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General News of Wednesday, 8 January 2003

Source: GNA

Govt committed to changing the public sector

Government says it is committed to changing the perception that the public sector is not interested in making the private sector a pivotal element in effecting growth of Ghana's economy.

Alhaji Mohammed Nuridine Jawula, Head of Administration, Ministry of Finance told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) Business Desk in an interview that a number of initiatives have been taken to ensure that the private sector is seen as a system without which the economy cannot grow.

Alhaji Jawula said this at the presentation of certificates to 15 officials of the ministry who had gone through a computer training programme aimed at equipping them to cope with systems to help run the Public Financial Management Reform Programme (PUFMARP) among other things.

He said the Ministry of Finance is committed to making its staff alive to meeting the needs of the private sector, and thus to deal with them accordingly. He said it was not true that the public sector deliberately stalls the private sector, adding that, "most of our payments and contract for jobs are to the private sector; and activities are done with the private sector even though there are some state bodies that could have been asked to undertake them."

Alhaji Jawula was pleased that public sector officials are ready to be trained to meet the increasing demands of developing Ghana's economy. The PUFMARP is a government programme to improve financial management in the country. It is to establish a computerised and integrated Unix-based system with a central database accessed through a Local Area Network and a Wide Area Network.

It operates a system that will be initially piloted in a total of the 67 sites involving eight ministries in Accra including the office of the President and regional ministers, 10 regions and two districts.

This will be expanded later to cover all the remaining Ministries, Departments and Agencies. George Afriyie Gyamfi, IT Team Leader at the PUFMARP Secretariat in Accra said the office is happy to be able to be part of a changing process aimed at giving a new impetus to the public sector and help meet the dynamic needs of the Ghanaian economy.