Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, a Ghanaian lawyer based in the United States of America (USA), has called for an anti-Midnight Appointment Act that limits the power of the President to make appointments to the Public Service three months immediately before the next presidential elections.
In his view, this is a potential solution to all the last-minute appointments the current NDC government is making after losing elections.
He said, Article VII, Section 15 of the Constitution of the United States of America states clearly that: “two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety”.
Prof. Asare, who teaches forensic accounting, noted that midnight appointments are controversial, adding that such an appointment culminated in the famous US case titled ‘Marbury v Madison’.
However, the US Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition under Article VII, Section 15 of the Constitution against presidential appointments immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the term of the President does not apply to vacancies in the Supreme Court.
He said in Australia too, there are laws which says six months to the end of the term, a government cannot sign certain contracts and cannot commit the state to certain sums of money.
But in Accra yesterday, reports emerged of recruitments into the Public Service after the government lost the elections.
Financial analysts say the move is a ploy by the outgoing government to put fiscal pressures on the incoming government before it even assumes office.
NSS recruits new directors
Again, only yesterday, a circular signed by Mrs Mariam Tannor-Akyemvi, Assistant Director of Administration of the National Service Scheme (NSS), said substantive District Directors of the Scheme have been appointed to fill vacant districts.
The letter dated December 16, 2016, was signed on behalf of the Executive Director.
NSS allowance up by 60%
Government has also approved a request from the National Service Secretariat (NSS) to increase the allowance of service personnel by about 60%.
Service personnel will from January 2017 be paid a monthly allowance of GH¢559 from the GH¢350 they currently receive.
A letter from the Ministry of Finance indicated the ministry gave the approval last week.
NCCE, CHRAJ heads confirmed
Similarly, President John Dramani Mahama yesterday swore-into office two officials with the call on them to exhibit high level integrity, dignity and professionalism by educating Ghanaians on their rights and responsibilities.
The officials are: Joseph Whittall, Commissioner of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice(CHRAJ) and Ms Josephine Nkrumah, Chairperson of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE).
At the swearing-in ceremony, President Mahama said the two organisations had become crucial in the country’s democratic dispensation, particularly when Ghanaians were becoming complex in electoral process.
He called on the CHRAJ to discharge its duties professionally irrespective of the ethnicity, religious and geographical location of the people they would be dealing with.
President Mahama urged them to do everything within their mandate to promote the adherence of human rights and civic responsibilities for Ghanaians to know their roles in the socio-economic development of the country.
On the NCCE, the President Mahama said they had been instrumental in the education of Ghanaians and urged them to double their efforts to offer them more education on their rights and responsibilities.
President Mahama advised them to play their roles efficiently and professionally to ignite the confidence of Ghanaians in civic education and human rights programmes.
The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) is also recruiting staff which is confirmed by a letter to a Deputy Director at the Legal Department of Cocobod asking him to sit on the interview panel.
12.5% Base pay rise for public sector workers in January 2017
Public sector workers are to enjoy a 12.5 per cent increase in their base pay with effect from January 2017, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.
Security agencies are also continuing with recruitment exercise commenced before the elections.
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