-Lall tells financial officers

Minister of Local Govern-ment and Regional Development Kellawan Lall has urged regional financial officers to adhere to rules governing transactions and to familiarise themselves with the Financial Audit Act and IFMAS in order to boost transparency.

According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release Lall reiterated this call at a workshop held recently at the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre. The workshop aimed at enhancing the level of transparency and accountability across the regions. Lall told participants including principal assistant secretaries, chief accountants, accountants and assistant accountants to use regulations guiding financial operations and to learn and implement new systems in place including the Information Management and Accounting System (IFMAS). He also told the officers that that they have an important responsibility to manage regional finances and that payments should only be based on legal contractual obligations.

Officers were also advised to visit areas to verify works being done.

Accounting officers were charged with ensuring the necessary requirements are met before making payments to preclude the impression that sometimes officers are in receipt of benefits that they are not entitled to. Lall said too while regional executive officers are also the chief accounting officers, they cannot authorize persons who are not from their region to undertake financial transactions.

He advocated that participants report problems of corruption in the system and the persons involved will be sanctioned.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary Sewchan outlined some key accounting procedures that the officers should follow and raised several areas of concerns including payments procedures and record keeping. He encouraged the officers to maintain records and ensure that issues pertaining to the clearing of accounts, salaries and reconciliation of appropriation accounts are done. Sewchan also advised them to ensure that all their employees are registered with the National Insurance Scheme.

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