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25.04.2004 General News

Govt concerned over poor utilization of public funds

By GNA

Swedru (C/R), April 25, GNA - Government has expressed worry over the poor utilization of public funds, saying the new laws on public financial management must be fully adhered to ensure that loopholes are plugged to reduce wastage.

It urged officials in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA's), as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA's) in charge of finance and procurement management to study the new laws to avoid getting trapped in acts that would bring their organizations and themselves into disrepute.

Mr Paul Agyiri Ofori, Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MFEP) said this on Sunday at the second of three sessions of workshops for finance, procurement, and budget officers of MDA's and MMDA's.

The workshops were to bring the officers abreast with the provisions of the new financial management laws. They are the Financial Administration Act, the Internal Audit Agency Act, Payments Systems Act and the Procurement Act.

The workshop organized by the MFEP cumulatively seeks to bring about a major overhaul to the legal infrastructure on public financial management.

It is intended to brief participants on the ministry's public financial management agenda, deal with practical issues on how the policies outlined in these laws can help the attainment of goals set in the enactments and disseminate findings and recommendations and lessons learned from the Country Financial Accountability Assessment and Country Procurement Assessment Report.

Mr Ofori regretted that although efforts have been made over the years to regularize public finance, very little has been achieved.

"It is therefore important for all of us to have an appreciable or sound knowledge of what these new laws are, and more so, what is expected of us in implementing or applying the provisions in our respective roles."

He said the ministry was already implementing the new laws and regulations and expressed the hope that the ministries of Education and Health would start implementation by June this year.

On the status of the staff of the Controller and Accountant General's Department, the Chief Director said they would become staff of the MDA or MMDA where they were currently until they are recalled. 25 Apr. 04

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