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CPP to put govt under scrutiny

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has dubbed the next four years as an “Era for Delivery”.

It has also stated that “In or out of Parliament, we would put government under unprecedented scrutiny”.

In a statement, the Director of Communication of the CPP, Nii Armah Akomfrah, said seven months ago, President John Mahama outlined his “Critical Policy” action plan at which he made commitment on “delivery”.

The CPP communicator recalled that the President said, “The way we do business in government must change; ministries, departments and agencies need to change. Too often, our bureaucracy is slow, sometimes appearing not to be responsive to citizen’s demands and needs.

The President, according to Nii Akonfrah, went on to say that he had instructed key ministers - health, education, water supply and electricity, to provide his office with a delivery plan for the commitments he made, saying a Delivery Unit had been established at the Office of the President which would guide the implementation of delivery and review performances on a bi-weekly basis.

Regrettably, Nii Akomfrah said the country had since witnessed crisis in all these areas and a number of questions that arose were ; Was the Delivery Unit set up?, What Delivery Plans were provided to it?, What review mechanism was put in place by the Delivery Unit against any plans submitted?

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Nii Akomfrah further stated that among the priorities that the President set for his government were: Maintaining discipline in government expenditure so as to avoid unbudgeted expenditure that could distort the economy; Effectively implementing the single spine salary structure for public services so that improved remuneration for public servants could lead to increased productivity in their performance.

“Given the recent revelation about massive overspending at several ministries including the Office of  The President; and the spate of industrial actions that have engulfed the country associated with the SSSS, most Ghanaians would conclude that the government has failed on these priorities”, the CPP Communication Director said.

He said under various headings - Macro-Economic Stability, Government Expenditure Management, Single Spine Salary Structure, Agriculture, Industry and Private Sector Development, Job Creation, Accelerating Infrastructure Development , Oil and Gas, Special Development Authorities , Health, Education, Social Interventions, Governance and Anti Corruption etc.,  the President had issued various directives:

He mentioned the directives as, “The Economic Management Team should maintain discipline in government expenditure “so that we do not incur unplanned expenses, especially in an election year.”

Completion by the MOFEP of the comprehensive database for all MDA contracts to improve the management of central government commitments.

Completion of the migration and payment of arrears under the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) by the end of 2012.

Minister of Finance to recommend short and medium-term measures to restore the balance among government expenditures on personal emoluments, goods and services, and capital and infrastructure development that is in consonant with our middle income status.

No new projects were to be allowed to be undertaken without strict adherence to the discipline of the national budget.

Others, he said, were each sector minister, “has to give an account of their compliance with this directive. I am convening a cabinet meeting next week to receive briefings from each sector on this directive. On the basis of these briefings, the Minister of Finance will also brief Cabinet on the outlook for government expenditure over the remainder of this year”.

The Minister of Finance and the Controller and Accountant-General were required to ensure completion of the biometric records of public servants throughout the country by the end of 2012.

“Contractors who have done their projects will be duly paid without any further delay and I have instructed the Minister of Finance to provide Cabinet with a detailed presentation of any arrears owed to contactors this month and to indicate the steps being taken to effect payments forthwith.”

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission take the remaining steps towards completion of the single spine salary structure by the end of 2012.

The Public Service Commission to furnish him with a revised framework for performance in all public service institutions, which must be completed at least quarterly.

According to NII Akomfrah, the government had failed on discipline in government expenditure, payment of arrears to workers and contractors, new framework on performance and needed to confirm to the nation delivery against the remaining directives.

He said the CPP was also not aware that manufacturing opportunities were being marketed to Ghanaian Businesses, Unfair trade practices continued unabated, and a major national park was being destroyed by Chinese loggers whilst Ghanaian businesses continued to struggle to access finance or new markets and the country was still waiting for the “Verifiable Agency for Job Creation”.

“The nation awaits the verdict of the “Delivery Unit”; the nation can then make up its own mind”, he concluded.