General News Tue, 8 Mar 2016

I made a mistake – ISD boss sorry for misleading apology

The Acting Director of the Information Services Department (ISD), Mr Francis Kwarteng Arthur on Tuesday insisted that he was responsible for the content of the error-ridden independence anniversary brochure, which has sparked controversy.

In a press release issued on Monday, Mr Arthur apologised on behalf of the ISD for the errors.

The error-ridden brochure, which was distributed during Ghana's 59th Independence Day celebration at the Black Star Square in Accra on Sunday was characterised by incomprehensible grammatical expressions, poor spellings and a host of other inaccuracies. It has provoked outrage and condemnation among a section of the public.

Among the many mistakes in the brochure was the description of Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, as the President of Ghana.

Expressions such as, "The innovated partnership is being concretised in many areas of economic trajectory, particularly trade...", "...rainbow at the end of the tunnel...", "...as if by divine-designed..." and "Ghana has attained a low-income status in the world...", have also been described as ambiguous or false by some observers.


On Monday, the ISD in a statement signed by Mr Kwarteng Arthur accepted blame for the errors.

In a dramatic twist, however, workers of the Information Services Department (ISD) denied having played any role in authoring the brochure and questioned the decision of the acting director, Mr Francis Kwarteng Arthur to accept responsibility for something they did not do and go ahead to apologise for it.

Addressing the aggrieved workers, Mr Kwarteng, apologised for issuing the apology in the name of the ISD.

According to him, he produced the brochure in his capacity as Chairperson of the Communication Subcommittee of the 59th Independence Anniversary Planning Committee, and not as the Acting Director of ISD.

The meeting with the staff of the ISD was barred from media coverage as it was considered an in-house meeting which the media should not be privy to.


However after the meeting which lasted almost an hour, some staff were still unhappy about the conduct of the Ag Director and asked him to issue another statement to the various media houses to let them know that the ISD played no part in producing the error-ridden brochure.

Ms Munira Karim, the Regional News Editor of ISD said the Communication Subcommittee should take the blame for the errors in the brochure adding that if it was credit the subcommittee would have taken it.

She said that it was unfair to rope the ISD into a situation they knew nothing about.

Ms Karim explained that under normal circumstances, ISD as the main public relations outfit of government, has a media liaison office which should have issued the accreditation for the anniversary programme but for about six years now, the department has been shut out of participating in national activities.

“We are professionals here and at least give us the responsibility and let us fail. In that case you can apologise on our behalf but this is the case we didn’t take part in anything so why do you apologise on our behalf," she said.


Ms Karim also stated that the ISD has ceased to take up roles in national programs and virtually does nothing.

She said the department had hoped that Mr Kwarteng, a former presidential staffer until his appointment, would use his links to get the department jobs to do.

Information gathered by Graphic Online from some of the staff at the premises of the ISD is that the department has one of the best printing machines in the country, but due to large amounts of debt owed to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) it has been disconnected and for that reason are unable to publish or print any materials.

Source: Graphic.com.gh