EVALUATION OF GHANA INTEGRATED FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIFMIS) OF FINANCIAL REPORTING QUALITY OF GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE

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ABSTRACT

Public sector financial management has witnessed several deficiencies in developing countries including Ghana. This development has led to several reforms by various governments to avert the deficiencies inherent in the management of public finance. Building on current literature, this study generally evaluated the Ghana integrated financial management information system (GIFMIS) of financial reporting quality of Ghana education service. The study specifically sought to examine the weaknesses that characterized BPEMS, the extent to which GIFMIS addresses these weaknesses, its critical success factors, and the challenges encountered. The qualitative research approach was used to investigate the study. Interviews were used to gather data from respondents. These respondents were selected using purposive sampling. The outcome of the study showed that BPEMS was characterized by weak budget formulation, preparation, and lack of ownership, lack of proper accounting and monitoring system, and lack of quality and timely data on government resources. The impact of GIFMIS were found as improved and easy consolidation of financial data, timely production of public accounts, improved transparency and record keeping, improved budgetary control, efficiency in payment processes, and a host of budget execution reports. Further, the key critical success factors of GIFMIS were found as strong political support, high level administrative support, strong local technical team, consciousness of past experience, and donor review and technical advice. Finally, the study found that the challenges facing GIFMIS comprise legislative limitations, inadequate ICT infrastructure, low computer literacy rate in the Ghana Education Service and poor change management. From a policy perspective, the outcome of the study suggests the need for a comprehensive review of existing financial laws to complement the changing business processes, the need to invest in ICT infrastructure in public sector, and retraining of Ghana Education Service personnel in the areas of ICT literacy and change management.