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MOFED ends Treasury Single Account workshop

MOFED ends Treasury Single Account workshop

Freetown, June 3 (SLENA) – The Accountant General Department in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) has ended a one day sensitization workshop on the Treasury Single Account (TSA) at the Miata Conference hall in Freetown.

The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the contents of the report and the way forward on the Treasury Single Account implementation as the consultants from Crown Agents have submitted their final reports.

It should be noted that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is at an advance stage in the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in Sierra Leone.

The Accountant General, Kebbe A. Kouroma who also chaired the programME, said the Treasury Single Account will create a room for all government accounts in both the central and commercial banks to be treated as one.

He went on to say that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Kaifala Marah, in his 2013 budget speech, stated that there is need to establish an efficient and effective government of Sierra Leone Treasury Single Account within the shortest possible time.

The Accountant General disclosed that the general environment within which the TSA operates will be determined by the wider government of Sierra Leone public financial management (PFM) context and the progress made in building the fundamental features of a modern cash management and disbursement system. He made it clear that every effort should be made to address budget credibility through the formulation and approval of realistic budgets.

He pointed out that removing inappropriate control in the disbursement system while strengthening the overall internal control system and aligning the institutional arrangements in processing payments will also be made to address budget credibility under the Treasury Single Account.

He explained that the TSA does not mean that they want to establish a single account for all government functionaries, adding that they can still maintain the several accounts and manage them well.

In his presentation, the Deputy Accountant General, Richard Williams, stated that the reasons for establishing the TSA are lack of unified view of government resources, centralized control of government cash resources, and idle cash for extended periods in numerous commercial banks, among others. He added that in the absence of the TSA, government borrows it own money which float in the banking system.

The Deputy Accountant General said the benefits of the TSA are many as it will help to have complete and timely information on government cash resources, improve appropriation control and operational control during budget execution. He also said it will enable efficient cash management, facilitate efficient payment mechanism and eliminate unnecessary borrowing costs as well as reduce bank fees and transaction costs.

Mr. Williams explained that government currently has 61 treasury accounts and 192 departmental accounts at the commercial banks.

He concluded by outlining the challenges faced by the TSA which includes technology, infrastructure acquisition, donor collaboration, financial discipline and change management.

The consultant from Crown Agent, Kojo Duro, made a presentation on the Concept of the TSA which was followed by questions and answer session.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development made meaningful contributions.

By Hawanatu Bockari

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