Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Hon. Samuel D. Tweah Jr. has reaffirmed the government’s commitment, to robust economic and reform measures, that will ensure bigger programs across all sectors are undertaken.
Minister Tweah made the statement at the official launch of the Department of Comptroller and Accountant Generals on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.
He said the building of reforms has a lot of measures, time, and requires political will that will align with development plans, adding that the launch of the department is intended to bring comptrollers, accountants, of agencies of government under the umbrella of the Comptroller and Accountant’s General Department.
The finance minister indicated that the department will also facilitate the effectiveness, and efficiency of financial resources, under sound fiscal principles, that will support the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, a strategic plan with emphasis on public service delivery.
He thanked international partners, including the World Bank, African Development Bank, International Monetary Funds, European Union, African Union, ECOWAS, and United States Agency for International Development, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), and other key partners for theirs continued support to Liberia over the years.
Speaker of the 54th National Legislature, Hon. Dr. Bhofal Chambers advised Liberians to learn from two countries: Botswana and Singapore in terms of building reforms.
“Both nations in the past were very poor, but now they are rich because of the manner and form they have managed their natural resources,” says Speaker Chambers.
He told the gathering that “no law” is permanent because a law can be changed based on circumstance.
For his part, Liberia Comptroller & Accountant General, Hon. Janga A. Kowo said Public Financial Management (PFM) is aligning to national development.
“With the wisdom of the finance minister and the approval by the national legislature, the government saw the need to consolidate the comptroller and accountant general department to have a financial transaction system for transparent reporting”.
Hon. Kowo also commended His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of Liberia, for what he termed as “finally penning his signature to the revised and approved PFM Act of 2019 thus, putting Liberia on par with other countries in the sub-region and demonstrating the Government of Liberia commitment to strengthening public financial management in the country”.
He also praised both local and international partners of, Ghana’s Comptroller and Accountant General Department, World Bank, African Development Bank, IMF, ECOWAS, African Union, USAID, SIDA among others for their support.
With the passage of the Amendment and Restatement of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act of 2009, the CAG Department transitioned from a Division under the Department of Fiscal Affairs to a new Department of its own within the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning.
Section I of the Amended and Restated PFM Act of 2009, approved by the National Legislature on October 22, 2019, states “the Comptroller and Accountant General Office within the Department of Fiscal Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning were given the full authority through the National Legislature, and with the consent of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning to be a full department”.
The section furthered that “the Amendment and Restatement PFM Act of 2009 shall govern all matters related to the management of the Public Finance of the Republic of Liberia. This act layout the fundamental procedures for the preparations, adaption, executions, and final accounts of the National Budget and related matters including internal control, accounting, and auditing of public financial assets, as well as the arrangement for public debt and government guarantees”.
He named some of the support to include: the automation of government budget execution through IFMIS free-balance at the Ministry of Finance & Development, and the extension or rollout of the automation process to fifty (50) Ministries, Agencies & Commissions (MACs) with plans to roll-out to the remaining fifty-seven MACs.
In addition, the Amendment and Restatement of the Public Financial Management 2009 Act say “it shall be supplemented by enabling regulations promulgated by the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning with approval by the President to further, specify the procedures in each of the areas mentioned herein which may be amended from time to time”.