The Controller and Accountant-Generalâ€™s Department under the auspices of the Finance Ministry has launched the Government of Ghana Staff and Travel Card (GoG E-Travel Card).
The launch of this innovative product geared towards enhancing public financial management and reporting was made possible through a partnership with CAGDâ€™s technical partner, Ghanaâ€™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 the Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, at this yearâ€™s Annual Conference of the Controller and Accountant-Generalâ€™s Department (CAGD) that was held in Cape Coast.
Speaking at the launch, Dr Bawumia stated that â€œOur government is building a system that amongst 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.â€
The Vice President noted that the introduction of the GoG E-Travel Card for public officials was to ensure that the government reduces certain malpractices and cuts down on waste due to over expenditure.
The Staff and Travel Card system automates and integrates all processes from the point of initiation of 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 personalized cards to every government employee.
The Controller and Accountant General, Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, also maintained that the introduction of the platform is a great feat for Ghanaâ€™s digital growth and will improve operational efficiency and provide convenience to all government officials.
â€œThe current manual and taxed-based system of handling imprests for official travel is laborious. government officials often need to change local currencies into foreign currencies 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.â€
â€œWe 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 serviceâ€.
The launch of the Card is an indication of our commitment to the digitalisation agenda of government. We will continue to review every aspect of our business processes and explore ways to bring efficiency and effectiveness to bear through digitalisation,â€ the Controller and Accountant-General said.
The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana, Julian Opuni, remarked that the creation of the Government of Ghana Travel Card; aligns with the bankâ€™s digitization agenda to provide convenient and seamless digital transactions for all.
â€œWe commend the government for the bold step it has taken to check overspending and funds misappropriation in the public sector through the introduction of the Government of Ghana Staff and Travel Card.
Fidelity Bank is excited to partner with the government in the cashless disbursement of travel allowances which will ultimately allow for accountability, among other beneficial outcomes.
This partnership will afford public officials the opportunity to experience the flawless service that is the hallmark of Fidelity Bank,â€ Julian Opuni said.
The government of Ghana is committed to partnering with the private sector to drive the national digitization agenda.
Initiatives like the Ghana Travel Card are one of many upcoming collaborations where public-private partnerships will help to move the country forward in an efficient and technologically-savvy manner.