first_imgThe FY 2016 expenditure budget is a study in misplaced priorities and lost opportunities. The recurrent budget for the entire country is a little over $500 million. As I have stated before, that is a very small sum indeed. $500 million to cater to the needs of 3.5 million people? Me and a dozen of my colleagues were allocated that sum of money 20 years ago to run a newspaper in Dallas, Texas with 2,500 employees. In other words, on a per capita basis we had $200,000 to spend compared to just $140 for the Government of Liberia. When you place it in that context, it concentrates the mind.When you have such a small amount of money to go around, focus is absolutely essential in order to have impact. And that is what is lacking in our governance. There are simply too many ministries, agencies, commissions, administrative units. When I went through the budget I counted 108 budgetary units. With a $500 million budget, that boils down to an average of just $5 million per unit. You cannot do much with that.So, one of the things that has to happen, probably not during this administration but certainly in the next one, is a careful review of the mission and efficacy of every unit that gets budgetary appropriation. What is the mission of this unit? Do its functions overlap with those of another ministry/agency/ commission? Should one be dissolved and its functions absorbed by another?Let’s look at a practical example. Why do we still have a Ministry of information (a more apt name for it might be the Ministry of Misinformation or the Ministry of Presidential Propaganda)? Every ministry now has a public affairs office. The President has a press secretary. So, what is the Ministry of Information doing that these other agencies are not? We have multiple security agencies: Ministry of National Security, National Security Agency, Drug Enforcement Agency, Anti-Money Laundering Agency, etc. Are all of these really necessary? Each agency has to have a minister/director and the full complement of deputies and assistants, plus staff. Can some of them not be merged to save overhead expenses? This lack of focus is highlighted when we delve into the guts of the recurrent budget. Half (50%) of the budget goes on salaries and benefits. Because such a large proportion of the budget goes on compensation, there is insufficient money left over for work to be done. I think it is fair to say that the only justification for a ministry or agency to exist is that it is providing a service to us, the taxpayers. If all a ministry or agency has money for is to pay salaries, then that ministry or agency should not exist. It is not providing any value to the taxpayer.And there are many agencies for which the above is true. Their budget consists of salaries and very little else because after the appropriation process is done, there is nothing left to give them for them to do meaningful work.The government cannot do everything. It cannot be all things to all men. Choices have to be made. Decisions have to be made as to what government can and should do. Conversely, decisions have to be made as to what government should not be doing.My take is that government should be in the business of education, healthcare, rule of law, certain aspects of agriculture and infrastructure. The government should not be involved in business because the nature of government (slow, bureaucratic) is not suited to business (which requires swift decision-making, ability to change course quickly). That means we should be shedding most of our public corporations. The government should also leave big ticket infrastructure expenditure to the private sector because it simply does not have the resources to undertake the kind of expenditure that is necessary to get the job done. I am thinking of airports, sea ports, electricity, water and sanitation, some roads (which can be farmed out to the private sector and tolled).I was in England in the mid 1970s when the country, weighed down by a multitude of loss-making state-owned enterprises, was moving inexorably towards Third World status. Margaret Thatcher came on the scene, bust up the overly powerful unions, sold off or shuttered many of the state-owned enterprises and saved England. We need a Maggie Thatcher here. Next week, we will take a final look at the expenditure budget to see how it measures up to the priorities that I listed above.The writer is a certified public accountant and a businessman. He can be reached at hagreaves49@gmail.com.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On March 11, a group of Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association members will embark on a 12-day market study mission of Brazil, a major U.S.  competitor of international agricultural sales. The purpose of this mission is to gain a better understanding of Brazil’s role in the worldwide market of agriculture.“Our mission to Brazil is really about the piles of corn we have in the United States. We need to understand our competition in order to compete with them. We hope to dispel myths. A lot of folks feel like they are not as tech savvy as they really are in Brazil. This also provides the opportunity to get our growers to set foot on their farms and realize the obstacles they face down there,” said John Linder, an OCWGA member on the National Corn Growers Association’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. “We look forward to talking with those farmers and we will get to talk to some people in the industry who make feed and other things like that. We also forget that we are selling a lot of wheat down there because of the problems in Argentina. It would be nice to be able to keep that market.”The in-person mission will allow the group to learn first-hand about the strengths and challenges of Brazil’s agricultural industry; make face-to-face connections with key buyers and end-users; and engage in important conversations about issues, such as GMO acceptance, sustainability, ethanol infrastructure, and grain storage. The information gained in this mission will be used to enhance ongoing efforts to build demand for Ohio’s corn and wheat.Those interested can follow the mission through a blog and YouTube channel at ocwmarketmission.wordpress.com.last_img read more

first_imgPANAJI: The Goa Congress on Sunday attacked State Minister for Agriculture and Goa Forward Party (GFP) chief Vijai Sardesai, asking him to clarify his stand on the cattle slaughter ban.The GFP is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the State. All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Girish Chodankar said that Mr. Sardesai’s assurance that the State government would write to the Centre about its concerns over the notification was a mockery, as the beef ban was the creation of the NDA government. “What people are expecting is action and not hollow demands or lip service through media,” Mr. Chodankar said.He added that Mr. Sardesai was not in the Opposition, but was a part of the government in Goa and at the Centre.He asked Mr. Sardesai to clarify where he stood in the debate instead of making futile attempts to regain the sympathy of the minority community.“Mr Sardesai should either support the BJP’s agenda or openly or withdraw his support to the Government, instead of playing with sentiments of the peace-loving people of Goa. Citizens of Goa have sent home such people in the past, and will repeat the same when required,” he said.The AICC secretary said that following the inflammatory remarks made by Sadhvi Saraswati, the State government should have filed an FIR against her and arrested her before she left the State, instead of issuing statements as a smokescreen for her to escape the law.last_img read more

first_imgCatriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Allen preached the value of practice to the team in his five-minute impromptu speech, instilling to the young Pirates that the pain comes before the pleasure while encouraging them to continue working hard as they prepare for the bigger wars ahead.“It’s hard when you’re at the top, right? Because you have to work extra hard,” said Allen. “One of the things that I’ve always prided myself on, in my whole career, is execution. Now you have to work harder because you can’t sneak up on anybody anymore.”“Now, the teams you’re supposed to beat are going to play you extra tough, like you’re the world champions. Now, you have to not get tired of the process. You don’t win a championship the day they give you the trophy. You win a championship every morning you wake up at six. That’s where the reward comes.”Perez said he was honored to meet someone like Allen, who has won two titles in the NBA with the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat.“We’re all starstruck and we’re very happy because he told us what we need to do, which is to continue preparing hard because we’re the number one team and the other teams are already going after us,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lyceum gets all the good things these days.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief The Pirates, who are undefeated this NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament after nine games in the first round, got a surprise of a lifetime as NBA veteran Ray Allen dropped by their team dinner on Tuesday.Lyceum’s top gun CJ Perez shared that the whole team was shocked to meet the legendary sharpshooter, who is in the country for a couple of days.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We’re surprised to see someone like Ray Allen go to our school. It’s a rare thing to happen for us,” he said.In the video posted by Lyceum’s official page, the two-time NBA champion was seen shaking everyone’s hands before asking, “I heard you guys were in first place?” Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’02:00NCAA Season 93 Preview: Lyceum Pirates01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LOOK: UFC fighters Ronda Rousey, Travis Browne share photos from their wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

first_imgCoach Cal whispering something into Tyler Ulis' ear.LAWRENCE, KS – JANUARY 30: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats talks with Tyler Ulis #3 during the final minutes of overtime in the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on January 30, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)Kentucky had little difficulty getting past Tennessee Tuesday night. After a close first half, the Wildcats (26-0, 13-0 SEC) blew by the Volunteers (14-11, 6-7 SEC) in the final 20 minutes, winning, 66-48. The blowout victory did not come without some physicality, though. Kentucky freshman guard Tyler Ulis appeared to take a hard shot to the face from a Tennessee guard in the first half. Check out this play: Did anyone see this except @BraxtonDsnyder? pic.twitter.com/BdzD94RdK0— Aaron’s Right Shoe (@AaronsRightShoe) February 18, 2015Was it a punch? A shove? Just incidental contact? It’s tough to tell. Whatever it was, it’s something you usually see a foul called for, and there was no whistle blown last night. [KSR]last_img read more

first_img Twitter Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebookcenter_img A record 14 scientific or technologically themed feature-length films will play at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). From a deep-sea researcher, to a lie-detector inventor, to Jane Goodall, to Thomas Edison, the films portray a range of characters. TIFF will run from September 7th to 17th in Toronto. The science lineup is as follows. Some descriptions are quoted from TIFF programmers.THE CURRENT WAR. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, and Nicholas Hoult. The story of a ten-year face-off–between Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nikola Tesla–about the implementation of electricity via direct or alternating current. Science & Film interviewed writer Michael Mitnick.KODACHROME. Directed by Mark Raso. Starring Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen, and Ed Harris. Inspired by the true story of a road trip to the last film processor to develop Kodachrome film, invented by George Eastman’s company in 1935. Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img read more

first_imgAPTN National NewsGreen Party leader Elizabeth May says she wants to see the Indian Act reviewed when a brand new Parliament reconvenes after the Oct. 19 federal election.May said the Indian Act is at the root of many of the historical injustices faced by First Nation people.“A lot of the failures of Canada in achieving justice and fairness and respect with First Nation communities stems from the Indian Act and fixing that is a high priority,” said May during APTN’s first virtual town hall held Tuesday.The virtual town hall with May, hosted by APTN anchor Cheryl McKenzie, is the first of three with federal party leaders which will air this week.A virtual town hall featuring Liberal leader Justin Trudeau will be broadcast Wednesday followed by an appearance by NDP leader Thomas Mulcair on Thursday.All the town halls will be livestreamed on APTN’s news website.The Conservative campaign did not respond to APTN’s invitation to take part in the event.The town hall covered a wide range of issues, from the need for a public inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women, to the Arctic and pipelines.May said she doesn’t expect to become prime minister, but she expects the election will produce a minority government and she hopes enough Green candidates gain sets to hold the balance of power.May said her party supports an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women, but she also wants to see more cultural and gender sensitivity training for RCMP officers who investigate these cases.“We don’t want to just make this an inquiry into people we’ve lost, we need to stop the violence,” said May.May also called the Supreme Court’s landmark Tsilhqot’in decision “the most exciting thing that has happened in Canadians’ history living on Turtle Island.” In particular, May said the part of the decision—which stems from a long-running battle launched by the Tsilhqot’in Nation in British Columbia’s interior—that discussed the impact on future generations rings true to her.“Whatever is important to this generation needs to be available to future generations,” said May. “What does this look like generations from now and are we in our generation taking away chances that people in our generation have a right to expect.”May repeated her previous stated stands against the shipping of raw resources, like bitumen or logs, out of the country.“We shouldn’t be shipping any bitumen and all the pipelines being proposed they are all about shipping raw bitumen out of Canada,” said May.May said her party would also push for the re-establishment for a Canadian ambassador for the Circumpolar North to push Canada’s interests in the region which is under acute threat from climate change.“Stephen Harper got rid of the position of ambassador for the Circumpolar North,” said May.The May-led Green party will also push for the application of the principles contained in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the next Parliament.“It is a stain on Canada’s reputation that we were dragging our feet and not accepting it and not implementing it,” said May.When it comes to treaty rights, May said the next prime minister needs to be the one on point when it comes to ensuring Ottawa is living up to the honour of the Crown.“This is the sort of thing that should rest on the desk of a prime minister to make sure treaty rights are observed and taken as a priority,” said May.The Green Party will also push for the next Parliament to address all the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations that fall within federal jurisdiction, said May. The Green Party will also continue to push for First Nations, Inuit and Metis to have a seat at the Council of the Federation along with the provinces and municipalities.May said all it takes is for politicians to take these issues seriously and place them at the top of their priority lists to push these issues forward.“I think it’s political will,” said May. “I don’t think it’s a money question, I don’t think it’s a legal question.”news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

Senior midfielder Yianni Sarris heads the ball during a game against Akron on Sept. 24 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Ben Jackson / For The LanternWednesday night’s contest did not go as planned for the Ohio State men’s soccer team, but the Buckeyes are now set to try to put it behind them and take on a top-10 foe.The 1-0 loss to Oakland in Rochester, Mich., stalled the momentum of the previous week in which OSU topped two top-25 teams and seemed to be firing on all cylinders.“We know we’re going to need to score some goals and we know we’re going to have to continue to do that if we want to be successful in the Big Ten,” senior midfielder Yianni Sarris said on Monday.The Buckeyes will now have to try to rebound from that loss against No. 10 Indiana (7-1-3, 1-1-1) on Sunday afternoon.The good news for the Buckeyes is that the game is set to be played in Columbus, where they are 2-1-2 this season — including a 3-2 victory against then-No. 17 Michigan State last Saturday.“Playing on familiar turf and in front of your own fans makes the difference,” junior defender Liam Doyle said. “Home comforts.”OSU coach John Bluem said the Buckeyes’ schedule is one of the toughest in the nation.“Our strength of schedule is ridiculously strong,” Bluem said Monday. “With a (then) 4-3-3 record, to be ranked 13th in the RPI, that means your strength of scheduled is stupid.”The Ratings Percentage Index, or RPI, which measures performance in relation to strength of schedule, recognized the tenacity of the Buckeyes’ foes. The RPI ranked the Buckeyes at No. 13, despite only receiving four votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.However, Bluem said he is not concerned with what the coaches’ surveys say, rather only focusing on the computerized RPI.“The polls ultimately don’t mean anything,” Bluem said. “It’s the RPI that matters. The RPI shows you how well you’ve done against better competition, and the NCAA committee, when they select teams for the tournament, they pay attention to the RPI.”Bluem pointed out that there are only two undefeated Division I schools remaining, and OSU has already faced both of them. The Buckeyes drew University of California-Davis (4-0-7), 0-0, in their opening game Aug. 29 and fell to Penn State (10-0-1), 1-0, on Sept. 21.Bluem said he is glad to have the tests throughout the season, but wishes they didn’t all come clumped together.“I wish maybe some of these games coming up were fit in between there and some of these were spread out a little more, but that’s not the way it worked,” Bluem said.That trend is set to continue this weekend against the Hoosiers. Indiana is unbeaten in its last six matches, including wins over then-No. 8 Saint Louis and No. 18 Louisville in its last two.While Bluem and several players have said that the team is trying to focus on taking the season one game at a time, Doyle said he realizes the impact of games played against Big Ten opponents.“We try to take all games the same, but I do think the Big Ten conference does have a little edge to it because we know winning the conference is the main goal of the team,” Doyle said.OSU has lost three straight games against the Hoosiers, with its last win coming on Nov. 7, 2010, in Columbus.This weekend’s game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

first_imgGerman manager Jürgen Klopp came out and blamed himself for not explaining to his Liverpool players that they can’t run too long with the ball.In what was considered as one of the most important matches for Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, the Reds visited San Paolo Stadium and got a painful defeat against Napoli with a late Lorenzo Insigne goal.The German manager was not happy with his attacking players after the match because he believed that they kept the ball during long periods of time, he wanted them to release it quicker than they actually did during the match.“Sometimes Bobby [Firmino] ran too long with the ball, or Sadio [Mane] ran too long. When that happens, you cannot produce. The midfielders or the full-backs tried to go forward, but we lost the ball and had to go back in the other direction. It was intense, but we caused the intensity of the game ourselves,” said Klopp after the match.“It was an interesting looking group before we started and it’s still interesting now. We want to play better than we did tonight, but even if we don’t play brilliantly, we want a result. Tonight we weren’t as good as we could be,” he added.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.But the Liverpool boss didn’t want to blame his attacking players completely, he also confessed that he has a great deal of responsibility for this result: “A big part of that performance is my fault. I need one night to watch the game again, but it looked not like it should have looked.”Jürgen Klopp admitted #LFC’s performance was not good enough after watching his side lose 1-0 to Napoli. https://t.co/ghfYYqj7xR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 3, 2018last_img read more