Akyawkrom (Ash), Dec. 08, GNA-The Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) in collaboration with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Ghana Interbank Payment Settlement Systems GhIPSS, have developed an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) platform.
The goal is to enable Covered Entities (Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies) with accounts in commercial banks to effect electronic payments to third party suppliers and individuals through the Ghana Integrated Financial Information System (GIFMIS)
The development of the EFT platform, which is now embedded within GIFMIS and has been tested and piloted with some key institutions, is another critical phase of the Public Financial Management (PFM) improvements.
Being the implementing agency of the GIFMIS-GhIPSS EFT platform, the CAGD has engaged stakeholders in the middle zone of the country to sensitise them on its rollout across the country.
Participants were drawn from MMDAs, Internal Audit Agency, and Ghana Audit Service in the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, and Western North Regions.
Mr. Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, the Controller and Accountant-General, said the development of the platform would put behind the practice, where Covered Entities whose bank accounts were domiciled in commercial banks made payments outside the GIFMIS platform, resulting in reconciliation challenges in establishing the correct trial balances.
“Processing all transactions on the GIFMIS and making payments through the GhIPSS EFT will strengthen bank statements to execute automatic bank reconciliation and allow for the importation of bank statements to execute automatic bank reconciliation, leading to improved bank reconciliation and financial reporting,” he argued.
One of the objectives of the platform, according to him, was to eliminate the inefficiencies and risks associated with traditional manual payment processes.
“With GIFMIS-GhIPSS EFT platform, we can automate and standardise payment procedures, reducing transaction turnaround time and minimising the potential for errors and fraud,” the Controller and Accountant-General stated.
He said the EFT platform would also result in cost saving for government and ultimately contribute to the overall improvement of the country’s fiscal management.
By digitising payments, we will have a comprehensive and auditable trail of all transactions, making tracking and monitoring the flow more accessible, he pointed out.
Mr. Kwaning-Bosompem indicated that the platform would provide real-time data and analytics, empowering decision-makers with accurate and timely information for effective financial planning and budgeting.
Ms. Beatrice Koranteng Osei, the Acting Regional Coordinating Director, welcomed the engagement, saying it was important for all MMDAs to be familiar with the platform in their day-to-day administration.
She said the implementation of the GhIPSS EFT platform was timely considering the myriad of challenges facing MMDAs when using the GIFMIS platform.
Mr. Antwi Duah, a Representative of the Regional Auditor, said the practice where funds were disbursed outside the GIFMIS platform was a regular infraction in the Auditor General’s Report annually.
He was hopeful that the implementation of the GIFMIS-GhIPSS EFT platform would help address the irregularity to promote transparency and accountability.