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04.05.2004 Regional News

Workshop on financial reform laws open

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Accra, May 4, GNA - A four-day workshop to train public and private sector personnel on three new Acts, that are part of the Public Financial Management reforms, on Tuesday opened in Accra.

The new Ghana Public Procurement Act, The Financial and Administration Act and The Internal Audit Act, are prudent financial management systems put in place to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability in both private and public sectors of the economy.

The workshop would deal with the link between the Public Procurement Act and its implication on corruption and help to develop a plan using a simple budget of agencies and organisations.

Mr Paul Ofori Agyiri, Chief Director, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, said the new law incorporated international best practice in procurement that could be adopted by Ghana's development partners for enhanced transactions.

He said it was expected of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to begin implementing the new procurement procedures for effective conservation of funds, adding that a dateline would soon be set to ensure that all MDAs complied with the new directives. Mr Agyiri urged the participants to be innovative; learn to improvise in their planning, where necessary, be realistic and be ready to take calculated risks when it came to issues concerning budgeting and procurement.

Mrs Agatha Gaizie-Nkatia, a Special Assistant to Minister of Finance, explained that the numerous weaknesses identified from the previous methods of private and public sector budget planning and formulation led to the financial reforms.

She further said the reform was to improve the procedure and system of budgeting of public revenue and expenditure through a medium term expenditure framework approach, so as to ensure that scarce resources were deployed to achieve Government's objectives effectively. She said the reform would, therefore, help strengthen budget formulation, promote ownership and accountability by the sector ministries of their budgets, introduce proper accounting and auditing systems and promote compliance with financial policies and procedures. 4 May 04