Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in Ghana have been cautioned to desist from awarding contracts to Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) caterers without any authorization from the National Secretariat or the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP).
According to the Sector Minister, Cynthia Mamle Morrison, henceforth any MMDCE who would go against her directive and award contracts to caterers in their districts must be prepared to pay those caterers from their own pockets.
Speaking at stakeholders’ workshop to disseminate the findings of the Cost Benefit Analysis on the Ghana School Feeding Programme at Kumasi in the Ashanti, said though MMDCEs are key stakeholders in GSFP at the district level, they have no right whatsoever to award schools to their favourite caterers without the explicit approval from the Ministry.
“No DCE or MCE has the right to engage any caterer on contract under school feeding. Every caterer of school feeding is supposed to go through certain procedures before contracts can be issued by the Ministry so that their payments do not become a problem”.
The behavior of the MMDCEs over the years have created seeming tension, confrontations and outbursts between caterers and school feeding national officers especially over payment of feeding grants.
Mrs. Morrison also cautioned the MMDCEs to refrain from awarding school feeding contracts to themselves, inflating enrollment figures and terminating legitimate caterers appointments and re-awarding to their favourites without prior notice to the GSFP National Secretariat or the office of the Minister.
The Member of Parliament for Agona West Constituency therefore urged the MMDCEs to work closely with the National Secretariat, Regional Coordinators, the Ghana Education Service to ensure smooth running of the school feeding programme at the local level.
She disclosed that the GSFP will from early September 2019 undergo total overhauling using some NABCO and YEA personnel across Ghana to ensure sanity in the implementation of the programme.
Meanwhile, the Cost Benefit Analysis was conducted by the Ghana School Feeding Programme in collaboration with the World Food PRogramme (WFP) and MasterCard Foundation. It was meant to assess the direct and indirect benefits of the Ghana School Feeding Programme.