Business News of 2013-12-20

Parliament assures vigilance over gov’t spending

Parliament has assured its watchdog role will be intensified to stop government from spending beyond the estimates in the 2014 Budget. The House on Thursday gave approval for the Finance Ministry to spend almost GH¢35 billion from next year.

The green light comes after weeks of scrutinizing the 2014 Budget. Although many have questioned the measures to keep spending within range and control the nation's public debt, Chairman of Parliament's Finance Committee, James Averji, told Joy Business although Parliament will track government expenditure, if the wage bill is increased for public sector workers, the House might not be able to stop that.

He said salaries for public sector workers and employee compensation presents a "critical" area that must be watched. He however commended the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (GIFMIS) for adequately checking financial management in goods and services, indicating that over-spending is not likely to be experienced in those sectors.

The GIFMIS is also expected to address the issue of poor financial oversight highlighted in various Auditor General’s reports.