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Finance ministry holds consultation talks with local government in Bo

Finance ministry holds consultation talks with local government in Bo

Bo, July (SLENA) – The Public Financial Management Reform Unit in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development have held a two day consultation for the development of financial regulations for the Local Government Act 2004 at the J&E Resort in Bo.

It should be recalled that this is the second consultation for the development of financial regulations for the Local Government Act which brought together Mayors/ Chairpersons, Chief Administrators and Finance Officers in Local Councils.

According to report, the second stakeholder consultation was in furtherance of the consultation process during which a revised draft Financial Administration Regulations was produced and widely circulated following comments from the initial consultations in Bo which was well –attended by various stakeholders.

It should also be noted that process of consultation is considered extremely important in ensuring that the Regulations so developed adequately regulate financial management procedures & practices within the Local Government.

In his declaration of purpose, the Director of Public Financial Management Reform Unit, Augustus Cole, thanked the participants for attending the program and recalled that during the first consultation meeting in April this year, the PFM consultant, Mr. Cipran Kamaray, took them through the whole document and added that they believed that it was necessary for them to meet again to actually review the document indebt to have the final version that they will be sent to the Law Officers Department and also to Cabinet for ratification.

He admonished all and sundry, that they had the opportunity to get it right as it basically their final opportunity to go through the document prior to moving the process forward. and stressed the importance of taking ownership of the document

Formally opening the Second Consultation workshop, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hadiru Kalokoh, expressed delight to represent his minister and recalled that earlier in 2013, the first consultation was held.

He said the second consultation underscores the significance of the Regulations which will adequately regulate Financial Management procedures and practices within the Local Government system.

The Deputy Minister explained that as a ministry they believed that the result of the Regulations will go a long way in not only building the capacities of local councils’ financial managers to be effective and efficient in their functions but will also reduce the probability of the councils getting into  negative  engagement with  the Anti-Corruption Commission.

He added that the regulation will help solve some of the problems between Councils and the Chiefdom Administrations in their revenue mobilization drive.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Director of Internal Audit in the Ministry of Finance, Reginald Fynn who chaired the meeting, expressed delight to be part of the consultation meeting in April during which he learnt a lot as there were people who were very active in their presentations, which gave him the opportunity to know all what was happening in the councils than before.

The Senior Deputy Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Dennis Vandy, reiterated the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in the entire process.

He maintained that his ministry has the mandate that cut across every sector in governance, noting that it is because of that reason that MoFED is piloting the program in order for them to have Financial Regulations for the Councils.

While stressing the need for the financial systems of Local Councils to be very efficient, he disclosed that the transfer of resources to Local Councils from Donors and Government has increased over the period while noting that there is need to protect the transfers made to Councils, pointing out that they can do that through the help of Financial Administration Regulations.

He thanked the Ministry of Local Government for their cooperation in directing the process of formulating the rules and further informed the participants that the document has been forwarded to the Law Officers Department and that they are also reviewing it.

HB/MoFED/SLENA

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