CAG Calls On MDAS, MMDAS And Other Public Service Institutions To Support IGF Implementation On GIFMIS

The Controller and Accountant General (CAG), Ms Grace Francisca Adzroe has asked MDAs, MMDAs and other Public Service institutions to support the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) implementation on GIFMIS to succeed as the project enters its  second phase. She appealed to the various institutions to provide all the necessary support to and cooperate with the technical teams who would come round during the site survey to acquaint themselves of the readiness of the deployment by the institutions.

Ms Adzroe made the appeal during a one-day workshop organized on Thursday 15th October, 2015 at Mensvic Hotel, East Legon for key officers from the various MDAs. The workshop was to brief them on the impending deployment and implementation of IGF on GIFMIS platform and to take them through the roadmap for its eventual roll-out.

The participating institutions included Register General’s Department, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Environmental Protection Agency, DVLA, Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Standards Authority, National Film and Television Institute, Centre for Distance Learning and Open Schooling, Plant Protection Regulatory Services Directorate, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Efua Sutherland Children’s Department, Narcotics Control Board, Vertinary Service Department and Department of Urban Roads. Others were Forestry Commission, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Lands Commission, Human Resources Dev’t and Management Directorate, National Pension Regulatory Authority, Security and Exchange Commission, Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands, Export Promotion Authority, Ghana Free Zones Board, National Board for Small Scale Industries, Ghana Highway Authority, Water Resources Commission, Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission, Medical and Dental Council, Ghana Prisons Service, Controller and Accountant General’s Department, Public Services Commission, Department of Rural Housing, Department of Feeder Roads and Public Works Department. The rest were Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, National Sports Authority, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, Public Servants Housing Loan Scheme Board, Public Records and Archives Administration Department, Kwame Nkrumah Memoria Park, Ghana Legal Council/Ghana Law School, Office of the Copyright Administrator, Council for Law Reporting, Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Nurses and Midwives Council of Ghana, Pharmacy Council and Medical and Dental Council.

On using the system, the CAG advised against the practice whereby some officers give their passwords to their subordinates to key in information into the system on their behalf. She directed that, if it’s a question of time, they should endeavor to make time for that assignment and if it has to do with capacity, they should do well to build their capacity, cautioning that, at the end of the day, whatever wrong that is done, the heads were the ones to be held accountable.

Maj (rtd) M.S. Tara, the Chief Director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in a speech to open the workshop expressed his happiness about the number in attendance and the timeliness of their coming, saying, that gives hope and shows their readiness in accepting and implementing the IGF on GIFMIS. He referred participants to the previous PFM reforms and the GIFMIS platform being deployed now, stressing that, GIFMIS is a continuous effort of seeking an improvement in PFM in the country. He stated that, the second phase which is being funded in part by the World Bank with an amount of 45 million Euros will be extended to cover all other components and not only the accounting aspect.

The Chief Director said, it was necessary to bring together all organizations involved in the collection of revenues to consult with all stakeholders on the way forward in implementing the IGF on the GIFMIS platform.  He added that, the workshop was also to go through the roadmap and agree on how to handle the IGF. Concluding his speech, he said, the new system to be rolled soon would require that, 100% of all revenues collected are lodged and the portion that belongs to the individual organizations are released to them upon request.

A Director of Budget at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning who also spoke during the workshop, disclosed that within three (3) years, every transaction of all Government institutions would have to be rolled onto the GIFMIS system. He urged institutions to report accurately on their IGF and not to withhold anything, thinking that when it gets to MoF, they would not have it back.

The presentation on GIFMIS was done by Mac-Effort Adadey, Project Manager of IFMIS. He said, timeliness and accuracy of information is critical to the management of government finances and public funds and that considering the large volumes of government transactions which are dispersed across multiple sites around the country, some degree of computerization and automation, would, therefore be required. He intimated that, it is as a result of this that IFMIS is introduced, which is one of the core elements of PFM reform programmes in many countries. He said, GIFMIS is a domesticated version of the broader IFMIS system used worldwide.

Mr. Mac-Effort Adadey took the participants through, the evolution of Financial Management Systems that had moved from manual system to stand alone system and now to the integrated systems. He disclosed that some countries are even using cloud computing, but added that Ghana is not there yet. He said GIFMIS (Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System) is used for budget preparation and execution as well as assets management and Human resource and payroll management.

The aim of the GIFMIS system, Mr. Adade said, is to establish an integrated ICT-based PFM Information systems in Ghana at the MDAs located at National, Regional and District levels and MMDAs to improve efficiency in public financial management including consolidated fund (CF), IGF, Statutory Funds and Donor Funds. He said GIFMIS seeks to address specific PFM problems including lack of integration or interface between various PFM Systems, inadequate budgetary controls over public expenditure, lack of transparency in budget execution, poor record keeping on public financial transactions. Other problems GIFMIS addresses, he said are undue delays in processing transactions due to cumbersome manual processes, lack of reliable data for effective fiscal planning due to weak accounting and fiscal reporting system and delays in financial reporting, especially at the National level.

The Project Manager of IFMIS said, five (5) main PFM cycle in Ghana had been identified, namely Strategic Planning, Budget formulation or preparation, budget execution, record keeping, accounting and reporting and finally Monitoring and Evaluation including audit. He indicated that, the scope of GIFMIS will cover all MDAs and MMDAs, four modules (budget, financials, HRMIS and Payroll and expanded under the new PFMRS), all public funds (CF, IGFs, Statutory Funds and Donor Funds), and will make use of all the related software platforms–systems (i.e. Hyperion, IPPD, CS-DMRS;DMD-MoF, E-Monitor, TRIPS & GCMS, T-24 & SWIFT ;BoG, PIMS;PID-MoF and E-Procurement.

Mac-Effort Adadey highlighted some of the GIFMIS business processes, key controls, users of GIFMIS, Implementation status, achievements of GIFMIS, outcomes and outstanding activities on the project, some challenges were also identified and what is working well for the GIFMIS project which give the project directors hope.

On the IGF Implementation, Project Manager of IFMIS opined that, the objective is to enhance comprehensiveness and transparency in public financial management through the GIFMIS platform which is the objective II of the PFM Strategy. GIFMIS, he said provides the platform to report on all public funds (CF, IGF, SF, DF). Certain key interventions for achieving the comprehensiveness and transparency of IGF were mentioned. He also gave the implementation roadmap (achieving full compliance with NTR Lodgement at Gross by December, 2015, completion of pilot by March 2016, site surveying at all IGF Generating MDAs by December, 2015, Phasing of Deployment-between 2017 and 2017 and consolidation of IGF deployment in 2018. He finally mentioned the rollout activities as site survey, network connectivity and system configuration, pre-live sensitization of key stakeholders, hands-on training of end-users and internal support staff, go live and post go-live support.

Closing the session, the CAG, Ms Grace Francisca Adzroe said all questions, comments and concerns raised by participants had been captured and would be looked into and where need be, factored into the GIF implementation process.

By Robert Cudjoe
Head, PR Directorate