General News of Thursday, 5 July 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Confusion hits Ghana Statistical Service

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) was on Wednesday thrown into a state of confusion when the substantive Government Statistician, Dr. Grace Bediako, bounced back from her five-month forced annual leave.

In January 2012, the Board of the GSS asked Dr. Bediako to proceed on leave for “poor delivery”. She was promptly replaced by the current Government Statistician Dr. Philomena Nyarko, whose appointment raised a lot of controversy within both the GSS and the general public because of the manner in which the Mills government jumped her over her superiors.

Daily Guide’s visit to the GSS on Wednesday clearly revealed a heightened state of confusion as staff scurried around in bewilderment. Dr. Bediako was spotted in an office with an almost tearful composure as a makeshift office was been cleaned and dusted for her.

According to the cross-section of staff at the GSS, nobody expected Dr. Bediako to resume work, especially after the strange circumstances under which she was asked to proceed on leave against her will, reliable source told Daily Guide.

Nobody at the GSS appeared to be aware of Dr. Bediako’s resumption. Even her personal secretary was not exactly sure if her boss was indeed resuming work or merely passing through the workplace.

David Kombat, Director of Publicity at the GSS, admitted that he was not aware of Dr. Bediako’s resumption. “I don’t even know she is supposed to resume,” he told Daily Guide.

However, Daily Guide can confirm that she has actually reported for work. Indeed, an emergency board meeting was convened on Wednesday to determine the fate of the two government statisticians.

Shortly after she was edged out of office in January, the chairman of the GSS board, Prof. Francis Dodoo, issued a press statement seeking to explain why Dr. Bediako was asked to proceed on leave.

According to him, a group of international partners comprising the World Bank, EU, and the United Kingdom international aid agency, DFID, concluded that she was not effectively managing a US$7 million National Statistical System (NSS) fund through a Multi Dollar Trust Fund (MDTF) entrusted with her.

In the statement, Prof. Dodoo explained that with Dr. Bediako’s stewardship, the country at the time risked losing the US$7 million fund due to the lack of performance by the embattled government statistician.

“They referred to the lack of follow-up on actions through the entire organization, lack of delegation to staff and staff frustration with this, weak motivation and commitment of staff, disengagement of directors leading key assignment, etc. Essentially, the partners were explicit in their concern about the degree of centralized management and the lack of effective delegation, and particularly how these were inhibiting all (MDTF) activities,” Prof. Dodoo stated.**