Liberia: GOL to Launch Comptroller, Accountant General's Department

... In Accordance with PFM Act

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning will on October 21, 2020, upgrade the Comptroller and Accountant General's (CAG) Office to a Department at the Ministry.

The Ministry's move, according to a press release, is in compliance with the amendment and restatement of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act of 2009, which called for the CAG office to be moved from a division under the Department of Fiscal Affairs to a new Department of its own within the Ministry.

Section I of the Amended and Restated PFM Act, approved by the National Legislature on October 22, 2019, states that "the Comptroller and Accountant General Office within the Department of Fiscal Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning was given the full authority through the National Legislature, and with the consent of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning to be a full department."

According to the Act, "the Amended and Restated PFM Act of 2009 shall govern all matters related to the management of the Public Finance of the Republic of Liberia. This act lays out the fundamental procedures for the preparations, adoptions, executions and final accounts of the National Budget and related matters including internal control, accounting, and auditing of public financial assets, as well as the arrangement for public debt and government guarantees".

Liberia's Comptroller & Accountant General, Atty. Janga A. Kowo thanked the National Legislature and the entire leadership of the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning for passing the proposed amendments to the Public Financial Management Act of 2009 which, among other things, calls for the establishment of a Comptroller & Accountant General's Department within the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning.

Kowo also commended Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of Liberia, for what he termed as "finally penning his signature to the revised and approved PFM Act of 2019 thus, putting Liberia on par with other countries in the sub-region and demonstrating the Government of Liberia commitment to strengthening public financial management in the country".

He also expressed gratitude to development partners for their technical and financial support which has significantly contributed to the level of progress made so far in the country's public financial management reform process over the years.

Some support he named includes: "the automation of government budget execution through IFMIS free-balance at the Ministry of Finance & Development, and the extension or rollout of the automation process to fifty (50) Ministries, Agencies & Commissions (MACs) with plans to roll out to the remaining fifty-seven MACs.

In addition, the Amendment and Restatement of the Public Financial Management 2009 Act says, "it shall be supplemented by enabling regulations promulgated by the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning with approval by the President to further, specify the procedures in each of the areas mentioned herein which may be amended from time to time".

Furthermore, the Legislature, in the execution of its oversight responsibilities, shall ensure that all regulations issued pursuant to this act, prior to implementation by the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning, are harmonized with this Act.

It shall apply to all agencies, entities, and institutions of the Central Government for the purpose of this Act, according to Section I. The Central Government includes the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, along with all accompanying agencies, entities and institutions, as well as autonomous public agencies under Central Government control.

Atty. Kowo also appreciated the Project Management Unit at the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning for the level of support and guidance in the planning process, stating that "we look forward to continuous cooperation with the Bank in terms of technical and financial support and in our PFM reform drive".

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