April 24, 2024

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has sworn in an emolument committee with a call on them to consider the current economic difficulties in deciding the benefits that would be paid to the Article 71 office holders, also known as ‘ex-gratia.’

According to the President, there is public discussion about the legitimacy of the remuneration of Article 71 office holders, thus the need for some recommendations from the committee to address that.

President Akufo-Addo was addressing the five-member emolument committee at the ceremony to swear them into office.

“I must indicate that in recent times, a lot of public discourse surrounding the remuneration of public officers has centered primary on those of Article 71 office holders and whether or not withstanding the constitutional imperatives, we are deserving of what is being paid to us in view of the challenges currently confronting out national economy,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“It might well be that your work should also focus on these concerns and make recommendations on how they should be addressed.

“The task ahead of you is a challenging one and it is my expectation and hope that you will be up to it and deliver your report expeditiously,” he added.

OTHER JURISDICTIONS

President Akufo-Addo was not happy with the situation where every president would have to establish emoluments committee and advocated for a change.

He cited the practice in America “where the principles are established and automatically adjusted according to certain objective criteria. This may well be an issue for further constitutional debate and decision.”

Meanwhile, he informed the committee that it was incumbent on them to examine the work of previous committees in the conduct of their work.

The previous committees were those led by Miranda Greenstreet, Mary Chinery-Hesse, Ishmael Yamson, Marian Ewurama Addy, Francisca Adu Boadoh and Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu in the conduct of your work to be able to establish some consistencies.

TIMELY REPORT

In her response to the President, the chairperson of the committee, Dr. Janet Fofie, said the new committee will review all the previous work of their predecessors.

“The committee promises to examine all previous emoluments committee reports and any other documents related to the subject. As a retired Article 71 office holder myself, I am keenly aware of the significance of this committee.

“I am also aware of the sometimes, very heated debate in our national conversations over the years on this matter. It is my hope that the committee will get valuable insights, views, inputs and support from all stakeholders to enable us deliver a comprehensive and timely report to his excellency for consideration and approval,” Dr Janet Fofie said.

MEMBERS

Dr. Janet Fofie, the chairperson of the committee, is the immediate past chairperson of the Public Services Commission; Prof Gyan Baffour, former Minister for Planning, is the President’s nominee.

The rest of the members are; Madam Gloria Ofori Buodu, former member of the African Council of the National Peer Review Mechanism; Dr. Osei Akoto, an academic at ISSER and Mr. Ben Arthur, Head of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission.

COMPOSITION

The composition of the Committee on Emoluments of Article 71 Office holders, done on the advice of the Council of State, is in accordance with Article 71(1) of the 1992 constitution.

The committee is to make recommendations to the President and to Parliament for their decisions on salaries and allowances payable and the facilities available to Article 71 office holders.

TERMS OF REFERENCE

The terms of reference of the committee are in two folds. The committee is to make recommendations on emoluments and other privileges for Article 71 office holders, as specified under the constitution. They are also to examine any relevant matter, which the committee deems appropriate to its work.

See also  Today's Newspaper Headlines; Monday, July 17, 2023

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