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Crown Agents assesses value for money in public spending for the Ghanaian health and education sectors /

In April 2022, via the Expert Advisory Call Down Services Framework that DT Global managed, Crown Agents Ghana completed two fiduciary risk assessments (FRAs) of the Ghanaian health and education sectors for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Ghana faces significant challenges in these areas; for example, over 30% of the population aged 6+ is illiterate. The public funding available to address these challenges is limited, however: The Ministry of Finance has noted ‘inadequate tax revenues, rising expenditure and debt’ as characteristic of the country’s monetary situation.

To remedy some of these challenges, the FCDO is providing approximately £25m to the Government of Ghana over five years through the Ghana Partnership Beyond Aid programme. The purpose of these funds is to build capacity in the education, health and social sectors to facilitate delivery of quality services for citizens. The programme will do this through technical assistance to government ministries, building mutual learning partnerships between the Government of Ghana and the Government of the United Kingdom, and by providing grants to civil society organisations to help them hold government to account for social sector spending.

The aim of the two FRAs was to determine the level of risk that financial aid funds might not achieve their intended purposes or value-for-money, or might not be properly accounted for. Our assessments provided recommendations as to how funds could be better safeguarded, for example through rationalisation of the budget calendar, timely publishing of consolidated accounts and tracking of performance outcomes, with the aim to improve health and education outcomes for Ghanaian citizens, particularly in the most deprived communities.

FRAs are a key tool used to assess partnership commitments. Specifically, they help FCDO to assess and monitor partner government commitment to improving Public Financial Management (PFM) (including fiscal transparency), strengthening domestic financial accountability, and fighting corruption.

Crown Agents has extensive experience in conducting FRAs globally: For FCDO, the organisation has delivered 36 FRAs in Nepal alone since 2013, at all levels of government. Other jurisdictions FRAs have been completed in include St Helena, Montserrat, Tristan da Cunha, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Zanzibar.