The Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD), was established in 1885, during the pre-independence era of the Gold Coast. The Department was originally referred to as the ‘Treasury’ upon its establishment until 1937 when it was rechristened Accountant-General’s Department. This name was maintained until 1967 when it obtained its current name, the ‘Controller and Accountant-General’s Department,’ clearly defining its roles to include the responsibility of exercising efficient and effective financial controls in the budget execution process.
Established under the Civil Service Act 1960 (CA. 5), the CAGD represents the Accounting Class of the Civil Service. It is, therefore, a Civil Service Department under the Ministry of Finance. The 1992 Constitution and the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), provide the legal framework that governs the operations of the CAGD. As the Chief Accounting Officer of Government and Advisor to the Minister and Government in matters relating to accounting, the Controller and Accountant-General (CAG) is responsible to the Minister for the custody, safety and integrity of public funds.
The Controller and Accountant General is, therefore, enjoined by law to:
- Compile and manage the accounts prepared in relation to the Consolidated Fund and other Funds;
- Issue general instructions to a Principal Spending Officer in accordance with the Act and the Regulations;
- Keep, render and publish statements on public accounts under the Act;
- Develop efficient accounting systems for a covered entity;
- Approve accounting instructions for a covered entity;
- Receive, disburse and provide secure custody for public funds;
- On the instructions of the Minister, open an account with the Bank of Ghana and its agents for the deposit of public funds subject to compliance with the Treasury Single Account system;
- Authorise the opening of an account for a covered entity;
- In consultation with the Auditor- General, specify for a covered entity the accounting standards, policies and the classification system to be applied in public accounting to ensure that a proper system of accounting operates;
- Provide accounting officers to covered entities; and
- Be responsible for the classification and management of value books.