CDD-Ghana pats NPP@100 days but damns infractions
 
Posted on: 2017-Apr-14        
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The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is asking the Akufo-Addo government to pass a comprehensive law to serve as a long-term guideline for the disposal of public assets.

The call stems from President Akufo-Addo’s declaration to put an indefinite freeze on the purchase of new vehicles and completely terminate the standing policy that allows government appointees to purchase their official vehicles.

According to CDD-Ghana, these decisions are “important symbolic steps towards promoting good public financial management.”

A statement issued by the governance think tank on the 100-day old administration of the Akufo-Addo led New Patriotic Party government, CDD-Ghana commended the new administration for various actions and decisions, but also expressed disquiet on many issues and infractions.

CDD-Ghana applauded President Akufo-Addo for the speedy assembling of his team of ministers and deputy ministers for the takeoff of the new government, his explanations for some of the appointments, for giving impetus to the fight against corruption by allocating a substantial GHC 1.2 million to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice to implement activities under the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), and for the freeze on the purchase of new vehicles.

However, CDD-Ghana noted in the statement that “a number of developments in the first 100 days of the Akufo-Addo/NPP administration give us cause for dismay.”

“First, the many instances of NPP-affiliated vigilante groups’ forceful takeover of state assets and public facilities (including toilets, toll booths, school feeding programs, etc.) and the unlawful seizure of vehicles of members of the previous administration put a dent on the hitherto smooth transition process. Worse still, the failure of government, and law enforcement agencies to deal decisively with the NPP-affiliated vigilante groups, mainly the Delta and Invincible Forces, that invaded sensitive government installations such as the passport office and Tema Ports and Harbor, appears to have encouraged the recent brazen attacks on the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator and a Circuit Court in Kumasi, by the so-called Delta Force.”

While acknowledging the public commitment the national security hierarchy has made to bring those involved to justice fully as endorsed by the President, the Center said it fully endorses calls for the immediate disbandment of all political party-affiliated vigilante groups to uproot the threat to national security.

The Center suggested also that the more credible way to deal with the canker of militant party-affiliated vigilantism should start with proactive de-politicization of state/government control of the police and other national security agencies, including the appointment and transfers of their leadership.

“It also requires a firm stance to end the accompanying partisanship in the deployment of security agencies – which breeds impunity among incumbent government supporters and fosters mistrust among opposition party supporters.”



110 ministers

CDD-Ghana said it felt “badly disappointed” by President Akufo-Addo’s decision to appoint 110 ministers as it flies in the face of the president’s own declared commitment to protect the public purse as well as its longstanding good governance advocates’ campaign for meaningful reduction in the size of government and resultant government spending.

“We believe that the appointments of so many politicians to manage the state bureaucracy will further deepen its politicisation and undermine its authority.

“We are also disturbed by the continuity in practice after electoral turn-overs whereby the chief executive officers and senior managers of public agencies and parastatals are summarily removed or asked to “proceed on leave,” and to handover to a caretaker officer/acting CEO. Such actions are inconsistent with good corporate governance practices, it fosters politicization of the public service as well as political exclusion, and undermines the fight against winner takes all politics. The Center deems the interpretation of who is a political appointee under Section 14 (6) in the Presidential Transition Act 2012 too broad and badly in need of review informed by bestpractice.” CDD-Ghana said even though 100 days may be too short a time to fully assess a new government and to get a full measure of what the President and the NPP government can do to fulfil its transformational agenda for Ghana, it nonetheless present an opportunity for a new government to take stock, build on the positive steps and achievements and also correct mistakes it has made.

“It is our fervent hope that going forward the President and his team will embrace this opportunity to address the many governance challenges that the Country faces…”