Good Treasury Management … Imperative to Public Accountability

 

Our discourse on Treasury Management here is from the perspective of government treasury operations which involves book-keeping, accounting, auditing and management functions and then relating these functions to public accountability in government. It is treated here as it affects the public sector entity only, though some of the functions/activities, may be the same with those in the private sector.

TREASURY MANAGEMENT

Treasury Management in government could be said to be the strings of coordinated actions which have to be taken to ensure that all revenue accruing to government is properly and promptly collected and recorded, and that all expenditures are ‘necessarily’ and ‘reasonably’ incurred for the purposes for which they are meant. The cardinal objective here is to ensure that funds are not mismanaged or misappropriated.

By the provisions of Chapter 1, Part ll, Section 106 of the Federal Financial Regulations, (Revised to January, 2009), the Accountant General is the head of Government Accounting Service and the head of the treasury. By section 107(a) of the said Financial Regulation, the Accountant General serves as the Chief Accounting Officer for the receipts and payments of government. The Accountant General performs other vital Treasury

Management functions as specified in section 107 (a-q) of the Financial Regulations. The treasury management functions include receipt and custody of government funds, disbursement of government funds and financial statements preparation and analysis. All Government revenue are normally lodged into the Government Revenue Accounts. The revenue heads  include:  (i) Statutory Revenue from Federation Account; (ii) VAT (Value Added Tax); (iii) Other revenue like share of excess crude, oil mineral, etc.

These classes of revenue are received directly from CBN into the Statutory Recurrent and VAT Accounts maintained for that purpose. All Statutory Expenditures like salaries, pension and gratuity, overheads and capital expenditure are disbursed from these accounts. (iv) Other classes of revenue include the Internally Generated Revenue, PAYE TAX, revenue generated from school fees and all other types of revenue generated by the Internal Revenue Services are lodged in appropriate accounts in different banks and immediately swept into the Consolidated Revenue Account also known as Ministerial Single Account (MSA). It is used to fund pressing financial demand of government on daily basis. All disbursement of government funds is made through payment voucher duly authorized by the appropriate authority, well prepared, processed and passed for payment. Different classes of vouchers include Recurrent Vouchers, Remittance Vouchers and contract vouchers for capital projects.

One of the most important Treasury Management functions is the preparation of financial Statements and analysis. The office of the State Accountant General produces its financial Statements using the ORACLE E-BUSINESS SUITE.

PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY IN GOVERNMENT

Public Accountability in Government means that the public officials have an obligation to explain their decisions and actions to the citizens. Accountability involves answerability and enforcement. Government accountability is achieved through strict compliance or observance of the regulatory framework designed to prevent corruption and ensure that public officials remain answerable and accessible to the people they serve.

To ensure Public Accountability in government, Treasury Management is guided by various regulatory frameworks. These include the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; The Finance (Control and Management) Act of 1958; Audit Act of 1956; Financial Regulations, Revised to 2009; Appropriation Act/Law; Treasury Letters/Circulars; Gazette; Public Service Rules; International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). Other legislations include Fiscal Responsibility, Public Procurement, State/ Public Finance Management and Debt Management laws.

“All hands must therefore be on deck in the fight against corrupt practices while public office holders need to collaborate with other public functionaries to observe due process in public finance management.“