e-Travel Card to ensure judicious use of public funds

e-Travel Card to ensure judicious use of public funds
Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

The introduction of an e-Travel Card – a new travel card for use by public officials – will further help to ensure the judicious use of public funds, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said.

The travel card will now end the era of cash-for-travel in the public sector, while bringing further transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

The card is designed to facilitate the cashless disbursement of travel allowance and other payments for local and foreign trips by government and other public officials.

The e-Travel Card automates and integrates all processes from the point of initiating card issuance requests, funding requests from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)/ entities, through approvals and disbursement to issuing the cards. It further provides expenditure tracking and retirement of accountable imprest.

It is expected to deliver a number of benefits, including eliminating the risk of carrying cash; transparency and ease of accountability; timely retirement of accountable imprest; and improved monitoring and control of budgetary allocations for official travels to avoid overspending.

Launching the e-Travel Card at the closing ceremony of the Annual Conference of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) in Cape Coast, the Vice President said: “The e-Travel Card portal is to replace all manual systems of managing imprest in the Public Service by delivering personalised cards to every Government Office and employee”.

This initiative, he observed, is designed to further consolidate the digitalisation agenda of government that has already delivered a number of successful projects: including the Digital Address System, the Ghana Card Project, Mobile Money Interoperability, among others.

“The digitalisation agenda is not only focused on transforming how citizens conduct business with the government sector. but also how the public sector, in reverse, conducts business with enterprises. The e-Travel Card Project seeks to end the era of cash for travel in the public sector,” he added.

Dr. Bawumia emphasised the link between enhanced digitalisation and transparency and urged the CAGD to continue with efforts to link public sector wages to the Ghana Card, which is increasingly becoming the one true source of proof.

He commended the CAGD for playing a very crucial role in the management of public finances and accountability process.

He said, for example, that adoption of digitalisation processes by management of the National Service Scheme led to the discovery of over 14,000 potential fraudsters.

This development, according to the Vice President, saved the state up to GH¢112million; and therefore he urged other public sector entities to adopt similar measures to fish out those who have been swindling the state.

He said government is committed to cracking down on financial malpractices, wasteful public spending, bottlenecks in the management of public expenditure and the wage bill – and needs all stakeholders to play their part to make this a reality.

“Digitalisation in the accounting field is about incorporating interactive technologies and transforming accounting processes from manual to digital to achieve efficiency, transparency and savings to the public purse.

“I am aware that the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department is already taking steps toward the electronic enhancement of its business processes. Key measures include continuous use of the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS); upgrading the Third-Party Referencing System (TPRS); the Electronic Salary Payment Voucher (ESPV) system; and the E-Payslip system among others.

“I must say that these initiatives are commendable, are in the right direction and are beginning to manifest in many ways,” he said.

The Annual Conference of CAGD was under the theme ‘The role of Controller and Accountant-General’s Department in advancing the Digitalisation Agenda of Ghana’.

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