AGF inaugurates fiscal transparency body
Strengthens open treasury portal service
BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA – Despite harsh thumbs down from critics, the Federal Government is not letting the heat off its anti-corruption campaign as it moves to boost transparency and openness in the management of public resources.
This latest measure is in line with the Transparency and Open Government Policy aimed at making financial information of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) public to promote accountability and strengthen the fight against corruption.
To achieve its set goals, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) has inaugurated the Committee on Federal Government Financial Transparency Guidelines and Open Treasury Portal with the Accountant-General, Ahmed Idris tasking members to judiciously deliver on their mandate.
Speaking during the event at Treasury House in Abuja, Idris said; “The approved Transparency Policy provides for Transparency requirements, thresholds and responsibilities as part of Government Policy on accountability in line with Freedom of Information Act 2014.”
Idris explained that the Committee’s objectives include improving good governance; enhancing the public whistle blower policy; and equiping the general public with the tools to report financial wrongdoing as well as providing guidelines for MDAs to adequately promote financial transparency.
According to him, the Committee’s Terms of Reference are: To advise the Minister of Finance and National Planning on the enforcement action, including sanctions where appropriate; To ensure full compliance with the Transparency requirements; and To advise the Minister on the improvement necessary in the implementation modalities.
Others include: To review transparency reports from different stakeholders and recommend appropriate actions; and To prepare summary brief for the Minister regarding compliance with the implementation requirements.
Also, AGF Idris listed the Expected Operational Modalities as: The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation will provide secretariat services for the Committee; the Committee shall be free to request for information or clarifications from anyone involved in the implementation of the Transparency Policy; and the Committee shall be free to seek and obtain service of independent experts to support their work if required.
Idris said the Committee will be required to report to him on monthly basis and also the Honourable Minister of Finance and National Planning through his Office.
Responding on behalf on the Committee, its Chairman, Idris Mamman described the task as an opportunity to compliment government’s efforts at ensuring transparency, openness and accountability in public service ,
He assured that the members are determined demonstrate patriotism by rendering selfless service; serving the good of the nation and well-meaning Nigerians.
Mamman pledged the members’ readiness to perform their duty with diligence and without fear or favour, adding that officials of MDAs and the public must fully appreciate the initiative for the good of all as it will bring government closer to the governed for the mutual benefit of society and Nigerians
The Finance Minister had on July 4, 2018 presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval to establish the Financial Transparency Guidelines and Open Treasury Portal.
Thereafter, the Quality Assurance and Compliance Committee, with membership drawn from MDAs, was constituted to deliver on the set goals.