Inject Financial Discipline to Reduce Waste

Audit committee members of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been admonished to bring their best practices to bare and inject financial discipline into the financial management system at the local level to reduce waste.

Dr Eric Oduro-Osae, Public Financial Management Expert, who made the call during a day’s orientation for newly reconstituted audit committee members of the MMDAs in the Central region said their professional expertise must go a long way to prevent the many financial malfeasance in the local government.
The objective of the workshop was to sensitise members of the audit committee on the financial management and administrative procedures of the local governance system in order to understand the business of the district assemblies so as to advise them accordingly.
It was organised by the Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) in collaboration with the International Audit Agency (IAA).
The passage of the Public Financial Management Act 2016,(Act 921) has abolished the Audit Report Implementation Committee (ARIC) and replaced it with an Audit Committee with representation from professional bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
The new PFM Act was as a result of the follow up from Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information Systems project and other reforms to address the weaknesses especially in the fiscal policy formulation, budgeting, commitment control, transparency and accountability, debt management among others.
The Audit Committees were among other things tasked to give directive and ensure the implementation of the internal audit report, ensure that recommendations of external auditors were implemented and also ensured that directives from the Public Account Committee to the assemblies were implemented.
Dr Oduro-Osae said the Institute of Local Government Services, the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee and other national institutions were also building the capacity of members with background materials and documents so that they would be able to carry on with their duties as required.
He urged the members to take advantage of the assurances and the support service being offered to them to get abreast with the necessary laws and documentations to enhance the achievement of the vision and mission of the respective assemblies that they served.
He discounted the assertion that the work of the members of the committee would be influenced by politics adding that their professional bodies would not allow them to be political even if they wanted to.
Mrs Gladys Naadu Tetteh, Deputy Executive Director of CLGA said by bringing on board professionals, the expectation was that the irregularities being recorded by the Public Account Committee would be reduced.
Dr Tuffour Kwarteng, Audit Committee member for Awutu Senya West told the Ghana News Agency that the idea to bring professionals on board the audit committees of the various MMDAs was to get the right individuals who were often ignored to protect the public purse.
He advised his colleagues to put away their political garments and put on their professional ones and work to ensure that available resources were protected for national development.