Haruna Iddrisu
Haruna Iddrisu

In a response to this, the Ministry in a statement under the authority of Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations in Accra, explained that it was normal practice within the Ghana Public Service for Ministries to depend on their agencies when they are in financial distress and can sometimes borrow for subsequent reimbursement, subject to releases from the Ministry of Finance.

Haruna Iddrisu
Haruna Iddrisu

The statement further explained that Ghana’s participation in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conference and the official Government delegation was officially sanctioned and approved by the office of the Chief of Staff by a letter dated 19th May, 2015 to include social partners vis Employers, Representatives of Organised Labour and Members of Parliament.

It said the Ministry’s action in charging the vote against the YEA approved vote for 2015 was supported by Section 24 1(e) of the YEA Act 887 of 2015, which stipulates that, “for the administrative expenses of the Agency and oversight supervision by the Ministry which shall in any case not exceed Five Per cent (5 %) of the funds of the Agency”.

It said it was therefore not peculiar to the MELR, because in this case, it was backed by Section 24 of the YEA Act of 2015, Act (887), which stipulates the Application of funds by the Agency.

The statement said it was to be noted that, the $230,960.43, in question, had fifty percent of it used for the payment of subscription arrears owed the ILO, amounting to One Hundred and Forty Four thousand and Fifty Swiss Francs, Fifty Cents (SFR 144,052.50), and that of the African Regional Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC) which amounted to US$69,706 pending reimbursement by the Ministry of Finance, which was outstanding and in arrears.

It said an erroneous impression was being created that the money was entirely used for the purpose of official foreign travels, however, failure to pay their annual ILO and ARLAC subscriptions would have resulted in the loss of their titular voting rights at the 104th Session of the International Labour Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland from June 1 to June 13, 2015.

It said the rest of the amount was spent to cover travel expenses of 16 members of the Ghanaian delegation comprising staff of the Ministry, Agencies of the Ministry, some members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Employment and other Social partners (Tripartite) per ILO requirements.

It said the Ministry has at all times operated within the Law and would reimburse where necessary and appropriate as provided by law and per releases from the Ministry of Finance for which a request was made.

“We are not in breach of the Law and we have acted within the parameters of the YEA Act, 2015 (Act 887), the Public Procurement Act of 2003 (Act 663) and Financial Administration Act (FAA) of 2004 (Act 654).

The activities and financial operations of YEA is required to be audited by the Auditor General in accordance with Section 27 of the YEA Act (887) 2015, and the MELR and the management of the Agency would respond to any Audit findings accordingly.

GNA

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