The Controller and Accountant-General’s Department under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance has launched the Government of Ghana Staff and Travel Card (GoG E-Travel Card) for use by government functionaries and employees.
The launch of this innovative product, geared toward enhancing public financial management and reporting, was made possible through a partnership with the CAGD’s technical partner – Ghana’s largest privately-owned bank, Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited. Fidelity Bank was mandated to issue Visa and Gh-link cards for international and local travel.
The GoG E-Travel Card is an integral part of the robust Government of Ghana Staff and Travel Card platform to facilitate expense management of international and local travel for all Government of Ghana employees. The GoG E-Travel Card will also function as a unique staff identity card.
Both the Visa and Gh-Link versions of the Government of Ghana Staff and Travel Cards were launched by Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, at this year’s Annual Conference of the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) that was held in Cape Coast.
Dr. Bawumia stated: “Our government is building a system that among others enhances transparency; promotes accountability, discipline and trustworthiness; enables inclusiveness; encourages efficient public sector management and public service delivery; and eliminates incentives for bribery and corruption”.
The Vice President noted that introduction of the GoG E-Travel Card for public officials is to ensure that government reduces certain malpractices and also cuts down on waste as a result of overexpenditure.
The Staff and Travel Card system automates and integrates all processes from the point of initiating card issuance requests, and funding requests from MDAs and entities through approval and disbursements. It further provides expenditure tracking and retirement of accountable imprests. The Staff and Travel Card portal will replace all manual systems of managing travel imprests in the public service sector by delivering personalised cards to every government employee.
Mr. Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, the Controller and Accountant-General, also maintained that introduction of the platform is a great feat for Ghana’s digital growth, and will improve operational efficiency and provide convenience to all government officials.
“The current manual and tax-based system of handling imprests for official travel is labourious. Government officials often need to change local currencies into foreign ones at the banks, some at the forex bureaus – and in some cases at unorthodox places which some people call the ‘black market’ – at exorbitant rates, and this comes at a cost to government.
“We are set to roll out the GoG E-Travel Card to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies for use as the official system for disbursing and retiring of imprests for official travel in the public service. The Card’s launch is an indication of our commitment to government’s digitalisation agenda. We will continue to review every aspect of our business processes and explore ways to bring efficiency and effectiveness to bear through digitalisation,” the Controller and Accountant-General said.
The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana, Julian Opuni, remarked that creating the Government of Ghana Travel Card aligns with the bank’s digitisation agenda to provide convenient and seamless digital transactions for all.
“We commend government for the bold step it has taken to check overspending and funds misappropriation in the public sector through introduction of the Government of Ghana Staff and Travel Card.
“Fidelity Bank is excited to partner with government in the cashless disbursement of travel allowances, which will ultimately allow for accountability among other beneficial outcomes.
“This partnership will afford public officials opportunities to experience the flawless service that is the hallmark of Fidelity Bank,” Julian Opuni said.
The government of Ghana is committed to partnering the private sector to drive the national digitisation agenda. Initiatives like the Ghana Travel Card are among many upcoming collaborations wherein public private partnerships will help to move the country forward in an efficient and technologically-savvy manner.