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13.03.2007 General News

Allowances and fringe benefits consolidation on course - Nduom

By : GNA

Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Minister of Public Sector Reform, on Tuesday said the Ministry was in the process of implementing a decision to consolidate allowances and other fringe benefits.

"When this is done, we will eliminate the fuelling of vehicles, paying telephone, electricity and water bills, as well as other expenses," he said in Parliament in response to a question asked on behalf of Mr David Oppong-Kusi (NPP-Ayirebi/Ofoase).

The Member had asked if the time had not come to take a second look at the current system of fuelling of government vehicles in the public sector in view of the increases in world prices of fuel.

Dr Nduom said the heads of public services were being asked to exercise firm control over fuel and other expenses.

He said government in 2005, accepted a recommendation to implement a programme of "progressive monetisation", a non-cash benefit in the public service.

He said the "the programme seeks to gradually transform some benefits that public servants are entitled to into cash and paid to them directly, as part of their salary, so that they themselves will have the option and choice to procure these services."

"The object of this arrangement is to improve the overall income of the public servants, thereby increasing their pensions and retirement income," Dr Nduom said.

"Mr Speaker, the Ministry has come to appreciate the importance of pay and remuneration in the working lives of the public servants and the low levels of salaries being received by all public servants, including Hon. Members of Parliament," he added.

The Minister said evidence based on research has also repeatedly linked low wages paid to public officers to lack of commitment and professionalism and susceptibility to corruption.

"Rt. Hon. Speaker, the government established the Ministry of Public Sector Reform in 2005 to champion reforms in the entire public sector."

"The overall goal for the establishment of the Ministry is to improve service delivery by public service employees to facilitate good governance, private sector development and human capital development, " Dr Nduom said.

Source: GNA