Civil Society groups call for openness in IMF programme implementation
The Civil Society Platform on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Bailout, a local pressure group, has called on the Government to remain open and engaging, in the implementation of the eventual programme with the International Monitory Fund (IMF).
Mr Joseph Winful, Chairman of the groups, at a press conference, on Tuesday, said the Platform believed that this was essential to allow for the needed citizens’ buy in, so as to deal with the apprehension and distrust associated with IMF programmes.
The negative feelings, he said, were often due to the general lack of openness and absence of citizens’ participation in such processes.
Mr Winful said it was, therefore, encouraging that the Platform had fruitful engagements with the Government and the IMF team during the negotiations stages of the agreement, which was quite new relative to previous programmes.
The Platform, whose membership include the Centre for Democratic Development, Financial Accountability and Transparency-Africa, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Imani Center for Policy and Education and the Ghana Integrity Initiative, congratulated the Government on the successful completion of negotiations with the IMF for the Fund programme.
Mr Winful said the final agreement should, therefore, contain measures that would ensure fiscal discipline, accountability and transparency, the linking of stabilization to transformation, as well as protect strategic pro-poor and pro-development spending.
He said these would guarantee better allocation of public resources, efficient and effective service delivery as well as enhance the country’s Public Financial Management System so that the current bailout agreement would become the very last, going forward.
He said they were convinced that citizen-based monitoring and evaluation of public policies and programmes and the provision of feedback and suggestions under the IMF programme, were sure ways to assess the government’s execution of social and economic programmes.
These would help to check wastefulness in the system and protect the public purse.
He, therefore, encouraged the citizenry to support the government to effectively implement and monitor the Fund programme after the deal was signed next month.