As part of the Institute’s commitment to strengthening democracy, on 14th March 2017, the IEA organised a roundtable on the theme ‘Strengthening Presidential Transitions in Ghana.’ The Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845) is an initiative of the IEA and the Ghana Political Parties Programme (GPPP) which emerged as a response to past transition challenges. The 2017 transition was the first time Act 845 was applied. The IEA closely monitored the transition process and held a roundtable to present the findings of its assessment and discuss the Institute’s recommendations for reform.
Among the key challenges identified in the 2017 transition were the following:
– The lack of a comprehensive inventory of state assets, which creates opportunities for misappropriation and ad hoc seizures of property
– The limited resources of the Presidential Estate Unite (PEU) and how it impacts the ‘Administrator-General’ effectiveness in carrying out his statutory functions
– The late submission of handing over notes and how it impedes the transition process
– Midnight Issues: contracts awarded, policies introduced and key appointments- in the last few days of the previous government, which has a potentially significant impact on the incoming administration
The above challenges need to be urgently addressed, as effective management of political transitions remain integral to good governance. In this regard, the IEA has proposed the following recommendations to enhance the transition process in Ghana.
1. Reporting to Parliament: impose a statutory requirement for the Administrator-General to submit periodic reports to Parliament to ensure accountability and value for money.
2. Subsidiary legislation: Introduce regulations that empower the Administrator-General to carryout his/her functions and ensure compliance with the Act.
3. Resource the PEU
4. Block the sale of state assets to outgoing/retiring officials
5. Introduce a “midnight” law to address issues of last minute appointments, contracts and policies.
The programme was well attended by 90 participants, representing key stakeholders and identifiable groups. These guests included Ministers of State, Justices from the Superior Courts, Political Party representatives, Members of Parliament from the various political divides, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Religious and Traditional leaders, Academia, Heads of Civil Society Organisations, Heads of Security Services, and the media. Among the dignitaries in attendance were Hon, Osafo-Maafo, Senior Minister /Chairman of 2017 NPP Transition Team, Hon Gloria Akuffo, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Hon . Rashid Pelpuo, Former Minister of State and Mp for Wa Central, H.E. Adekunbi Ayodeyi, Nigerian High Commissioner, Mr. Lasse Moller and Ms. Cecile Vigneau, both development counsellors for the Danish and French embassies.