Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta has been advised to work at expunging ghost names from the public payroll, especially in the health, education and judicial sectors, as a means of protecting the national purse. He has also been urged to act on the Auditor-General’s reports that expose acts of “misappropriation, waste and embezzlement”. The advice was given by Dr Joe Amoako-Tuffour, Head of Policy and Research at the Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), in an open letter to the Minister-designate. The letter, which drew the attention of the government to some of the challenges the nation would face if much thought and consideration did not go into the creation of the new regions, said if government was not shrewd about the move as against the economic challenges the nation is saddled with, the already huge financial challenges would worsen. “The cost of government was brushed aside by a premature exuberance about the coming oil revenues. The 1992 Constitution lacks the mechanism to ensure a fine balance between political expediency and fiscal sustainability.” He added that just as much thought did not go into the creation of the additional 46 district assemblies and 45 new parliamentary seats in 2012, hence resulting in an increase in the fixed cost of government, if the same approach is adopted towards the creation of new regions, it would throw the government’s budget off gear. He said: “…The rising fixed cost of government is largely the making of politicians. For instance, the creation of an additional 46 district assemblies and 45 new parliamentary seats in 2012, ratcheted up the fixed cost of government… “The cost of government was brushed aside by a premature exuberance about the coming oil revenues. The 1992 Constitution lacks the mechanism to ensure a fine balance between political expediency and fiscal sustainability.”
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