The World Bank Task Team ended a Technical Mission with Selected Entities (public sector institutions) as beneficiaries of the Public Sector Reform for Results Project (PSRRP) implementation in Ghana.
The two-week Technical Mission commenced on Monday, 17th October, and ended on Monday, 31st October 2022, at the offices of the Selected Entities. The task team leader, Mr. Furqan Ahmad Saleem, led the mission and was accompanied by Mr. Smile Kwawukume, Mrs. Lydia Sam, Mrs. Esinam Julia Nduom, Mrs. Sheeza Khan, Tatsuya Iwasaki, among other officers supervising the Project implementation.
PSRRP is a partial implementation of the National Public Sector Reform Strategy (NPSRS) 2018–2023, launched by His Excellency the President in August 2018 with support from the World Bank Group. The thirteen selected entities benefiting from the Project include the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Passport Office (PO), Births and Deaths Registry (PO), Ministry of Transport (MoT), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MFARI), Ministry of Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ministry of Local Government Decentralization and Rural Development (MLGDRD), Office of the Head of Civil Service (OHCS), Public Services Commission (PSC), Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Secretariat; National Information Technology Agency (NITA) and Public Sector Reform Secretariat (PSRS), the implementing agency.
The mission, which forms part of the World Bank’s implementation support interventions, engaged the Selected Entities and other stakeholders aimed at conducting the following: assessing the progress towards the achievement of the Project Objective, which is “to improve efficiency and accountability in the delivery of selected services of the Selected Entities”; review critical activities and delve deep into each Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) or the Performance Based Conditions (PBCs); check the status of Project procurement and financial management, and update the ratings for the following implementation status report of the Project.
Considering the fast-moving implementation of the PSRRP after the restructuring exercise in 2021, the Project, targeted at introducing various reforms in the thirteen public sector institutions, is progressing steadily. It is expected to achieve the desired results by the end of 2023.
Some notable reform activities on the PSRRP include; the preparation of an institutional gender action plan for PSC and OHCS; strengthening compliance reporting on Client Service Charters for PSC and OHCS; development of a framework for continuous organizational learning and development for OHCS; procurement of modern I.T. equipment under Lot 2, development of electronic reporting tool and development of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Mobile App for DVLA; development of a framework for the institution of a National Innovation Challenge Competition and consultancy services for the development of a framework for Commercialization of Innovations and Scientific Research for MESTI; consultancy service to strengthen grievance redress and complaints handling for CHRAJ; procurement of I.T. equipment under Lot 1 for Passport Office among recognizable reform activities for all the Selected Entities, and Enhanced Beneficiary Mechanism for PSC, OHCS and their selected institutions, Independent Review of Passport Office systems and procedures and Harmonization of Births and Deaths IT systems, among others.
The Technical Mission began with a kick-off meeting with the Senior Presidential Advisor and Chairman of the Project Steering Committee, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo. It was attended by members of the Project Management Unit (PMU) under the PSRS and other officials from the Office of the Senior Presidential Advisor.
The World Bank Task Team and members of the PMU then visited the offices of the Selected Entities to discuss their activities identified, timelines for implementation, and the budget estimates of each exercise. The Team visited the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection to discuss the comprehensive gender strategy and the need to expedite its implementation.
They also met with the Independent Verification Agent (IVA), the University of Ghana Business School is expected to independently verify or validate whether and to what extent the Selected Entities are achieving the project’s PBCs or DLIs-and related targets in line with verification protocols approved by the World Bank and the PMU.
Discussions were also held with the procurement and financial management components of the PMU to review their status of completed and ongoing procurement processes and the financial commitments, as well as the disbursement of Project funds, are concerned.
Following the Technical Mission by the World Bank Team, the issues identified with the Selected Entities were appropriately addressed, and further discussions on some outstanding activities were noted for continuous engagement to understand better and support smooth execution.
Essentially, the two-week Technical Mission was successful with the call on all Selected Entities and the PMU to scale up efforts at processing and submitting the documents required to execute crucial reform activities identified within the project implementation period.
The World Bank Team took the opportunity to remind all Selected Entities at the mission to submit their updated work plans with all the reform activities identified by mid-November 2022 and also thanked them, the PMU, and the Senior Presidential Advisor for all the arduous efforts at working to achieve significant reforms in Ghana’s public sector using the thirteen Selected Entities as a pilot exercise for the implementation of the NPSRS.