The Government of Liberia through the Comptroller and Accountant General’s (CAG) Office, at the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning, will on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, launch the establishment of the Comptroller & Accountant General’s Department of the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning.
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 was 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 lays out the fundamental procedures for the preparations, adoptions, 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”.
Liberia’s Comptroller & Accountant General, Atty. Janga A. Kowo thanked the National Legislature and the entire leadership of the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning for passing the proposed amendments to the Public Financial Management Act of 2009, which among others calls for the establishment of a Comptroller & Accountant General’s Department within the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning.
Mr.Kowo also commended President George Weah 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 expressed gratitude to development partners for their technical and financial support which has significantly contributed to the level of progress made so far in our public financial management reform process over the years.
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 says “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”.
Furthermore, the Legislature in the execution of its oversight responsibilities shall ensure that all regulations issued pursuant to this act prior to implementation by the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning is harmonized with this Act. It shall apply to all agencies, entities, and institutions of the Central Government for the purpose of this Act, according to Section I.
The Central Government includes the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, along with all accompanying agencies, entities and institutions, as well as autonomous public agencies under Central Government control.
Atty. Kowo also appreciated the Project Management Unit at the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning for the level of support and guidance in the planning process, stating that “we look forward to continuous cooperation with the Bank in terms of technical and financial support and in our PFM reform drive”.