Mr Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey -Agbo, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, says preparation of a comprehensive and realistic budget is the basic requirement for sound local government public financial management and local service delivery.
He said a comprehensive budget was the bedrock on which other reforms on reporting, accounting and auditing could be achieved to ensure effective, efficient, transparent and accountable utilization of resources.
Mr Afotey-Agbo said this at the Greater Accra Regional budget hearing of the 2013 composite budgets of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, (MMDA’s).
The event is to provide an avenue for stakeholders to participate in the budget process and an opportunity for Regional Co-ordination Council (RCC) to ensure that the MMDA’s budgets are consistent with the strategies in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda.
He said a composite budget defined in the LI 1961, 2009 “is a budget under which departments of the District Assemblies are to be integrated into the budgets of the District Assemblies”.
Mr Afotey -Agbo said it provided each District Assembly with the responsibility for the preparation, administration and control of budgetary allocation of the departments of the assemblies in order to obtain overall knowledge of the assembly’s financial resource envelope, integrate the resources of the various funding sources and sectors, and integrate the MMDA’s budgets into the national budget.
He said over the years, budgets of decentralized department were not part of the overall MMDA’s budget and research had shown that it promoted inefficiencies, poor co-ordination and harmonization of financial management system in the MMDA’s.
Mr Afotey-Agbo said the RCC would continue its monitoring role and offer the needed backstop support to ensure the smooth preparation and implementation of the budgets.
He urged the MMDA’s to improve on their local revenue generation, train and retrain staff for successful implementation of the budget, strengthen Audit services to enforce auditing at the MMDA’S level, put in place appropriate sanctions to enforce misapplication of funds and improve on their contract management system.