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18.01.2005 Business & Finance

Ensure accountability in public financial m'gment

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Accra, Jan. 18, GNA - Mr Paul Agyiri, Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, on Tuesday called for proactive efforts to plug up holes that generated waste in the Procurement Sector saying major corruption emanated from there. "Any country which does not take its financial management seriously cannot develop," he said, when he addressed participants at a workshop on Public Procurement and the Internal Audit Agency Boards in Accra. The workshop is discussing the Draft Strategic Plans of the two Boards and to make recommendations for improvement and ensure that stakeholders in the Sector understand the key objective and roles in improving financial management, among other things.
The Draft Strategic Plans are designed to implement the Internal Audit Act 2003 (Act 858) and the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663). The Chief Director said the implementation of the strategies would represent a major change in the management exercise and urged stakeholders in the Sector to rise up to the challenge.
He asked them to think carefully and come out with practical ways of how the two Boards could improve public financial management and reminded them to take into consideration accountability, transparency and the fiscal policies of Government to reduce corruption, which had become a national canker.
Mr Winfred Okine, Representative of Public Procurement Board, explained that the document laid out strategic plans for 2005-2007 to help to coordinate and facilitate quality assurance for the Boards. The Sector, he noted, lacked uniform standards and procedures and a uniform one would be set up to help to safeguard national resources. He said the task might not be an easy one but added that the Government had shown its commitment to use the Agency in its fight against corruption.
Mr Abbey Sam, Representative of Internal Audit Agency Board, said the Board would assist the country to mainstream procurement in a fair and transparent environment to help reduce corruption.
He noted that a Tender Committee and a Tender Review Board would be established as required by the Act to facilitate the work of the Board. "The failure or success of the strategic plan would largely depend on how all entities would comply with the public procurement Act 2003," he said, and called on all stakeholders to get on board and make the document a solid one.

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