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2018 Expenditure Returns of the NMC (GoG)
As at 30th September, 2018 the Commission had spent an amount of GH¢2, 922,766.22 which represents 56.75 per cent of its approved budget of GH¢5,149,381 for the 2018 financial year. The breakdown of expenditure is presented in Table 1 below.
Table 1: NMC budget performance as at 30th November, 2018 Outlook for 2019
For the 2019 financial year, the National Media Commission intends to undertake the following activities
i.To review the various Guidelines which have been in existence for the past ten years to conform to modern trends in the digital age.
ii. To develop content policy on Digital Migration and continue stakeholder consultation on Digital Migration
ii. Carry out a Pre-election Media Monitoring and build the capacity of Media Monitors, data analysts and data entering officers.
iv. The Commission will deploy Commissioners to the regions to help the Regional Media Advisory Committees.
v. The Commission will also undertake Stakeholder consultation on pre and post-elections and organized an orientation of new members of the Commission.
2019 Budget Allocation to the NMC
To implement the above programmes an amount of five million, thirty-two, thousand two hundred and twelve Ghana cedis (GH¢ 5,032,212) has been allocated to the National Media Commission (NMC) for the 2019 financial year.
This is made up of three million, nine hundred and seventeen thousand, two hundred and fifty-four Ghana cedis (GH¢3.917,254) from GoG source and one million, one hundred and fourteen thousand, nine hundred and fifty-eight Ghana cedis (GH¢1,114,958) from Development Partners Fund. The allocations is to be disbursed among the following cost centers of the Commission.
Cost Centre 2019 Allocation (GHc)
Employee Compensation -- 3,175,410
Goods and Services -- 741,844
Capital Expenditure -- Nil
Development Partners Fund -- 1,114,958
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The summary of the 2019 allocation compared to 2018 allocation is presented in Table 2.
Table 2: 2018 Allocation as Against 2019 Allocation Observations
The Committee made the following observations:
Inadequate Budgetary Allocation
The Committee noted that as at 30th September, 2018 an amount of GH¢768,354.22 was released out of an approved allocation of GH¢1,000,000 to the National Media Commission for capital expenditure. The Committee was informed that this amount was used to
purchase a Media monitoring Van, Toyota Land Cruiser for use in content monitoring. The balance of GH¢ 231,645.75 is required to finance the renovation and roofing of the monitoring center which is currently in a very deplorable state.
The committee further noted that budgetary provisions for capital expenditure (CAPEX) has not been allocated to the Commission for the 2019 financial year.
The Acting Executive Secretary lamented on the deplorable state of the facility housing the monitoring equipment stating that during rainy seasons, the leakages are unbearable, resulting in damages to most electronic gadgets such as air conditioners among others.
He informed the Committee that for the 2019 fiscal year, NMC requires a total amount of GH¢700,000 to effectively can out its planned capital investment programmes and projects.
According to the NMC, the Ministry of Finance had earlier made a provision of GH¢ 500,000 to the Commission in the budget ceiling for CAPEX but when the budget was approved the amount was not captured in the budget.
The Acting Executive Secretary explained to the Committee that for the financial year of 2019, the Commission plans, among others, to furnish offices in two regions, Ho and Tamale, acquire Media monitoring equipment's such as Computers, radio sets, televisions, headphones for real time monitoring activities, purchase an additional mobile monitoring Vans for effective media monitoring and renovate the Media Monitoring and Research Centre among others.
The Committee noted that considering the strategic importance and the critical role of the National Media Commission in maintaining a stable united and safe society, the need for adequate funding to enable the Commission carry out its constitutional mandate effectively cannot be overemphasised.
The Committee therefore recommends the following to the Ministry of Finance:
That the Ministry of Finance should ensure that the Commission is adequately resourced by reinstating the GH¢500,000 initially captured in the budget ceilings during Mid-year review to enable it carry out its mandate for the 2019 financial year effectively.
That the outstanding amount of GH¢ 231,645.75 for capex for the 2018 approved budget should be released to the National Media Commission to enable them complete renovation works to protect the content media monitoring equipment.
Increase in Compensation of Employees
The Committee noted that an amount of GH¢ 3,175,410 was allocated to the National Media Commission for Compensation of Employees for the 2019 financial year as against an amount of GH¢2,847,901 as approved budget for the Compensation of Employees in 2018.
The Acting Executive Secretary informed the Committee that the Commission does not have the full complement of technical staff to fill the research and monitoring Centre and as a result, the Commission made a request to the Ministry of Finance for clearance during the Technical Hearings in September, 2018.
The clearance has been given to cater for promotions and recruitment of ten (10)
additional staff and this therefore accounts for the increase in budgetary allocation for Employee Compensation in excess of GH¢ 207,000.00 for the 2019 financial year.
He indicated that the Commission requires additional fifteen employees to meet the staff requirements but the Ministry of Finance recommended that the NMC could employ staff from the Nation Builders Corps.
In this regard , the Committee recommends to the Hon Minister for Finance to provide adequate funds and grant the Commission special dispensa- tion to recruit the requisite staff needed for its operations.
Guidelines for Media Reporting
The Committee was informed that the Commission (NMC) has developed Guidelines on Religious Broadcasting to help sanitise the airwaves and improve the way religious bodies and faith based organisations broadcast their activities and disseminate information on their faith.
To this end, the Committee recommends to the NMC to expand its guidelines to include political and tribal reporting as well as live panelist discussions on television, radio or on political platforms to help sanitise the political discourse in the airwaves during general elections.
The Committee, after careful examina- tion of the Budget Estimates of the National Media Commission, recommends to the House to adopt its report and approve the sum of five million, thirty-two thousand, two hundred and twelve Ghana cedis (GH¢5,032,212) to enable the National
Media Commission implement its programmes for the financial year of 2019