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New Financial Management Act to take force soon

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Change in standards promoting public sector accountability
Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena
Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena

The new Financial Management Act (FMA) with financial transparency and performance efficiency will soon be implemented by the government said Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena.

The proposed FMA is in the process of being finalized and its key features will be to improve the responsible physical management process when handling the country’s public finances and to take substantial decisions based on efficient resource utilization.

It will also focus on sustainable finance with a process of taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations when making investment decisions leading to more economic activities and projects.

He further explained that the FMA will strengthen transparent financial systems, and effective performance management by allowing managers to manage and making them accountable for their responsible projects.

Siriwardena stressed that a change in the accounting and reporting standards is mandatory to promote public sector accountability. “We need the reforms where required as we see weaknesses of governance both in public and private sectors in our country. The public sector reform includes many changes in the current practices and systems which will result in plenty of public benefits after implementation. The new Financial Management Act follows international standards in the application of implementing national policies, strengthening physical sustainability and credibility, providing an accurate and reliable perspective of the nation’s public finance,” Siriwardena said.

The Secretary to the Treasury, participating as the chief guest of the Association of Public Finance Accountants of Sri Lanka (APFASL) annual conference, at BMICH on Friday, told the higher-ranking financial professionals of the public sector, “as responsible senior officers of the government, when handling finances you should seriously consider that from revenue to the expenditure; all belong to the people of the country.’

“When dealing with their money, the right financial policies should be implemented at the right time, covered with the right legal system and you should provide the unbiased right guidance and right recommendations to the top of the government to trigger political consistency and stability.

He also defined that the role of government accounting professionals is not limited only to accounting but requires covering a wide area as they are responsible for the final policy decisions of the country. He said the government must offer maximum benefit to the general public when dealing with public funds.

Monday, December 5, 2022 – 01:00

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