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02.07.2005 Press Review

Editorial: Waste of resources

By Palaver
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It's chaired by J. H. Mensah

After the Office of Accountability, situated at the Castle, which is not accountable to anybody, is not backed by any law, has no known terms of reference apart from advising corrupt NPP appointees (as per President Kufuor's Cape Coast “waa, waa” speech), and has no known membership apart from Mrs. Sai, whose husband Professor F. T. Sai is a Presidential Adviser at the Castle and whose daughter Ms. Oboshie Sai is the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Castle, and in the face of the acerbic criticism in the Africa Peer Review Mechanism Report for the size of government to be cut down, President Kufuor has established yet another bureaucracy within the public service of Ghana.

This time, it is the 'Oversight Committee of Cabinet”.

As usual, its terms of reference and its membership are unknown, except that the Chairman is Mr. J. H. Mensah, Senior Minister and brother-in-law of President Kufuor.

Its existence is not known to the people of Ghana; there is no transparency about its operations, and it appears to work in strict secrecy.

The Oversight Committee of Cabinet held its first meeting on June 7, 2005 to consider its scope of work and to discuss other matters. In other words, the Committee was established before it met to decide what it was to do! This is governance, NPP style!

Among the subjects discussed at the first meeting of the Oversight Committee of Cabinet were the following:

· National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS);

· Strike threats by the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU);

· Attempts by some members of the Consultative Forum of the Civil Servants Association of Ghana (CSAG), Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSSAG), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA) to register as trade unions in order to qualify for collective bargaining certificates;

· The alarming rate of redundancies being declared as a result of enterprises closing down in the face of the harsh economic conditions;

· The specific case of the likely closure of Pioneer Food Cannery Company following the decision of Heinz International to pull out of the Company; and

· Problems with general pay policy in the country.

Stay tuned, for 'The Ghana Palaver' will bring to you in this and subsequent issues, the reality of Ghana's economic situation as admitted in private and in confidence by J. H. Mensah's “Oversight Committee of Cabinet”, a kind of “Kufuor Kitchen Cabinet” that reports directly and exclusively to President John Agyekum Kufuor and provides Information Papers only to Cabinet.

We begin with the state of affairs of General Pay Policy and Negotiations with Public Servants for FiscalYear 2005.