Cease presenting yourselves as Akufo-Addo’s reps – Minority to Ministers-designate

The Minority in Parliament has urged Ministers-designate to desist from presenting themselves as representatives of the president.

The group has also called on the Chief of Staff to revoke any unauthorized appointments of Minister-designates as presidential representatives.

It follows claims that the Chief of Staff created temporary appointments for Minister-designates awaiting parliamentary approval, designating them as ‘Representative of the President.’

Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, Minister of Health designate recently embarked on inspections at health facilities, as it were in his capacity as the President’s representative. But he denied working without permission at the Health Ministry while waiting for parliamentary approval.

In a statement signed by the Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh the Minority stressed that Minister-designates, as nominees of the President, are not clothed with authority to instruct or implement policy changes within ministry agencies.

“The Minister-designate who is only a nominee of the President has no authority whatsoever to instruct or direct, implement or propose policy changes for agencies within a sector ministry and therefore under what power or authority does he/she summon CEOs and other heads of institutions, who may be busy with their official schedules, to grant him audience or presentations on their management of state institutions?

“The Minority in Parliament would therefore like to advise the Chief of Staff to revoke all illegal appointments appointing Minister-designates as Representatives of the President. We further caution persons so appointed to stop holding themselves out as Representatives of the President to designated Ministries. We urge all members of the public, particularly public sector workers not to extend any privilege reserved for Ministers to such persons.”

The minority drew attention to the fact that the 1992 constitution opposes the appointment of president delegates to Ministries of State.

“Therefore, for a highly regulated power centre such as the Presidency, it is ultra vires for the Chief of Staff who derives all her powers from the President as prescribed by the 1992 constitution to be creating new offices alien to the constitution.”

The NDC MPs declared that a minister represents the President in the ministry to which they are assigned, in addition to the power and authority bestowed by the constitutional instrument of office and laws passed and ratified.

“It is therefore ultra vires for the Chief of Staff to ascribe a primary function of a Minister to a person not so appointed. Article 78(1) of the 1992 constitution states, “Ministers of State shall be appointed by the President with the prior approval of Parliament….”

“This clearly indicates that the appointment process can only occur after approval of Parliament. Therefore, Minister-designates are at most nominees whose presence in government institutions should amount to nothing more than a visit of an ordinary citizen and that is without Ministerial privilege or authority whatsoever,” the caucus stated.

The Minority also declared it unlawful for any individual to present himself as a Representative of the President to a Ministry exercising any form of executive authority of superintending, overseeing, directing, or controlling state institutions in the name of the President.

“It is for this reason that where a substantive appointment has not been made to a specific ministry, a Minister appointed to another ministry and clothed with the constitutional instrument of office is directed by the President to act as ‘caretaker’ Minister for the ministry,” it added.

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