The Controller and Accountants General’s Department (CAGD) has opened its 2023 annual performance review conference in Nkwatia, Eastern Region, focusing on the theme: ‘Building a Sustainable Economy: The Role of the Public Sector Accountant.’ Mr Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, Controller and Accountant General, described last year as very challenging, saying that every country’s economy, including developed ones, had experienced a downturn. He indicated that the situation compelled the government to undertake and implement expenditure rationalisation measures, including a 20 per cent reduction in the approved budget’s quarterly expenditure ceiling. He also said the salaries of the President, Vice President, and government appointees were whittled down by 30 per cent. Despite global challenges and limited budgetary releases, he noted that employees had been relentless and committed to their jobs. He stated that salaries and pensions were paid on time and on schedule throughout the year, and that the department had continued to broaden the scope of Ghana’s national accounting from central government to whole-of-government reporting. However, he indicated that until 2017, the National Accounts only covered consolidated funds, but that the account now covered the central government, local governments, public corporations, and state-owned enterprises. As a result, Mr Kwaning-Bosompem explained that they had agreed to implement International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), which aimed to improve the quality, consistency, comparability, and transparency of national accounts. He stated that, despite the expanded scope of the national accounts, the CAGD had consistently submitted the consolidated national account to the Auditor General ahead of the March 31 legal deadline for the past three years. ‘I believe my staff deserve a lot of commendations,’ he said, explaining that the purpose of the annual conference was to assemble selected staff from all MDAs and MMDAs and stakeholders to assess the performance of the CAGD in the previous year. ‘It is also to seek ideas from participants and stakeholders to improve its operations in the coming year and also work out mechanisms to institutionalize existing best practices.’ Mrs Frema Osei Opare, Chief of Staff, said the CAGD had always played an important role in advancing the government’s financial business. She stated that they had performed outstandingly and contributed to the government’s significant strides, particularly in ensuring fiscal discipline. She said the government was committed to addressing bottlenecks in the management of the public sector wage bill and expenditure, which would aid in the creation of a more business-friendly environment through deliberate orientation. This is expected to attract the necessary human and real capital expertise to realize the expected economic transformation. ‘We all, therefore, have a crucial role to play in harnessing these potentials,’ she said, and appealed to all government employees to work hard to achieve the objectives of the government. Nana Baffour Yeboah Asuama, Mawerehene, spoke on behalf of Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II, Kwahuhene, the conference’s chairman, and stated that the Financial Administration Act and other laws provided a strong foundation for accountants to diligently carry out their mandate. ‘This helps them work to improve people’s lives and to make sure that prudent financial management is strictly adhered to in all government establishments,’ he said. He said public sector accountants have a significant role to play in the sustainability of the economy by ensuring reports on the country’s financial status is accurate. ‘Let’s make it a practice to ascertain the legitimacy of transactions and their compliance with the established norms, regulations, and statutes before we process them,’ he said.
Source: Ghana News Agency