Frustrated Tony Aidoo decries neglect of his office
The Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation at the Office of the President, Dr. Tony Aidoo Monday said his office has not been functional since the death of President John Mills.
Sounding rather frustrated, he wondered if the office was created for the sole purpose of thanking him, for he said the office has lacked the sort of collaboration and support it enjoyed when it was created, a period during which he still lamented the poor quality information he was fed to work with.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii sen programme, he told show host KABA, that the disclosures he was making, including the non-payment of salaries for his staffers for a period of six months, were not issues he would ordinarily put out in the public domain.
The salary arrears has since been paid, but he said even though he received scanty information that also lacked quality during the period leading to July 2012 when Professor Mills died, the information ‘has completely stopped coming. It is as if, oh Professor Mills created that office just to thank Dr. Tony Aidoo, which is something that I find very, very unfortunate.’
Dr. Aidoo was explaining his recent comments in the media expressing misgivings about what he said was an apparent disinterest by the government in pursuing with the objective of retrieving sums deemed to have been paid wrongfully to individuals and institutions as judgement debts.
‘People have something to hide, at all the levels of the public service and at the levels of the political oversight. And people can always hide things if they don’t give you the information and that is what has happened.’
Even with the scanty information he received during the presidency of Prof Mills, he said he was able to report at least three times on overspending, increasing debt burden, and over-bloated payroll. He recounted the high level of cooperation he enjoyed from the former Auditor and Accountant General, Mr R.K. Tuffour.
‘We went through the data and identified ghost names, double names and so on and also suggested that some measures must be taken. One of those measures was the biometric registration of public servants And the unit is supposed to support the presidency not only with monitoring of what is going on but to evaluate most developmental impact assessments – that we did this project we did it successfully, but has that project any developmental impact on the lives of the beneficiary community’
He said it was therefore impossible to measure the impact of a project when vital information such as costs and values of that project are not forthcoming.
Dr. Tony Aidoo said his counterpart in South Africa runs a $15 million annual budget and a large manpower to booth, but a careful appraisal of the Ghanaian situation found the need to implement an ICT system. However, he wondered, how anyone could employ highly skilled ICT personnel and resort to paying them a pittance. Working under such conditions is even more difficult especially when one has to deal with expired information.
President Mahama, he said, was aware of the plight of the office. The president had promised to reinforce the office about nine months ago.
Dr Tony Aidoo said he was ready to walk away any time, having done his bit for the benefit of the nation for which over the years he has taken the insults and even the beating.
In the meantime he is hoping that the president will come to realise the importance of the office.
Story by Isaac Yeboah/Graphic.com.gh/Ghana
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