Parliament slashes budgetary allocation to Office of Government Machinery by ¢17m

Parliament has cut ¢17 million from the original allocation made to the Office of Government Machinery for 2023.

This was after the House agreed on Thursday that some of the expenditure items were superfluous and unnecessary.

The nearly ¢1.5 billion allocation was reduced after ¢15.5 million earmarked for the Special Development Initiatives secretariat and ¢2 million for the Monitoring and Evaluation secretariat were rejected by the Finance Committee.

Chairman of the Finance Committee, Kwaku Kwarteng explained that the Committee while carefully considering the estimates allocated to the Office of Government Machinery saw no need to keep the monitoring and evaluation secretariat when its functions were also performed by the Municipal and District Assemblies.

“Also, the monitoring and evaluation functions are performed across MDAs and MMDAs and hence there is no compelling need to maintain the secretariat for same, especially in an era where expenditure rationalisation is of utmost importance,” he said on the floor on Thursday.

Justifying the rejection of the Special Development Initiatives secretariat’s estimates, Mr. Kwarteng said “the national development authorities established by law are capable of managing their affairs without the need for a bureaucratic secretariat to coordinate and at times duplicate the functions while ambulance operations ought to be properly handled by the National Ambulance Service and not the Special Development initiative secretariat.”

Ranking Member on the Committee Dr Cassiel Ato Forson explained that the decision to slash the budget was to send a signal to the government that if they make a frivolous allocation, it would be rejected by the House.

“The finance committee of parliament managed to save this country an amount of almost 18 million cedis. We notice as part of the deliberations that even though we have development authorities that have been established by law with its own governing boards.

“The office of government machinery has a special development initiative secretariat that the government has apportioned 15.6 million cedis to – to oversee the work of this development authorities. We think this is needless,” he noted.

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