Mr Speaker, we definitely en- courage Hon Members to be very critical about requests that come from the Exec- utive, and then after approval, to follow up to make sure that what we have approved is what is implemented.
Mr Speaker, the initial facility that took place around 1997 for Public Fi- nancial Management Reform Project (PUFMARP) was implemented from 1997 to 2003.
Mr Speaker, the programme was defi- nitely a very ambitious one. It was meant to do so many things, and the amount did not measure up to what the programme was supposed to do.
Mr Speaker, when after the year 2000, our Hon Colleagues took over the man- agement; the process yielded a number of outcomes, and in fact, this House had
the opportunity to streamline the legal and regulatory framework of the country.
That was what led to the passage of the Financial Administration Act, 2003, the Financial Administration Regulation, 2004, the Public Procurement Act, 2003, and many others including the Ghana Revenue Authority Act.
We had to, through that facility, stream- line all these things. So, the impression should not be created that that facility did not yield results. It actually did. But what it was meant to achieve was far more costly than the facility itself, and so, we had to continue with this process until the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).
What we need to look at is whether in
the case of this facility, the programme is also not too ambitious. I think that the World Bank, which is supporting this pro- gramme would at the end of the day, make sure that if the facility is insufficient, they would have to provide more to see to the full completion of the programme.
It is important for Hon Members to let Ghanaians know that, as my Hon Colleague said, when we talk about own- ership -- and most of the time, we have to depend on somebody to cough out the money -- the person would actually be there to oversee that his money is properly utilised. And so, we have the World Bank officials -- we have the other develop- ment partners shadowing and overseeing to make sure that is done, and that is why when it is not implemented properly, we lose another facility.
So, the issue of ownership is when we own the resources ourselves, and then we can be in full control. But where we have to depend on others, then others have an interest, others have a stake. And this is where we need to look within as a country.
And I am sure we have the capacity - we have the resources, we are not look- ing deeper enough. That is why we are depending on the outside agencies.
Mr Speaker, if I may share an experi- ence with you on this issue about employ- ees. It is something that struck me when I had the opportunity to be the Minister for Health.
The issue of the nurses, the teachers and the rest. When the approval is given by the Ministry of Finance for a sector to do recruitment, after the recruitment, the department would have to give input, and they do that manually by taking forms, filling the name of the person, when the person reported to work and all those documents on the forms, and then send them through the regions, the national and to the Ministry.
In the Ministry, they have an office where they have young people -- boys and girls with computers who make the input. I am told that every month, the Controller and Accountant-General's Department gives only four days for all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to struggle to make inputs into their central control. Only four days. After the four days it is shut, and they have to now try to make that into the payroll.
These are things that take a long time I had the opportunity to call them and asked whether it was not possible for us to get, at least, for the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health that same system, so that they could move the inputs and then send them to the Controller and Ac- countant-General's Department. I was told that it could be done. We only needed the money to buy those machines and systems. That would solve this problem.
Until that is done, we would continue to