Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been urged to be abreast with the Public Finance Management(PFM) Act 2016 (Act 921) which provided financial guidelines for public sector budgeting.
Madam Rosemond Appiah, a representative of the Ministry of Finance, who made the call at a training workshop in Wa, also entreated MMDAs not to act contrary to the laws that guided public sector budgeting and said such acts could be detrimental.
The workshop was organised by the Upper West Regional Environmental Health and Sanitation Department on the GoG/UNICEF’s Results Based Financing (RBF) for 7 implementing districts and regional WASH stakeholders, members of the Upper West Regional Inter-agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) and social norms champions.
It was also to sensitise Municipal and District Budget Officer, Internal Auditors and Finance Officers of selected districts and municipalities in the region were the RBF was being implemented on basic auditing, accounting and budgeting principles.
The participants were also taken through the role of MMADAs, receiving and reporting funds and were urged to be committed to the issue of sanitation since the performance of the district guaranteed its support under the RBF module.
The RBF was being implemented in 92 communities in seven districts and municipalities for the first quarter of 2019 in the region including Wa, Lawra and Jirapa Municipals, Nadowli/Kaleo, Daffiama/Bussie/Issah (DBI), Lambussie and Wa West Districts.
In all, 207 communities were targeted to attain ODF status under the RBF module 2019, currently implemented in 92 communities out of which 51 communities were ODF, with the best performing district being Nadowli/Kaleo having 16, The rest were Jirapa ten, Lawra, four, Wa West, nine, Lambussie two and Wa Municipal zero communities.
“The Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936) requires MMDA to submit to the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) a detailed budget for the MMDA stating the revenue and expenditure, Annual Development Plan and programmes of the MMDA for the ensuing year”, Madam Appiah said.
She also entreated “MMDAs to develop a district wide ODF Plan and budget with technical support provided by the donor partner”, and to make sure it was captured in the composite budget to enable it to be incorporated into the Ghana Integrated GIFMIS without which it could not be implemented.
Mr Vide Ofori, a GIFMIS expert at the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) explained that GIFMIS made budgeting and auditing easier hence the decision of UNICEF to migrate unto the platform to make information delivery easier, and encouraged MMDAs, particularly budgeting officers, to embrace the technology to lessen their work.
“GIFMIS is budget driven and not cash driven”, he said, and added that plans were advance to migrate all MMDAs unto a paperless system where all financial transactions would be conducted electronically rather than using check books.
Mr Ofori raised concerns about the attitude of some MMDAs owning multiple bank accounts, and reminded them that all public sectors must seek directive from CAGD before opening a bank account.