By Philip Tengzu, GNA
Wa, Oct. 13, GNA – Mr Seth Terkpe, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, has called on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to improve on their revenue generation efforts.
‘Overdependence on central government revenue transfer must not be tolerated, adding it is high time regional ministers as well as MMDAs weigh up crusade to revamp the efforts of government machinery in revenue generation at the local government level’.
The Finance Minister said a local government borrowing bill which would enable MMDAs to borrow funds from approved sources is currently before cabinet for approval and would be subsequently forwarded to parliament to be passed into a law.
Mr Terkpe said government would enact a new law which would regulate local government borrowing and make it possible for local governments to source funds from the market for infrastructural development and improve service delivery.
In a speech read on his behalf at Regional Composite Budget Hearing held in Wa, Mr Terkpe said the support of MMDAs was relevant to boast the efforts of government to control the wage bill and save more resources for infrastructural development.
‘The support of both political and administrative leadership at the local level is needed particularly relating to adhering to the guidelines of recruitment, replacement and the elimination of ghost names’, Mr Tekpe said.
He said government has enacted a new Public Financial Management Act, 2016; Act 921 to strengthen government’s efforts in regulating the management of public resources within a sound macroeconomic and fiscal framework
The act is envisaged to underpin Ghana’s ongoing Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms which had been designed to address the persistent weaknesses in the PFM system and help promote fiscal discipline at all levels.
It would also help improve the credibility of the budget, strengthen expenditure controls and reduce cash rationing, all of which would contribute to improving the overall financial management of the public sector, the Finance Minister said.
Mr Tekpe said a Regional Integrated Budget System (RIBS) had been introduced to help facilitate the integration of regional level departments and agencies in the budgeting process.
He said the RIBS would help harmonise the existing budgetary allocation and transfer to the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCC) and the regional departments as well as place the RCCs in a better position to perform its functions of coordination, monitoring and evaluation as well as reporting’.
Mr Peter Addo, Deputy Head of Budgeting at the Ministry of Finance, said the new Public Financial Management Act, 2016; Act 921 has made provision for sanctions to be meted out to public officers who misconduct themselves while in office in matters relating to public financial management.
He said offences under the Act included any public officer who makes unauthorised financial commitment resulting in the financial obligation for the government, any officer who fails to collect monies due the government as well as accept money or any valuable item for the performance of his or her official duty.
Any person responsible for any improper payment of funds, willfully signing of false certificates or any person acting in public office who spends outside the approved budget, among others are some of the offences under the act and are punishable by law.
The Wa Municipal Assembly projected a total budget of GH¢12,640,930.21 pending approval by the General Assembly which would be used for the running of the activities of the assembly in 2017 as against GH¢12,324,283.41 which was approved in 2016.