By Kizito CUDJOE, Kumasi
The successful implementation of the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), which is an essential component of the Public Financial Management Reform, is expected to streamline Government?s fiscal transactions.
?The project, when fully-implemented, will serve as the single source system for official budget creation and management; cash and Treasury management; purchase ordering and payments; and financial control as well as reporting for the country as a whole.?
GIFMIS involves using a number of integrated electronic financial modules in the management of public funds. The electronic financial modules to be introduced under GIFMIS include: accounts receivable module, accounts payable module, general ledger, purchasing module, and cash management module.
The system is currently being run at the national and regional levels of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) it is said, and it is used to process financial transactions in about 34 MDAs in Accra, and over 350 regional branches nationwide.
It was introduced in 2009 as parts of efforts to enhance reforms to bring about efficiency and transparency in public financial management, and is being managed by the Controller and Accountant General?s Department under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning with support from joint development partners — including the World Bank, DfID of the United Kingdom, the European Union (EU) and the Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA).
These were made known in a ??pre-live sensitisation and approval hierarchy workshop for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies?? organised by the Controller and Accountant General?s Department in Kumasi.
Kojo Bonsu, Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), in his welcome address said the introduction of GIFMIS will among other things help to draw and execute budgets that reflect local needs, and also help to improve revenue collection processes and ensure an efficient recording of financial transactions.
He urged the participants, mostly Heads of Departments, to take the workshop seriously, and reminded them to take good note of how the system will operate.
In a related development, Nana Kwasi Agyekum-Dwamena, Cultural change team leader of GIFMIS, in an interview also stressed the immense benefit of the model to the state — noting that it will ensure more accountability and transparency in Governments business.
He hinted that the workshop forms part of the first phase of the implementation process of GIFMIS, considering the major change that it?s expected to bring. The other phases, he said, will include the approval hierarchy which would require the list of people whose names must be included in the GIFMIS process, and training of personnel on how to effectively operate with the system.
He further noted that the introduction of GIFMIS and its modules will not only benefit Government and its officials, but also clients, individuals, and organisations that transact business with Government, and therefore to a large extent position the private sector to develop.