Stop spending on training, confabs for boards, c’ttees – Occupy Ghana

Mr Ace Ankomah

Mr Ace Ankomah

Pressure group, OccupyGhana®, has called on the Minister of Finance to direct state enterprises and institutions to stop expending on training and conferences for members of boards and committees.

According to the group, board and committee members were appointed on the basis of their experience and knowledge to further the course of their respective organisations and as a result, must not be used as a conduit for personal career development at the expense of the taxpayer.

“We call on you to cut out expenses associated training and conferences, especially abroad, for board and committee members. We believe that it is on the basis of a person’s experience and knowledge that gets that person to serve on a board or board committee. That knowledge and experience are not to be acquired after appointment and at the expense of the tax payer. Thus, paying for the cost of training, costs of airfares, hotel expenses and per diem should be a thing of the past. Boards and board committees do not need people who are there to line their pockets with undeserved allowances, enjoy paid travel and acquire personal career development”, the group stated.

This was contained in a letter addressed to the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, and copied the Chief of Staff, Office of the President and the Executive Chairman of the State Enterprises Commission on November 14 in Accra.

The letter follows the recent government’s directive to the public service to streamline the basis for paying sitting allowances to members of state boards, authorities, council, among others, and to ban the payment of monthly salaries to such persons.

The directive, OccupyGhana®, said was an all-important step towards reining in such unjustified payment of monies.

Citing their earlier press statement this year, the group said that no board member was entitled to monthly remuneration, an office, official accommodation, and official vehicle, among others adding that it was unlawful for such facilities to be provided.
The letter further urged the Minister of Finance to check certain wrong practices engaged in by members of some boards for several years so as not to erode essence of the directive.

“First, with the primary aim of accumulating sitting allowances, certain boards and board committees are known to meet several times a month, when several of the meetings are repetitive and meaningless. We are aware of board and board committee meetings that are called without agenda, ostensibly just to review minutes of a previous meeting,” it stated.

The letter said that some board and committee members insist on undertaking work including touring facilities or educating the public in all 10 regions that would ordinarily be undertaken by employees of the entities and described as scandalous and ridiculous travel budgets presented for approval.

By Times Reporter

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