800k Website Saga: Majority Moves To ‘Cut Off’ Ghc720, 000
The Majority in Parliament is attempting to amend the budget item for the creation of a website for the Ministry for Special Development Initiatives by reducing the cost from GHc800,000 to GHc80,000.
According to the Majority, an application has been brought to its attention by the sector minister, Hawa Koomson.
The application stated that, the budget for the website was supposed to be GHc80,000, and not GHc800,000 as indicated in the ministry’s budget for 2018.
In view of this, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu noted on the floor of Parliament that, the excess allocation of GHc 720,000 will effectively be under the care of the House.
“…Because we have already approved of the figure, what the House should indicate to the Ministry is that, the excesses amount cannot be used by the ministry until she [Hawa Koomson] comes to this House with whatever she wants to apply and that she requires the approval of the House.”
Aside from this, Mr. Mensah Bonsu noted that, “if she uses it [ the excess funds], the Minister Finance, appearing before us in the mid-year review would have to show evidence as to how it has been applied.”
It emerged on Thursday that the Ministry for Special Development and Special Initiatives had budgeted GHc800,000 to build a new website.
The amount, although heavily criticized by the Minority in Parliament, was approved by Parliament.
Following the backlash, the sector minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson, claimed that the GHc800,000 was a typographical error, and that the actual amount was GHc80,000.
The Minority Spokesperson for Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, however, called for the immediate resignation of the Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson over her display of improper discretion in the allocation of budgetary resources within her ministry.
Despite the correction, Mr. Ato Forson believes the Minister’s statement was merely a reaction to the public outcry and that amount was indeed GH¢800,000.