Policy to ensure efficient public investments launched

BY: Chris Nunoo
 Mr Ken Ofori-Atta (inset), Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, delivering his address at the launch of the Public Investment Management System in Accra. Picture: EMMANUEL ASAMOAH ADDAI
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta (inset), Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, delivering his address at the launch of the Public Investment Management System in Accra. Picture: EMMANUEL ASAMOAH ADDAI

A policy to establish and streamline processes and procedures for the execution of public investments has been launched in Accra.

Known as the Public Investments Management Systems (PIMS), the policy is to provide the mechanism and framework for coordinating all investment drives and the platform for analytical and systematic derivation of investment priorities.

It will, among other functions, also strengthen the link between the national development policy strategy and the delivery of public investments, as well as align the processes of national development policy planning, roll out public investments and the execution of budget.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, who launched the policy yesterday, said the PIMS should enhance the quality of public investment by strengthening the links between the national medium-term development policy framework and the national infrastructure planning sector medium-term development plans.

Productivity of investments

The launch of the policy was on the  theme: “Strengthening institutional capacity for delivering effective and efficient public infrastructure and services”.

Mr Ofori-Atta said, for instance, that profligate spending in the past eight years had resulted in the payment of debts, coupled with unbalanced contracts in the energy sector, which also came with some cost.

To that end, he said, the government had adopted a strategy to enhance public investment and the productivity of the investments.

Operationalising the PIMS, the Finance Minister said, was to consolidate all the currently scattered projects across the country to allow for their comprehensive review to inform government policy and strategy.

He said to ensure that projects were properly appraised, analysed and prioritised, extensive credit would be provided for technical staff of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to be involved in the preparations and operational review.

Mr Ofori-Atta indicated that the PIMS would run as a database that would integrate technical information relating to the number of projects being executed across the country to facilitate the preparation, prioritisation and execution of those projects.

He added that the system was on the agenda of the government to electronically integrate all financial management operations to bring efficiency to government business.

He called on State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to also adopt good governance practices to sustain public investments.

World Bank director

The Country Director of the World Bank, Mr Henry Kerali, observed that the establishment of an objective PIMS devoid of political considerations would enable the government to implement projects that were balanced in all spheres for the benefit of the country.

He was of the view that the country had, over the years, struggled to establish a good and credible PIMS because the choice of major capital projects was at times influenced by political considerations.

Mr Kerali commended the government and the Ministry of Finance for the successful implementation of the PIMS, stressing that “it is critical to ensure that Ghana’s PIM framework delivers strategic and cost-effective capital investments through sound investment project cycle management”.