29 June 2018

Sierra Leone: Ministry of Finance Lays PFM Regulations 2018 in Parliament

Following the enactment of the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act No. 13 of 2016), the Ministry of Finance has on Wednesday, 27th June 2018 laid before Parliament the Public Financial Management Regulations (PFM Regulations) 2018.

This follows a comprehensive review of the current PFM Regulations 2007, which supplements the Public Financial Management Act 2016, in order to bring it up to date and to provide for the new provisions contained in the said Act.

This has come about as a result of the collaborative work of the Ministry of Finance, a team from the International Monetary Fund's Fiscal Affairs Department (IMF/FAD). Wide range consultations were made with stakeholder groups across MDAs, sub-vented agencies and other public enterprises.

As a way of looking at the legal imperatives of the regulations, a Drafting Committee comprising eleven members including the Legal Adviser in the Ministry of Finance and the Law Officers Department further reviewed the draft document and incorporated comments and suggestions from stakeholders, and that of the IMF/FAD which focused on seven core public financial management areas to include: Macro-fiscal Management, Treasury Single Account, Cash Management, Accounting and Financial Reporting, Asset Management, Oversight of Public Enterprises and Sub-vented Agencies and Local Governments.

In another engagement, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Patricia Nyanga Laverley earlier in the day launched Two MiYone Banking products of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank at its new Kiosk location at Adonkia, Goderich in Freetown.

These latest digital banking products, MiYone SLBC Kiosk and MiYone SLBC Teller are part of the Government owned bank's digital transformation project launched in 2017 to respond to the urgent need to address financial exclusion by reaching out to the "unbanked" and "undeserved markets" using low-cost digital methods.

Dr. Laverley thanked the Managing Director and "hardworking team" for what she said was "a historic achievement and a momentous occasion not only for the SLCB but for Sierra Leone in general" noting that she feels encouraged when new financial or services products are launched as according to the Deputy Minister, the deepen the country's financial system.

Minister Laverley reiterated Government's commitment to providing support to financial institutions and especially the State-owned bank to make them competitive, with the key objective of promoting financial inclusion and providing access to financial services as enshrined the New Direction Agenda. She went on to assure that Government will continue to support the efforts of financial institutions, especially the State-owned banks to enhance digital inclusion.

"The Ministry of Finance is encouraged with the initiatives of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank in putting runs on the Board and tick off the boxes in our financial inclusion action plan," Dr. Laverley stated, and pointed out that the launch of the two products, "is a clear manifestation of the SLBC Management's responds to the needs of their customers in providing retail payment systems," the Minister maintained.

She called on similar institutions to broaden their scope of outreach to their customers across the country as a way of ensuring financial inclusion for all.

"Let me conclude by reiterating the importance of us working together to address our common challenges as we strive to enable more of our people benefit from financial services, as the products launched are expected to impact positively on the lives of our people especially those in the rural areas," Dr. Patricia Nyanga Laverley concluded as she launched the two products.

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