General News of 2013-12-27

Franklin Cudjoe's resignation is a good omen - Finance Ministry

The Finance Ministry has said the manner in which President of IMANI-Ghana, a policy think-tank resigned from a government committee smacked of an ulterior motive.

In a press release dated December 27, the Ministry welcomed the exit of Franklin Cudjoe from government’s Committee on the Sustainability of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP), saying it will “do more good than harm”.

A-16-member Post-Forum Implementation Committee on the SSPP was inaugurated on August 22, 2013 by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations following the successful National Forum on Single Spine Pay Policy held in Ho.

The President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe last week, resigned from his position on the Committee, claiming the Ministry of Finance was usurping the authority of the Ministry of Employment under which the Single Spine Sustainability committee worked.

This was after he alleged that the Ministry of Finance has directed the committee through the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to stop meeting.

But in response, the ministry has described the claims by the IMANI President as "false, unfortunate, worrying and grossly unfair".

The statement further said Mr. Cudjoe’s claims and conduct were calculated to disrupt the harmonious working relations between the Ministry of Finance and Employment and Labour Relations. Read full statement below

MINISTRY OF FINANCE HAS NOT ISSUED ANY DIRECTIVE TO POST FORUM IMPLEMENTATION SUB-COMMITTEE ON THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE SINGLE SPINE PAY POLICY (SSPP) TO SUSPEND WORK

1. The attention of the Ministry of Finance has been drawn to a statement made by Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, President of IMANI Ghana, in connection with his resignation from the 16-member Post Forum Implementation Committee on the sustainability of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) which has been published in various print and electronic media.

2. Mr. Cudjoe bases his resignation from the Committee on the accusation that the Finance Ministry has allegedly asked a sub-Committee of the main Committee which is tasked to begin discussion with the first set of subvented agencies to be weaned off government subvention to stop its meetings until further directives are issued.

He goes on further to state that he considers the alleged intervention as needless; a usurpation of the authority of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations which will crucially affect the successful completion of the sub-Committee's work and ultimately delay the much needed reforms to reduce the burden of the public workforce on the wage bill.

3. Whilst Mr. Cudjoe has the liberty to quit from the Committee as and when he chooses to do so as he has done, we find his basis for resignation and some of his utterances on the subject matter rather unfortunate, worrying and grossly unfair for the following reasons:

a. His allegation that the Finance Ministry has asked the committee to stop its work until further notice is not valid. No such directive has been issued by the Ministry of Finance. We challenge Mr. Cudjoe to provide evidence to the contrary if he has any or stop peddling unsubstantiated accusations against the Ministry.

b. Mr. Cudjoe lists about 10 subvented agencies that the sub-Committee has so far engaged. We think that it is not the duty of Mr. Cudjoe to communicate to the general public on which subvented agencies the sub-Committee has met so far. The sub-Committee owes its responsibility to the main Committee and the main Committee to Government which set it up.

The output of the sub-Committee should be professionally presented to the main Committee after its work and then to the government. Rather than one member of the sub-Committee divulging pieces of information of the sub-Committee to the general public without any qualification. We, therefore, find his pre-emptive announcement and listing of the subvented agencies so far engaged as unwarranted.

C. We view Mr. Cudjoe's description of the alleged intervention of the Finance Ministry as a usurpation of authority of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations as an attempt to create unnecessary tension and rivalry between two Ministries which have been working cordially together on matters that border on employment and labour relations.

Again such rather negative tactics are not helpful to anyone and only exposes the ulterior intentions behind the manner in which Mr. Cudjoe approached his unfair criticism of the Ministry of Finance dramatized by his resignation.

4. It should be noted that the weaning off of capable subvented agencies from Government payroll is just one part of a wider review of the streamlining of the use of Internally Generated Funds (IGF) the Ministry is pursuing.

5. It is the candid opinion of the Ministry that based on the gross mischief exhibited by the IMANI Ghana CEO, his resignation from the said Committee will do the Committee more good than harm.

We do not believe that the current Franklin Cudjoe act will turn the government away from involving Non-Governmental Think Tanks like IMANI in discussions initiated on critical national matters. We believe that the Committee has very capable individuals with vast knowledge, experience and sincerity who will execute their duty to desirable outcomes.