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Ghana spends GH¢3.5b on Office of Government Machinery

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The Office of Government Machinery last year spent a total of GH¢3.5 billion for the implementation of its various programmes and activities.

Employee Compensation took GH¢140.8 million; Goods and Services – GH¢3.3 billion, while GH¢55.49 million was spent on assets.

Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Chairman of the Finance Committee, made the disclosure when he presented the Committee’s Report for the adoption of the Budget Performance Report of the Office of Government Machinery for the 2019 January to December Financial Year.

The presentation is in accordance with the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act 2016 (Act 921) and the Standing Orders of the House.

The Office of Government Machinery comprises the Office of the President, Scholarship Secretariat, Ghana AIDS Commission, Commissions and Councils, State Protocol Department, National Population Council and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.

The rest are Internal Audit Agency, Nation Builders Corps (NABCO), Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Office of the Administrator-General, Millennium Development Authority, State Interests and Governance Authority and the Office of the Senior Minister.

Dr Assibey-Yeboah stated that the purpose of the report was to comply with section 27 of Act 921, which provided that each Principal Account Holder shall, “within the first quarter of the ensuing year, after the Minister has submitted the Annual Budget to Parliament, submit to Parliament, a performance report on Budget Implementation for the proceeding financial year”.

He said the Government Machinery embraced the constitutional view of the Office of the President as the seat of Government, those organisations whose operations fell outside traditional areas of sectoral responsibilities for which the Office of the President (core Government Machinery) existed to provide administrative, managerial and technical services.

Mr Ras Mubarak, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kumbungu, in his contribution, called for new funding sources for the Ghana AIDS Commission, explaining that the traditional funding sources from donor agencies were drying up.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, however, stated that the NABCO was at present, not a creature of law, adding he wondered if there was any justification for the State in funding its operations or not.

Mr Iddrisu complained that there were delays in the payment of allowances for employees under the NABCO Scheme, thus making it difficult for workers the under the Scheme to discharge the financial obligations to their dependents.

“They have also suffered the usual delays in salaries and even some of them arrears,” he said.

“Mr Speaker, when you work for the month, there’s a reason why you are paid at the end of the month; so that you can pay for water bills, electricity bills, and children’s breakfast, so that, you can, at your level, start something with it.

“But when salaries are deferred for four months, five months, or income, it’s not the best way to go in terms of wanting to support the person in terms of sustenance. I’ve repeatedly said that employment is the best means of sustenance”.

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, urged the MASLOC officials to up their game by increasing the rate of loan recoveries, which he said, went to 64 per cent in 2017 and fell to 55 percent in 2019.

He, therefore, urged the institution to up its performance to enable others in the cue to benefit.

“If you are not able to retrieve the loans advanced, the people in the cue cannot benefit,” he added.

Source: GNA

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