Public Financial Management Act Makes Responsibilities Clear
New Public Financial Management Act Makes Responsibilities Clearer
The new Act outlines the responsibilities of the Minister of Finance to promote sound fiscal and economic policies, ensure appropriate financial management and review of proposals going to Cabinet and the establishment of good governance. The Finance Minister also has responsibilities to establish internal controls and for the provision of the Government’s finances to the National Parliament.
The role of Permanent Secretaries is made clearer in the new Public Financial Management Act, as accountable officers, who will be in charge of proper management and control of expenditures and for any revenues or other public resources according to the Act and its regulations or instructions.
Public officials handling financial management operations in ministries will be responsible to their Permanent Secretaries as accounting officers. Financial Controllers are accounting officers in charge of financial management operations will be accountable to their Permanent Secretaries and the Accountant-General for their duties under the Act.
Members of Parliament, including Cabinet ministers, will be deemed accounting officers by virtue of being a signatory to Constituency Fund bank accounts, in accordance with the relevant provision in the Constituency Fund Development Bill when it is passed into legislation.
Minister of Finance and Treasury, Hon Rick Hou added that the Internal Audit office and the authority therein is also being amplified in the new Act, as a critical management tool, across the whole of Government not only to detect and report on irregularity but to assess and advice on proper internal controls.
The Minister said these clarifications in the new Act will enable the ministry to draw up detailed regulations and instructions that will further prescribe the rules and requirements under these roles.