The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has digested the first 100 days of the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government – stating its disappointments and commendations during the period.
The Centre, for instance, said it felt badly disappointed by President Akufo-Addo’s decision to appoint 110 ministers which flies in the face of the President’s own declared commitment to protect the public purse.
This also goes against his long-standing 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,” they stated.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Centre on the first 100 Days of the Nana Akufo-Addo/NPP government.
According to the statement, CDD-Ghana is again 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.
They say such actions are inconsistent with good corporate governance practices and foster politicisation of the public service as well as political exclusion, and undermines the fight against winner takes all politics.
“The Centre 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 best practice,” they said.
They, however, commended President Akufo-Addo for the speed with which he assembled his team of ministers and deputy ministers for the take-off of the new government.
“We also applaud the efforts the president made to explain the rationale behind the nomination of specific individuals for the respective ministerial positions. This practice suggests the willingness of the President to subject his own logic and reasoning to broad scrutiny - a healthy development for Ghana’s nascent democracy, if sustained,” they noted.
They again commended government for giving impetus to the fight against corruption by allocating a substantial GH?1.2 million to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to implement activities under the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP).
CDD-Ghana also praised the President for his declaration to put an indefinite freeze on the purchase of new vehicles and completely terminate the standing policy that allowed government appointees to purchase their official vehicles, adding “CDD-Ghana deems these decisions as important symbolic steps towards promoting good public financial management”.
The statement said they are very much aware that 100 days into a new administration may be too short a time to fully assess a government, and to get a full measure of what the President and the NPP government can do to fulfil its transformational agenda for Ghana.
“Nonetheless, it does 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, some of which have been noted by the Centre in this statement,” they added.