No grey areas in the GETFund Law
Accra, July 6, GNA - The Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) on Wednesday disagreed with Mr Fosuaba Mensah Banahene, Administrator of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), saying there were no grey areas in the GETFund Law.
A statement signed by H.D. Clerk, a Director at the MOES on behalf of the Minister of Education, said: "It is difficult to see the so called "grey areas" are in the law or what incongruity there can be in the Board being liable for lapses whilst having responsibility for managing the Fund and having to comply with written directives from the Minister of Education and Sports on matters of policy. The board can hardly expect to manage such a colossal Fund without accepting liability for lapses."
The statement, which was in reaction to an earlier one issued by the GETFund Administrator through the Ghana News Agency, said: "The situation where the Administrator of the GETFund pronounces authoritatively on government policies and priorities in the education sector without consulting the Ministry in the past is certainly wrong and cannot be allowed to persist. The Administrator or the Board cannot at any point in time under the courrent Law initiate projects and programmes leading to the use of the GETFund monies.
It said from the provisions of the law, it was evident that the Board was expected to manage the monies accrued in the Fund to provide additional finance to the Ministry, which was charged with delivering education and implementing government policy on education.
The Administrator of the GETFund late last month said the grey areas of the GETFund law were being reconciled to avoid contradictions in its operations, which had led to some misconceptions.
Mr Banahene said the management of the Fund was under the Board of Trustees, which was liable for any lapses, yet another part of the law empowered the Minister of Education to give "general directives in writing to the Board on matters of policy and the Board shall comply with the directives".
He said if the Board of Trustees would have to bear the responsibility for liabilities of the Fund and could be sued, then it would be incongruous for them to be taking directives from the Minister of Education and Sports on policy.
But the Minister's statement said: "The Administrator or the Board cannot at any point in time under the current law initiate projects and programmes leading to the use of the GETFund monies."
On the fixing of allowances for Board members, the Ministry said it would be strange for Board members to determine their own allowances without reference to the Ministry that had oversight responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
The Ministry said all state corporations, agencies, Trusts had always been able to sue and be sued and this had never interfered with statutory provisions that the relevant Minister may give general directives to the Board on matters of policy and the Boards complied with such directives.
"This is not peculiar to the GETFund and it is worth pointing out that the GETFund is a public Trust and not a private Trust. The funds provided for its operations are public monies and not private funds, like the VALCO Trust."
The statement said the Legislative Instrument being prepared would doubtless spell out the day-to-day matters.
"The object of the GETFund as stated in the Law is unambiguous; it is to provide finance to supplement the provision of education at all levels by the government," The Minister said.
Mr Banahene had said the law had no Legislative Instrument (LI) covering it to address some of the grey areas such as fixing of allowances for Board Members.