The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has presented a one and half year review document on the assessment of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s commitments and policy propositions on fiscal transparency and accountability.
The review sought to create public awareness on commitments made by the NPP government and mobilising citizens to demand greater accountability in the management of public resources.
The document was presented during a workshop on Thursday in Tamale alongside the launch of the Citizens Budget 2018, a pamphlet that sought to summarize how government plans to get money and how to spend that money for the benefit of Ghanaians.
The workshop was organized by the GACC and attended by members of the various political parties, traditional and religious groups, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.
The brief forms part of an Oxford funded project undertaken by GACC dubbed, “Citizens Action for Public Accountability and Pro-Poor Spending”.
Mr Vitus Azeem, a consultant and a former Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), during a presentation on the key findings of the brief said, ” a number of promises have been delivered whiles others have either been delivered or not touched at all”.
He said the reduction of the corporate tax rate from 25 per cent to 20 per cent has been put on hold by the NPP government whiles the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Law, which was supposed to pave a way for the establishment of the Fiscal Council and Financial Stability Council has not yet been brought before Parliament.
Mr Azeem said the elections of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) has also been put on hold while the fight against corruption by the government was not satisfactory.
He said it is clear that some of the promises have been executed, the most prominent ones been the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the reduction of taxes.
Mr Salifu Saeed, the Northern Regional Minister, who launched the Citizens Budget 2018, said the GACC’s report was necessary for Ghana as a democratic country since it would ensure government efficient allocation of resources across the country to intervene in poverty reduction.
He said the Citizens Budget 2018 would enable the citizens to understand the budget so that they could play their civic roles with regards to taxpaying and monitoring public expenditure.
Mr Saeed said government would ensure that the policies, which it have not been implemented and fulfilled would be accomplished in due time.
During an interaction session, some of the participants made suggestions on the need for government to deepen grassroots participation in the election of the MMDCEs for effective governance in the country.
They suggested that government should consider a decision in limiting the trials of accused corrupt cases so as to let people know about the fate of the accused cases.
Some of the participants called for the formation of boards at the various public institutions like the universities and colleges of education be taken seriously by government so as to ensure accountability and efficient monitoring of administrative work.
Mr Paul Osei-Kufuor, the Team Leader of Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, Northern Sector Office, commended GACC for their effort in monitoring and tracking government activities to ensure that it fulfils it’s policies and promises.