The Ghana Scholarship Secretariat in collaboration with Redric Consult has organized a training for Key Officers in both Public and Private Tertiary Institutions across the country on the Public Financial Management Act 2016, (Act 921) and its Public Management Regulations 2019 (L.I 2378).
The officers who attended the training were a representative each from the Audit Department, Accounts Department and Administration from the Public and Private Universities, Technical Universities, Colleges of Education, Nursing and other Health Training Institutions and other Tertiary Institutions in the country.
The training was organized in three Zonal sessions as follows: Tertiary Institutions in the Northern Zone had their training session from 21st to 22nd September, 2020 at Modern City Hotel in Tamale. Those in the Middle Zone were trained at Sunset Hotel at Kumasi from 24th to 25th September, 2020 whilst those in the Southern Zone had their turn from 28th to 29th September, 2020 and 30th September to 1st October, 2020. Participants in the Southern Zone were put in two groups because of their numbers.
The main purpose of the training was to educate the officers on the Public Financial Management Act 2016, (Act 921) and its Public Management Regulations 2019 (L.I 2378)
Participants were taken through topics such as ‘Public Sector and why Public Sector Organizations exist,’ Public Funds, Functions of Government, Evolution of Public Functional Management (PFM) Systems in Ghana, Thematic Areas of PFM Cycles, Public Funds, and Public Sector Reporting among a whole lot.
On the issue of Public Expenditure Process, Mr. Mac-Effort Koku Adadey, the facilitator of the training called on participants to ensure that due process was followed in the procurement of Goods and Services in Public Institutions.
Mr. Adadey identified a-nine stage public expenditure process (Budgeting, Expenditure Initiation, Supplier Selection, Purchase Ordering, Store Receipting, Supplier Invoicing, Payment, Supplier Acknowledgement and Filing) that must be adhered to in the Public Expenditure Process.
According to him, the major players in the expenditure processes (Principal spending officers, Budget Officers, Accounts Officers, Procurement Officers, Store Officers, Internal Auditors, Other Officers and Suppliers/Contractors) must play their assigned roles and work collaboratively to ensure that the proper procedures were followed in the procurement process (and of course, with proper documentation).
Participants were also educated on the Scope, Legal basis, and objective of the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). Mr. Adadey informed participants that the key objectives of GIFMIS included improving accuracy, comprehensiveness, reliability, and timeliness of financial and fiscal reporting at all levels of government. He said that GIFMIS provides credible financial information for better and informed decision-making as well as promoting accountability and transparency of the public financial management processes among others. He therefore called on all to embrace the GIFMIS programme.
Participants were further briefed on the functions of Internal and External Auditors as well as the composition and responsibilities of Audit Committees. He urged Internal Auditors in the various institutions to be up to the task and discharge their responsibilities effectively. They were advised to prepare and submit their quarterly reports on time.
Briefing participants on the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act 921), Mr. Adadey said that the Act was passed on 25th August, 2016, to regulate the financial management of the public sector within the macroeconomic and fiscal framework:
- to define the responsibilities of persons entrusted with the management and control of public funds, assets liabilities, and resources;
- to ensure that public funds are sustainable and consistent with the level of public debt and;
- to provide for accounting and audit of public funds and to provide for related matters.
He further discussed the offenses and penalties specified under the PFM Act and other aspects such as the duties and responsibilities of Principal spending officers with participants. Mr. Adadey called on participants to guard against going contrary to the PFM Act.
Present at the workshop were Mr. Kingsley Agyemang, the Registrar of Scholarship and other Officers of the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat as well as Officials from Redric Consult. Mr. Kingsley Agyemang used the opportunity to brief participants on Scholarship matters in the Tertiary Institutions.
Thaddeus Danquah Kokobina
Acting College Secretary
St. Teresa’s College of Education, Hohoe