Work As A Team To Implement Composite Budget-MMDAs Urged

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) has underscored the need for departments and institutions under the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to work as a team for a successful execution of the Composite Budget (CB). A Deputy Director of the Fiscal Decentralization Unit of the MoFEP, Mrs Evelyn Arthur, explained that the CB is an aggregation of the projected revenues and expenditure of the departments, institutions and coordinating directorates of the MMDAs. Therefore, it behooves on the institutions and departments to present their respective budgets to the MMDAs� budget officers for coordination and onward submission to the MoFEP Office in Accra by October 31 every year, before the final national budget, she said. She said Cabinet last year gave approval for the CB to be prepared and implemented by the MMDAs this year and that a software known as the Integrated Financial Management System (GFIMS) had been developed by the MoFEP for tracking the budgets of the MMDAs. Mrs Arthur said this at a capacity-building workshop on the Composite Budget manual for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, budget officers, coordinating directors, Heads of Department and members of the Sub-Committees for Shama District Assembly at Shama today. The event was organized by the Institute of Local Government Studies and Ministry of Local Government and Rural development in collaboration with the French Embassy. The Deputy Director noted that the Local Government Act, (Act 462) of 1993 gave political, economic and administrative powers to the MMDAs for utilization of resources as well as legislative authority to make bye-laws. However, she said, the fiscal or financial decentralization policy had not been effectively implemented by the successive governments, adding that central government had been the sole authority for keeping the chunk of the national resources while inflow to the MMDAs had been flawed with delays and deductions. This situation had made the mandate of the MMDAs, which is supposed to implement policies and programme of the central government, ineffective, she added. Mrs Arthur said approval for the CB is a major reform towards ensuring that resources are available to the MMDAs for implementation of policies and programmes. She said next year, revenue ceiling would be set for MMDAs in order to ignite them to mobilize enough revenue for development.