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Controller And Accountant General Withholds Salaries Of 1,975 Public Servants

The Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) has withheld the salaries of some Public servants who have been affected by the closure of three banks recently.

It is estimated that 1,975 public servants on the government payroll accessed their salaries through the GN Bank, First Allied Savings and Loans Co Ltd and Women’s World Banking Savings and Loans Co. Ltd which were among the 23 financial institutions that were closed down by the Bank of Ghana on August 16.

GN Savings and Loans Ltd holds the accounts of 1,950 public servants while First Allied Savings and Loans Co. Ltd and Women’s World Banking Savings and Loans Co. Ltd hold the accounts of five and 20 public servants respectively.

In advising the affected workers, the CADG has also asked that the workers furnish the department with their new account numbers as soon as possible to facilitate the payment of their salaries.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Controller and Accountant-General, Mr K. K. Bosompem, said his outfit was holding the August 2019 salaries of the affected workers until the new accounts were submitted as advised.

“Subsequent to the revocation of the licences of some savings and loans companies and finance house holdings by the Bank of Ghana, through which some public servants are paid, our department advised affected employees to open new bank accounts with the bank of their choice and submit the new account details to their respective MDAs for capture,” Mr Bosompem said.

“The MDAs would in turn submit the new account information received from the affected staff to the Payroll Processing Division of the CAGD for loading onto the payroll system to enable the employees to access their accounts.

“Again, we are urging all third-party institutions affected by the BoG measures also to submit their new bank details to the CAGD for the payment of deductions held on their behalf by the department,” Mr Bosompem said.

Mr. Bosompem apologized for any inconveniences the new directive might cause but indicated it was meant to safeguard the income of affected employees.

He said a circular would be sent to all MDAs and heads of departments to take the necessary steps to ensure the affected workers were paid on time.

Licence Revocation

The Bank of Ghana, BoG has revoked the licences of twenty-three (23) insolvent savings and loans companies and finance house companies.

The central bank in a statement said the revocation of the licences of these institutions has become necessary because they are insolvent even after a reasonable period within which the Bank of Ghana had engaged with them in the hope that they would be recapitalized by their shareholders to return them to solvency.”

“It is the Bank of Ghana’s assessment that these institutions have no reasonable prospects of recovery, and that their continued existence poses severe risks to the stability of the financial system and to the interests of their depositors,” the statement added.

BoG in the statement explained that the actions “were taken pursuant to Section 123 (1) of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), which requires the Bank of Ghana to revoke the licence of a Bank or Specialised Deposit-Taking Institution (SDI) where the Bank of Ghana determines that the institution is insolvent. The Bank of Ghana has also appointed Mr Eric Nipah as a Receiver for the specified institutions in line with section 123 (2) of Act 930.”

Some of the affected companies include: GN Savings and Loans Ltd, Ideal Finance Ltd, Unicredit Savings and Loans Ltd, Global Access Savings and Loans Company Ltd, Accent Financial Services Ltd, Midland Savings and Loans Company Ltd, First Allied Savings and Loans Co. Ltd

Chief Directors Of MDAS Sensitized To New Accounting Standards

The Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) has asked all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to brace up for a full implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) by 2022.

According to the Controller and Accountant-General, Mr Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, the IPSAS was meant to improve on transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.

The IPSAS is a set of standards set up by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) to regulate and guide the preparation, presentation and disclosure of financial statements to improve public sector financial management.
The overall objective of the IPSAS is to ensure that the MDAs prepare complete and concise financial statements to ensure efficient use of public resources.

 

Timelines
Although Ghana announced the adoption of the IPSAS in 2014 and gave 2019 as the deadline for its implementation, the country could not meet the timeline.

Addressing the opening session of a sensitisation forum for chief directors of MDAs in Accra yesterday, Mr Kwaning-Bosompem announced that the new deadline for implementation of the IPSAS was now 2022.

He said the sensitisation forum for the chief directors was the first of many workshops to build the capacity of top officials and technical staff of MDAs and metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) on the new financial management regime.

New regimeMr Kwaning-Bosompem explained that while the current financial reporting system was not comprehensive enough, the IPSAS regime thrived on an accrual reporting system which was more encompassing and transparent.

For instance, he said at the end of the year, the government had unpaid bills but those were not reported in the current financial statements, adding that  the accrual reporting system on the other hand, would state clearly the outstanding bills so that when the budget was being reported, the unpaid bills would be taken cognisance of.

“The country stands to benefit from a comprehensive reporting system because information is money and when you have good information, you attract investors because there is a transparency regime,” he added.
Mr Kwaning-Bosompem said the CAGD was committed to leveraging technology to improve the country’s financial management system.

He urged all MDAs to strictly comply with a directive to use the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (GIFMIS) platform for all government businesses.

Benefits
The Vice-President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG), Dr Williams Abayaawien Atuilik, for his part, said the accrual financial reporting system would help address lapses in public financial management.
“The Attorney-General’s Department always makes reference to inadequate information in financial statements prepared by the MDAs and public sector institutions.

The fact is that we are doing partial accounting which does not give a full picture of our debts, assets and commitments and people have to be commissioned to extract information from elsewhere.

If we want to do perfect financial reporting, accrual system is the way to go,” he stressed. Dr Atuilik said the new financial reporting regime would facilitate the monitoring of public assets and the public purse.

The Head of Civil Service, Nana Kwasi Agyekum Dwamena, who also addressed the session, said the accrual reporting system would help improve service delivery and the performance of public institutions.
It was his take that if the country wanted to improve on its financial management system, the way forward was to embrace the new reporting regime.

Nana Dwamena underscored the need for capacity-building programmes for technical staff in the MDAs and the MMDAs for the smooth take-off of the new reporting system.

 

Background:

Ghana announced the adoption of the IPSAS accrual system in 2014 and was expected to roll it out between 2015 and 2019.

Following the country’s inability to meet the deadline, it was rescheduled for 2022.
The implementation of the IPSAS is expected to strengthen the Public Financial Management (PFM) reform strategy and the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (GIFMIS).

 

 

Source: Daily Graphic

CAGD Sensitizes Chief Directors Of MDAS On IPSAS

The Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) has sensitized Chief Directors of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), which, Ghana has set out to implement to improve its public accounts.

The adoption and implementation of IPSAS have been identified as one of the critical programmes in the Public Financial Management Reforms currently underway in Ghana, and it is expected to improve fiscal transparency and accountability.

The CAGD, therefore held the sensitization on Tuesday, as part of the implementation processes of the IPSAS- a comprehensive set of standards to regulate and guide the preparation, presentation and disclosure of the general purposes financial statements in the Public Sector.

The International Public Sector Accounting Standard Board (IPSASB), an organ of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) developed the IPSAS for all countries of the world.

Mr Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, Acting Controller and Accountant General, told the chief directors, that they were critical partners in the successful implementation of the IPSAS, which applied to all public sector entities excerpt government business enterprises set up for commercial purposes.

He said the implementation of the IPSAS would further strengthen the Public Financial Management Reforms Strategy and the effective use of the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System.
He said for a long time, prior to the adoption of the IPSAS in 2014, the public Accounts of Ghana had been prepared in compliance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in accordance with the financial laws such as FAD 1979, Financial Administrations Act 2003 on Cash Basis.

However, realizing the shortcomings of the cash base accounting, the CAGD had in recent years, moved to the use of the Modified Accrual Basis, which was not totally in line with international standards, and had invariably, affected Ghana’s Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability ratings.

“It is, therefore, a relief that the Ministry of Finance approved the adoption and implementation of the IPSAS, which ensures Public Accounts are prepared on Accrual Basis”, Mr Kwaning-Bosopem said, adding that, the IPSAS implementation was launched in November 2018 with an initial sensitisation programmes organized for Accounting officers from the MDAs in Accra early this year.

He said when the Accrual Basis IPSAS was implemented; it would lead to the matching of revenue with expenditure in the period it relates, to give an accurate assessment of the financial performance of the Government.
It would ensure that long term expenditure incurred for the acquisition of assets were spread over the useful life of the assets, while providing accurate and adequate data for effective management and safeguarding of government fixed assets as well as ensuring regular review of the state of such assets.

Nana Kwasi Agyekum Dwamena, Head of Civil Service, commended the CAGD for engaging the Chief Directors as technical and bureaucratic Heads of the MDAs, in the sensitisation of the IPSAS, saying that, as spending officers, it was in order for them to know about the system and the legal framework of their responsibilities towards the successful implementation of the IPSAS.

Dr Willams Abayaawien Atuilek, a member of the IPSAS Implementation Committee, in a presentation, said many countries had followed through and were currently implementing IPSAS to ensure they conformed to international standardisation.

He said IPSAS, would improve government financial reporting in terms of completeness, consistency and compliance as well as aiding financial information flow, adding that, the Accrual Basis that had been adopted by Ghana had 42 standards that were required to be implemented.
He said IPSAS would also ensure proper monitoring of all public financial accounts, thereby promoting transparency and quality service delivery in the public sector.

Dr Atuilek said Ghana expected to fully implement the IPSAS by 2022, adding that, the process also included consistent training of all financial and account officers of the MDAS and other stakeholders, as well as evaluation of all financial assets of the states.

The World Bank through the Swiss Government is supporting the implementation process of IPSAS, Dr Atuilek said.
Mr Samuel Aryee, Chairman of IPSAS Implementation Committee, and Deputy Controller and Accountant General in charge of ICT and Information Management Services, said the implementation was being done together with the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

 

 

Source: ghananewsagency.org

No Manual Cheque Payments By IGF Institutions From April 2018

With effect from April 2, 2018, payment to (Third Parties) Contractors, Consultants and Suppliers who transact business with state institutions operating the Ghana Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS) which generate funds internally would be paid through Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT).

No manual cheque would be issued by Ministries, Departments and Agencies to Contractors and Suppliers as moneys would be paid electronically into the Accounts of the owed entities.
The Finance Minister, Mr.  Ken Ofori-Atta, disclosed this in an address read for him by Nana Agyei Mensah, Technical Advisor to the Minister of Finance on the Ghana Integrated Public Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) in Accra at a sensitization seminar for Heads of Account and Treasury Officers of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of IGF institutions.

He said for the smooth implementation of the policy, the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) and the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance have embarked on a hands-on training on the Electronic Funds Transfer. and that all stakeholders and in particular IGF institutions would be expected to collect System Cheque Books from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department for internal use before the rollout of the policy.

The Minister explained that the Electronic Funds Transfer is the electronic exchange and transfer of money either within a single financial institution or across multiple institutions, through computer-based systems without manual or human intervention.

The Project Director of the Public Financial Management Reform Project (PFMRP), Dr. Sani Abdulai stated that benefits of the implementation of the EFT include prudence and efficiency as the direct deposits will help to eliminate the current practice involving manual and labour intensive processes and disbursement of cheques as well as the avoidance of the payment of Bank Charges.

He said the electronic system is user-friendly, involves less accounting works, makes it easier for Bank reconciliation, conserves time and will also eliminate the incidence of the issuance of dud cheques.

Madam Paddy Dzodzomenyo, Director of Banking of the Bank of Ghana said the Electronic fund transfer happens when digital instructions are sent to the Bank of Ghana to move funds between two accounts with the instruction given through a computer-based system of the Payer (GIFMIS) which is interfaced with the Bank of Ghana. She assured the participants of the readiness of the Central Bank for the success of the initiative.

In a presentation, the GIFMIS Component Lead of the Public Financial Management Reform Project (PFMRP), Alhaji Siraj Tanko disclosed that Third Party firms which transact businesses with the 54 IGF Agencies would be required to submit their Bank Account details on Letter Heads to the various agencies they provide services to for onward transmission to the GIFMIS Secretariat.

He said under the EFT, Contractors and Suppliers are encouraged to sign-on to their Banker’s Transaction Alert scheme to get notification on the EFT from the GIFMIS Secretariat and that Cheque stationery for internal use for the exercise have been procured for the Treasuries.

The GIFMIS is an integrated computerized financial management system being deployed to enhance transparent public financial management in line with the Public Financial Management Act (PFM ACT 921- 2016) in supporting Budget preparation and approval, Budget execution, Accounting and Reporting, Revenue generation and expenditure administration among others.

“Cut Corners And Go To Jail” – Controller Warns Heads Of Finance And Accountants

The Controller and Accountant General, Mr. Eugene Ofosuhene has cautioned Heads of Finance and Treasury Officers of state institutions that if they engaged in any activities in contravention of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act, Act 921 of 2016, they will be imprisoned or face severe punishment commensurate with the offence.

He said the Heads of Finance must remain firm and not allow themselves to be pushed or compelled by any persons or authority to engage in illegal financial practices since any such infractions of the Act will be met with strict sanctions according to the Act.

Opening a 2-day sensitization and training seminar for Heads of Finance and Accountants of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA’S) on the PFM Act in Accra, Mr. Ofosuhene disclosed  that the PFM Act was a significant step towards the strengthening of Public Financial Management systems to ensure discipline and the effective and efficient use of public resource for improved service delivery.

He urged the Accountants and Treasury Officers to assert themselves as professionals and assured them that as long as they did the right things and performed according to the tenets of the PFM Act, the Controller and Accountant General’s Department will support and protect them to the hilt.

Mr. Kwasi Owusu, Deputy Controller of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department in Charge of Financial Management Service (FMS) and Chairman of the PFM Act Implementation Committee said the enactment of the Act 921 had become necessary in view of the new global trends in the Accounting profession and the need to have appropriate laws to back it and to deal with any malfeasance.

He said it was to ensure that the all Staff embraced the PMF Act that Management of the CAGD has rolled out a programme to sensitise  Heads of Finances and Treasury Officers of the MMDA’s on the Act and implored them  to study and understand it and  let the Act be their guide and source of reference.

Dr. Saani Abdulai Mohammed, an Assistant Controller and Accountant General in charge of Cash and Revenue Management and leading member of the PMF Act Implementation Committee took the participants through the Act, emphasizing on the penalties for offending persons and the need for them to consider the Act as their ‘Bible and Koran’ in their practice as Accountants.

He explained that ACT 921 was promulgated to ensure prudent management of public finance and for the custody, safety and integrity of public funds. The Training programme also provided the opportunity for the Controller and Accountant General Mr. Ofosuhene to interact with Department’s staff with MMDA’s from their various stations throughout the country.

Accounting Students On Industrial Tour Of Controller And Accountant General’s Department

Final year Accountancy students of the Cape Coast Technical University have paid an Industrial visit to the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) in Accra to familiarize themselves with the functions and operations of the Department.

Welcoming the students, Mr. Raphael Ayiglo, a Deputy Head,Human Resource Management Directorate of the Department commended the students for embarking on such an exploratory tour as such visits provided students the opportunity to obtain firsthand information and insight into what really happens in the field of work as against what was thought in schools.

He said the CAGD is the main Accounting machinery of the State with the Controller as Chief Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning on Accountancy matters and that the Department amongst others, makes disbursement on behalf of Government, including the payment of monthly salaries to Government employees and pension payment to persons on retirement, as well as release funds to execute Government projects and developments throughout the country.

Mrs. Matilda Adjei Gbedema,  Payroll Coordinator of the CAGD took the students through the various processes culminating into the regular and prompt monthly payment of salaries for state employees and pensioners which involved checks and validations from the employing Ministries, Departments and Agencies to the Accra Offices of all regions in the country.
Mr. Sebestian  Azumah,  Head of Accra Salaries said the introduction of the Electronic Salary Payment Voucher (ESPV) and the Biometric payment systems have contributed greatly to the elimination of ‘ghost names’ and all type of improper payment as far as salaries and pensions were concerned.

Mr. Frederick Dela Tsotovor the Deputy Chief Cashier of the Department explained to the students the various stages involved in the release of Government funds especially the processes for budgeting  by the MDA’s and the issue of warrant before funds were released.

He said the introduction of the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) has brought about sanity and prudence in the handling of all Government financial transactions with eaze and finese.

The Cape Coast Technical University Accounting students, led by Mr. Adjei Ahmed Yaqub, a Teaching Assistant, expressed their gratitude to the Controller and Accountant General, Mr. Seidu Kotomah , Management and staff of the Department for making it possible for them to undertake such  useful exercise and the warm reception accorded them.

Accountants Urged To Help With Economic Transformation

The success of Government’s commitment to reform and bring sanity into the Public Financial Management as part of its economic transformation agenda will hugely be dependent on the Heads of Finance and Treasury Officers of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Mr. Eugene Ofosuhene, Controller of the Controller and Accountant General Department has said.

He said the Accountants and Treasury officers of State are expected to play key roles in the effective implementation of the various policy reforms aimed at ensuring transparency in the management of the public purse.

Mr. Ofosuhene made the assertion when he met and interacted with staff of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department working as Heads of Finance and Treasury Officers in the various Ministries at the Head Office in Accra.
He called on the Accountants to realize that their functions were not limited only to the disbursement and receipt of funds but that they are part of the overall management team of where ever they found themselves and must work to the attainment of the goals and objectives of the Ministries.

The Controller and Accountant General disclosed that from August 2017 Government was going to roll out a new fiscal policy, the Treasury Savings Account (TSA) which will make it mandatory for the Bank Accounts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies to be kept at the Bank of Ghana as well as eliminate the incidence of MDA’s operating multiple Bank Accounts.

According to Mr. Ofosuhene, the requisite education and sensitization on the TSA has started to ensure that all MDA’s are adequately prepared for the implementation of the policy.

He assured the Accountants of the resolve of Management of the Department to help and support its staff posted all over the country and beyond to enable them discharge their duties as ambassadors of the Department and good apostles of the Accounting profession.