Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice-President, has launched an electronic travel card to regulate government and public employees’ travel expenses.
Through a cashless delivery of travel allowances and other payments for local and international journeys by authorities, the card is aimed to manage and limit waste and misuse of money by traveling officials.
An e-travel card gateway will be built after the system is completely implemented to replace the manual approach of handling imprests by gov’t officials.
The technology will also assist automation and integration procedures from the point of card issuance to approvals and payout by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department. It will also allow for the tracking of expenditures and the retirement of accountable imprests.
Yesterday, the Vice-President unveiled the card at the Controller and Accountant General’s Department’s 22nd annual delegates conference in Cape Coast, Central Region.
Regional directors and other department officials, as well as financial officers from metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies (MMDAs) and regional coordinating councils, attended the two-day conference, which had the topic “the role of the CAGD in advancing the digitalisation agenda of Ghana.”
According to Dr. Bawumia, the government’s digitization program has so far insured that nearly 80% of the population had tax identification numbers, which included paperless port clearance, passport acquisition, and national health insurance renewal, among other things.
He said that it has also allowed students to apply for loans online, lowering the frequency of bribery and corruption.
“Digitalisation is a shining light on darkness of malpractices, bribery and corruption,”
“Fundamentally, you fight corruption with systems not with rhetoric or talks,” the Vice-President stated, adding that the administration will continue to establish mechanisms to improve transparency, accountability, trustworthiness, and inclusivity.
He went on to say that the system will minimize the danger of cash transactions for official trips, as well as ensuring transparency, accountability, and the prompt release of responsible imprests.
“We will invariably be able to achieve value for money in line with government’s commitment to saving the public purse,”
The Vice-President praised the CAGD for delivering good public financial management services to help the government run more efficiently.
Mr Kwesi Kwaning-Bosompem, the Controller and Accountant General, said the launch of the card was a watershed moment in the digitisation agenda aimed at safeguarding the public purse.
So according to him, the manual method was inefficient since authorities had to exchange local money for foreign currencies at banks and forex bureaux, as well as on the black market at excessive rates in some situations.
Mr Kwaning-Bosompem further claimed that some authorities neglected to account for imprests given to them, making it impossible to determine if they were properly applied. He promised that the CADG will continue to improve its service delivery efficiency through digitalization.
Nana Kwesi Agyekum Dwamena, the Head of Civil Service, urged public employees to embrace the digitalisation agenda in order to increase efficiency and keep up with the changing world.
Dr. Bawumia was honored with a citation for his significant contributions to the country’s digitalization agenda.