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Business News Wed, 3 Aug 2016

Public Financial Management Bill addresses misuse of state funds

The Public Financial Management Bill, 2016 currently before Ghana’s legislature is expected to receive the House’s approval Wednesday.

The Bill, whose content has been lauded by both sides of Parliament, will help address the gaping difference regarding proper use of state funds by public officials.

It will improve the overall government financial management and ensure accountability and transparency in the handling of public purse.

Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Benjamin Kpodo, is optimistic the Bill, when passed, will put to rest the blatant way taxpayers money is used by government functionaries.

According to him, in section 101 of the Bill, there is a list of offences which amount to fraud and criminal act, saying, persons found to have committed such acts will either be made to pay a penalty, a custodial sentence or be made to face both.

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Opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ranking Member of the Committee, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, has welcomed the clause in the Bill that outlaws certain acts of public officials.

He says the enforcement of the provision is key to stamping out the mismanagement of funds in the country.

“The old file did not bite and so people took advantage. If you read the Auditor-General’s report there is no follow up to some of the issues, but at least we are told the government is trying to put some bite to it,” he said.

It is quite tight in terms of requirement of reporting of ministers, and principal accountants regarding spending, he said.

Source: Myjoyonline.com
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