By D.I. Laary/ Priscilla S. Djentuh, GNA
Accra, Sept. 30, GNA - Mr Richard Q. Quartey, the Auditor-General, has said sound public financial management is essential for accelerated growth of the economy and that the public auditor will work within its mandate to safeguard integrity of the system.
“The office of the Auditor-General will continue through its scrutiny and vigilance to safeguard the integrity of the public financial management system knowing that a sound public financial management system constitutes the bedrock of good and accountable governance and thriving national development agenda.”
Mr Quartey, who was speaking at the Audit Service 7th annual accountability lectures, said protecting the integrity of the country’s financial management system required the responsibility of all stakeholders and leadership.
“Safeguarding the integrity of our public financial system is a shared responsibility-a shared responsibility that requires some action on the part of leadership, at both political and institutional level,”
The political leaders ought to also cooperate with the system by operating within the law, by instituting appropriate control measures and leading by example in enforcing those measures, he said.
Mr Quartey said there is the need for public officials, including the state auditor, to posses the right technical skills and other relevant competences and demonstrate the highest sense of integrity in order to sustain the system.
“Let us all join hands together to ensure a sound financial management system for our dear nation, Ghana,” he said.
The concept of sound public financial management system, experts say, goes beyond the system’s integrity to include the integrity of the people or public officials providing information with which the system works.
An effective financial management system seeks to promote appropriate behaviour of public officials in mitigating the incident of corruption and achieve fiscal sustainability, he said.
Mr Quartey said the role of the public sector auditor had always been to safeguard the integrity of the public financial management system.
“One way of ensuring this integrity is that the public sector auditor should be independent of the producers of public financial management information and the users of this information,” he said.
Mr Quartey said it required rigorous enforcements of enabling regulatory framework and effective collaboration with key players in the accountability chain.
Eric Oduro Osae, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at the Ghana’s Institute of Local Governance Studies (ILGS), urged government to make accountability work at the local level.
‘’There is no government that can develop effectively without focusing on accountability at the local level,” he said, and expressed worry that the situation where accountability and transparency focused mainly at the national level result in development being stagnated.
He said local accountability needed effective communication to function where authorities get back to the citizenry through the assembly members in their local languages.
“Local governments are obliged to involve their areas of jurisdiction in their management to facilitate true accountability’’ he said, ‘’government should appoint assembly members on the basis of their technical competences’’.
The Audit Service 7th Annual Accountability Lecture which took place at the College of Physicians and Surgeons was on the theme: ‘’Good Governance and Accountability through Stakeholder Participation in Public Financial Management.”