Yaw Osafo-Maafo (3rd from left), Senior Presidential Advisor and Chairman of the OGP Committee, with other dignitaries and participants after the programme. Picture: ERNEST KODZI
The Senior Presidential Advisor, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has said the government is taking steps to advance accountability and transparency in the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to promote good governance.
He said the numerous policy and legislative reforms, such as the Right to Information Act, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Witness Protection, among others, demonstrated the country’s desire to increase access to government data to ensure increased citizen participation.
He said this at a stakeholder engagement on the implementation of the Open Government Partnership’s (OGP’s) fourth National Action Plan (NAP) in Accra yesterday.
The OGP is a global initiative aimed at promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption and encouraging the use of technologies to improve governance.
Jointly organised by the OGP Secretariat under the Senior Presidential Advisor’s Office and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), a civil society organisation (CSO), the stakeholder engagement was to sensitise implementing MDAs and collaborating institutions to the OGP.
It was also to review commitments and implement the road map on the fourth NAP, as well as agree on modalities for accelerating implementation of outstanding commitments.
Participants included representatives from the Local Government Service, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), the Public Sector Reform Secretariat, the Monitoring and Evaluation Secretariat, CSOs, among others.
The Senior Presidential Advisor explained that although modest gains had been made in the attainment of commitments under the OGP, the non-integration of commitments into priority plans and strategies of the government, overloading of commitments, among others, reduced the effectiveness of implementation efforts.
He added that often, implementing MDAs and collaborating institutions knew next to nothing about the OGP and national plans.
Additionally, he said, commitments were also not budgeted for, thereby affecting their smooth implementation.
He assured the implementing partners of the government’s commitment to achieve the OGP objectives for better governance for the benefits of the citizenry.
For her part, the OGP Point of Contact, Thelma Ohene-Asiamah, said in spite of the progress made in previous implementations, significant challenges still remained unresolved.
She said in order to address gaps in previous plans and improve implementation of commitments in the fourth NAP, an elaborate list of activities had been outlined under each commitment.
The implementation plan, she said, clearly identified each commitment, the problem to be addressed and the relevance of the commitment to the OGP values to ensure effective implementation.