The ex gratia for Article 71 officeholders in the Executive arm of government, is to be approved by Parliament.
Article 71 officeholders include the President, Vice-President, Speaker of Parliament, Chief Justice, Justices of the Supreme Court, MPs, Ministers of State, political appointees and public servants.
The ex gratia approval is one of the agenda of the lawmaking chamber prior to its dissolution for a new House to convene following the 7 December 2020 elections, in which more than 100 incumbent MPs were ousted.
About seven months ago, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in accordance with article 71 (1) of the Constitution, inaugurated a 5-member committee which was tasked to make recommendations to him and to Parliament on the salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities and privileges available to article 71 officeholders.
The composition of the committee, done on the advice of the Council of State, was chaired by Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa Baidu, an eminent scientist and marine conservationist, former pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon, and Chairperson of the Board of the Millennium Development Authority.
The other members of the committee included Abraham Ossei Aidoo, former Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and one-time Member of Parliament for Tema West; Dr. Edward Kwapong, currently Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission; Dr. Eric Odruo Osae, a Chartered Accountant and lawyer, and UNDP technical advisor to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development; and Mrs Stella Segbawu, former Managing Director, Donewell Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
The terms of reference of the committee were two-fold:
- to make recommendations in respect of emoluments and other privileges for article 71 officeholders, as specified under the Constitution; and
- to examine any other relevant matter which the Committee deems appropriate to its work.
In his remarks, the President indicated that though he was bound by the Constitution to establish such a committee, “I think it may be worth our while to examine the practice of other jurisdictions, for example, the American one, where the principles are established and automatically adjusted according to certain objective criteria. This may well be an issue for further constitutional debate and decision.”
He urged the Baidu-Committee at the inauguration ceremony bring to the table the work of previous committees, namely those led by Miranda Greenstreet, Mary Chinery-Hesse, Ishmael Yamson, Marian Ewurama Addy, and Francisca Edu-Buandoh, in the conduct of your work, to be able to establish consistencies.
The report of the Committee is yet to be presented.
However, Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye said in a notice that in accordance with the 1992 Constitution, “this house will be required to consider the approval of the Executive component of Article 71 officer holders report before the dissolution of the House.”