Parliament has passed the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) Bill, 2015 to replace the old NADMO Act 1996 (Act 517) to address weaknesses in disaster management in the country.
The purpose for the enactment of the new NADMO bill is to reorganise NADMO and make realistic provisions for the management of disasters and emergencies.
The organisation, which has been coordinating the efforts of relevant agencies to manage disaster whenever they occur, has faced a number of challenges.
According to the Memorandum of the bill, one of the challenges facing the organisation is the unavailability of trained volunteer corps to render service when disasters strike.
“Another reason is that the public has not been cooperative and has ignored the advice of the organisation to mitigate the effects of natural disasters in some instances.
Furthermore, the access to victims and search for and rescue of victims during disasters has sometimes been hindered,” it said.
The passage of the bill will reorganise NADMO to ensure a citizenry participatory approach to disaster management and motivate people to act responsibly to prevent or mitigate the effects of disaster.
In another development, the Public Financial Management Bill, 2016 was taken through the Second Reading in the House.
The bill seeks to improve accountability for financial management framework of government and enhance transparency in the execution of fiscal policies.
The bill is expected to ensure a more efficient, effective, and economical use of the government resources as well as contribute to the achievement of national goals.
A report by the Committee on Finance on the bill observed that the bill would establish a Treasury Single Account which is a consolidated bank account system for processing all central government receipts and payment transactions.
The treasury account, it said, was a virtual account that gave the Controller and Accountant General a view of all balances held in all government accounts at any point in time.
However, it added that the account would not be a replacement of the Consolidated Fund established under the 1992 Constitution.
“To further improve public debt management, the bill introduces a debt management office within the ministry of finance with the responsibility of handling debt management operations, carry out risk assessment for government guarantees and supplier credit arrangements and placing the feasibility of borrowing requirements within an overall government fiscal strategy,” it said.
The committee’s report further noted that the passage of the bill into an act, would help instill fiscal discipline and promote stability throughout the management of public finance.
“The committee also noted that the bill seeks to control borrowing by local government authorities, public corporations and state owned enterprises as part of a comprehensive framework for the management of public debt in the country,” it stated.
By Yaw Kyei