The World Bank has promised to provide more budgetary support to Ghana’s parliament to strengthening the country legislative work.
Mr Donald Mpande, Lead Public Financial Management Projects (PFMP) Analyst of the World Bank, made the promise when he paid courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, in Accra last Wednesday.
According to him, the World Bank take interest in Ghana’s unique democratic development in the sub region of Africa and would continue to offer more support to strengthen it parliamentary duties .
He noted that, the Bank has over the years supported Ghana and assured of it continue support, especially on budgetary for the various committees of parliament and the Parliamentary Services Training Institute.
On Constitutional Reforms of parliament, Mr Mpande commended parliament for the reforms agenda and confirmed the Bank commitment to working with Parliament as might be required on financial regulations.
He further praised parliament for the number of financial scrutiny on government and bills passed to help fight against corruption, among others.
The development objective of the PFMP, he explained is to improve the budget management, financial control and reporting of the Government of Ghana.
Mr Mpande however noted that despite the successes chalked in Ghana parliament, there was still more room for improvement.
On his part, the Speaker of parlament, RT Hon Prof Mike Oquaye, expressed his appreciation for the support the Bank has given to parliament, and noted his keen interest in working further with the bank to increase its support to parliament.
The Speaker also highlighted the democratic progress Ghana has made since 1992, and noted the determination to reform parliament to ensure its independence and to promote legislative oversight responsibility.
He underlined Parliament’s eagerness to promote democracy but bemoaned the high level of communication gab between the legislative house and the executives, stating, “access to information and data on public funds remained a challenged to parliament.”
The Speaker also expressed concern about the rate of unprofessional conduct of some officials managing public funds, stating that, ” some of the people who are to supervise our finance are not professional enough to supervise the public purse, but the saying that who watch the watch man need to be play here and parliament which is the only institution with the supervising role on the public purse need to be equip.”
While acknowledging the support given over the years, Prof Mike Oquaye again asked the Bank for more support for capacity building of Members of Parliament and Staff , among others.
He noted that Parliament is also exploring other options that would promote and give more members of the public, especially women access to political leadership in Parliament.
The Speaker commended the World Bank for the immense role in building Ghana’s parliament, stating, “we thank you for your support and we ask for more to strengthen our work.”
The World Bank has so far disbursed a bout $21 million which is 49 per cent) of the PFMRP fund in Ghana, including parliament.
The PFMP sought to achieve improvement in budget management, financial control and reporting of the Government with the aim of enhancing fiscal discipline, strategic allocation of resources and service delivery efficiency, through strengthened systems and procedures and targeted capacity building.
It comprised of four components; the objective of component one is to enhance budget component, to improve budget management and strengthen credibility of the national budget.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nyaaba