Liberia: Finance Ministry Holds Workshop for Comptrollers, Accountants in G/Bassa
BUCHANAN – A two-day workshop, geared towards ensuring comptrollers and accountants of government line ministries and agencies, having adequate understanding about the newly created Comptroller and Accountant General Department, and in continuation of the reform exercise has been held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, from December 18-19, 2020.
The workshop was organized by the Comptroller and Accountant General Department, and held under the theme: “Awareness and Orientation on the newly created Comptroller and Accountant General Department and the ongoing transition process”.
Over 100 Comptrollers and accountants attended the workshop, including principal deputies of some ministries and agencies under the reform which initiated the transition of The Comptroller and Accountant General Department at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.
The workshop is in line with the ongoing PFM reform exercise, and part of the transition process of comptrollers and accountants to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, under the Comptroller and Accountant General Department. Also, as part effort to improve public financial management and to consolidate a unified government financial reporting and accounting.
Liberia’s Comptroller and Accountant General Atty. Janga A. Kowo, speaking at the start, stated that it was important for Comptrollers to be under the same “roof” for enhanced coordination to improve accountant efficiency for the government.
The transition will also ensure that Comptrollers and accountants are re-vetted for better deployment in their ministries and agencies. Professional certificate training has been earmarked for comptrollers and accountants, and it will be done by the LICPA, says CAG Kowo.
The Comptroller and Accountants General Office of Liberia transitioned from being a unit, under Fiscal Affair Department to a Department through the Amended and Restatement of the Public Financial Management Act of 2009.
Under Section I of the Amendment and Restatement of the Public Financial Management act of 2009, approved by the National Legislature on October 22, 2019, the Comptroller and Accountants 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 finance assets, as well as the arrangement for public debt and government guarantees.
According to the Act, it shall be supplemented by enabling regulations promulgated by the Ministry of Finance and 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.
For his part, Deputy Director for Administration at IAA, presenting on the entity experience by bringing all auditors under one “umbrella”, said the reform which brought about the creation of the IAA made it possible.
IAA Akoi said all auditors employed by the government will not be monitored, supervised and deployed on an annual basis by the agency. The Internal Audit Agency, according to him, has a mandate to perform all internal audits related to government functions.
The CSA role in the transition of comptrollers and accountants to the CAG Department was also discussed.
LICPA President Victor S. Tanwone, speaking on the role of trained professionals in the reform process encouraged comptrollers and accountants to form part of the training program at LICPA, in order to be certify, and marketable on the international scene.
Carrow Botoe, Auditor Manager at the GAC, presented on the importance of the partnership between the newly created CAG Department and the General Auditing Commission.