The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) has reacted to some official documents, publications and correspondence between it and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), regarding financial demands made on the agency by the ministry.
A statement from the ministry signed by the sector minister Haruna Iddrisu, copied to The Ghanaian Times, said that it was normal practice within the Ghana Public Service for ministries to depend on their agencies when they are in financial distress.
This statement, which was in reaction to Ghana’s participation in the International Labour Organisation (140) conference held in May, explained that the ministry could sometimes borrow for subsequent reimbursement, subject to releases from the Ministry of Finance.
“We are not in breach of the Law and we have acted within the parameters of the YEA Act,
2015 (Act 887), the PPA Act, 2003 (Act 663) and FAA, 2004 (Act 654),” it said.
“The activities and Financial operations of YEA is required to be audited by the Auditor General in accordance with Section 27 of the YEA Act (887) 2015. The MELR and the management of the Agency will respond to any Audit findings accordingly,” the statement added.
According to the statement “It is not peculiar to the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and in this case, the MELR is backed by Section 24 of the Youth Employment Agency Act, 2015 Act (887), which stipulates the Application of funds by the Agency.”
It recalled that Ghana’s participation in the ILO Conference and the official government delegation, was officially sanctioned and approved by the office of the Chief of Staff by a letter dated 19th May, 2015 to include social partners vis employers, representatives of Organised Labour and Members of Parliament.
“The Ministry’s action in charging the vote against the Youth Employment Agency approved vote for 2015 is supported by Section 24 1(e) of the YEA Act 887 of 2015 which stipulates that, “for the administrative expenses of the Agency and oversight supervision by the Ministry which shall in any case not exceed Five per cent of the funds of the Agency.”
“It is to be noted that, the $230,960.43 dollars had 50 per cent of it used for the payment of subscription arrears owed ILO, amounting to SFR 144,052.50 and that of the African Regional Labour.’’
The statement explained that Administration Centre (ARLAC) amounted to $69,706 dollars pending reimbursement by the Ministry of Finance, which was outstanding and in arrears.
“An erroneous impression is being created that the money was entirely used for the purpose of official foreign travels. Failure to pay our annual ILO and ARLAC subscriptions would have resulted in us losing our titular voting rights at the 104th Session of the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organisation held in Geneva, Switzerland from 1-13thJune, 2015,”the statement noted.