relevant institutions as required by law,” he said.

Mr Ofori Atta tasked MMDAs to adopt the use of technology to maximise their revenue, stressing that, traditional methods of revenue mobilisation was not helping MMDAs meet their revenue target.

“The need to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic and return to a strong, resilient and sustainable growth path cannot be overemphasized.

“Next year will be equally difficulty year because the space for resource allocation will be tight and this requires the concerted effort to improve the collection revenue through the Internally Generated Funds (GIF),” the minister said.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey,  said although some revenue source had been devolved to the district assembly such as rates, land and royalties, business operation, fees, fines and rent, past experiences had shown how MMDAs were unable to raise enough funds.

He said the situation had made it difficult for the MMDAs to provide the needed services such as sanitation and waste management, roads, streetlight, drainage, street naming and property addressing system as demanded by tax payers.

“In this regard I entreat MMDAs and budget committees of the assemblies to ensure that the 2021 Composite Budget that will be submitted to the General Assembly for final approval to allocate adequate funds for social services, infrastructure delivery and management, local economic development as well as environmental and sanitation,” he said.

Mr Ashitey directed the MMDAs to ensure that, the revenue improvement action plans were strategically prepared to enhance revenue inflows for operations.

“Consequently, the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) Strategy and Reference Guide issued by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development should serve as reference point in the mapping out of IGF mobilisation strategies.

Mr Ashitey noted that, as part of measures to deepen transparency and accountability of MMDAs to citizens, the Regional Coordinating Council would be training Budget Officer, finance officers, planning officers and internal auditors.

The workshop, he explained would enlighten participants on the revised Public Financial Management template which would form the basis for MMDAs to present their plans and financial performance to the general public.

BERNARD BENGHAN

Source: ghanaiantimes