The Civil Society Platform on International Monetary Fund (IMF) Bailout has called for the implementation of the National Action Plan on the fight against corruption as a sure measure to help reduce the canker.
The Platform has also asked that government implement the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (GIFMIS ) project to eliminate ghost names from the public payroll.
It has further urged government to improve upon effective system monitoring at the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) while creating and sustaining civil society spaces for budget education and monitoring.
These were parts of recommendations representing the common positions of Civil Society on the final bailout agreement adopted during the national forum on the IMF Bailout held in November last year.
A statement signed by Mr Godson K. Aloryito, Resident Economist and Coordinator of the Civil Society Platform on IMF Bailout made available to the GNA on Wednesday, further reiterated the call to separate the office of the Attorney Generals Department from the Ministry of Justice to enable the former exercise its prosecutorial mandate more effectively.
The statement said the Platform was aware of the arrival of the IMF team in Ghana to finalize negotiations on the bailout plan with the Government.
“In this connection, we strongly reiterate our appeal to both parties (the Government of Ghana and the IMF team) to consider and adopt the recommendations of Civil Society Organizations,” it said.
“We are of the strong opinion that the adoption of these recommendations would ensure better allocation of public resources, fiscal discipline, efficient and effective service delivery and enhance our country’s Public Financial Management system so that the current bailout agreement becomes the very last going forward”.
To ensure accountability and transparency, the Platform recommended the need to broaden, professionalize, and engender representation on both advisory and executive boards and committees of public institutions, to fast track the implementation of the budget monitoring and oversight office in parliament, and also strengthen pro poor parliamentary select committees to hold government accountable.
The Platform also urged government and all state actors to as a matter of priority respect freedom of expression and media rights, narrow all deficit financing and create more revenue spaces accordingly, call for the quarterly briefing from the Governor of the Bank of Ghana on compliance with its fiscal and monetary policies obligations as well as harness the professional or technical capacities of civil society in the setting of developmental agenda.
It said government should prioritize the Ghana Gas Infrastructure project to reduce the import bill and consequently overheads for industries.
To protect strategic pro-poor and pro-development spending, the Platform urged the state to continue to sustain the current fertilizer subsidies project with farmers, while consider giving farmers a fair price for their produce to counter smuggling and increase revenue.
The CSO platform on the IMF bailout was formed to initiate a national conversation through fora to discuss and agree on common positions on key issues by civil society to inform both government and the International Monetary Fund.