Good news for caterers of the school feeding program as Government has pledged to settle their long overdue claims.
Caterers of the school feeding program has threatened on numerous occasions to boycott the programme, which feeds a total of 1.7 million basic school pupils, over not being paid for seven months last year.
A statement from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), the new caretakers of the program says; government is committed to pay all outstanding claims owed them by the end of September 2015, after receiving approval from the sector minister.
“All outstanding arrears will be paid by the third week of this month and it shall be done electronically.”
“To facilitate the payments, a rapid assessment audit is being conducted. A comprehensive audit of the School Feeding Programme will be conducted next year,” the statement revealed.
“The following decisions have also been taken:
“All procurements have been cancelled and or suspended, pending review. Consequently, any supplier who processes any order for supplies from any official of the School Feeding Programme without the power of approval of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, does so at his or her own risk. Furthermore, any School Feeding Official who undertakes procurement without due process and authorisation from the Sector Ministry is personally liable.
“The Ministry is reviewing all contracts under the School Feeding Programme. New contracts will be executed from January 2015.
“The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection would like to assure all stakeholders, that it is committed to ensuring that the School Feeding Programme maintains its objective of providing one hot nutritious meal to school children any time they are in school. This will eventually result in increasing school enrollment, attendance, retention and cognition, thereby reducing hunger and malnutrition,” read the statement signed by Communications Advisor to the Ministry, Abraham Asare.