Council of State issues first-time report

BY: Daily Graphic
 Nana Otuo  Siriboe II — Chairman,  Council Of State
Nana Otuo Siriboe II — Chairman, Council Of State

This report is the first ever  produced to highlight the work of  a  Council  of  State to commemorate its first year  in office. It contains many of the activities undertaken by the seventh Council  of State in its first year  of existence.

The report takes readers through the constitutional development of  the Council of State, with its historical antecedents provided in an  appendix.

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It highlights the mandate and legal framework within which the Council of State operates. It explains the Council’s  membership composition; its procedures and committees as well  as the foci of their activities and meetings.

Committees

The  seventh  Council  of  State works through three Standing Committees: the Appointments and House Affairs  Committee (AHAC); the Legal,  Constitutional Affairs  and Petitions Committee (LCAPC); and the Economy and Special  Development Initiatives Committee (ESDIC).


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In addition, it constituted two ad-hoc  committees with specific  tasks  during the year under review.

These  were the Special  Committee on the Council  of State’s new office building project and the Publicity and Editorial Committee.

Interactions

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The  report finally  provides a peep into the Council’s various interactions with the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, some ministers of his government and other stakeholders during the period under review.

Ultimately, the seventh Council  of State seeks  to make itself  and its activities more visible to the public and to bridge the gap between the two important stakeholders.

Introduction

This  first  report of  the  Seventh Council  of  State of  the  Fourth Republic of Ghana highlights the events, issues  and activities carried out by the Council after it was inaugurated by the President on  February 27, 2017.  It is important to state, at the onset, that this is the first time a report has been issued after just one year of a Council’s existence.The  report covers   the Council’s  first  year   in  office from February, 2017  to February, 2018. 

Specifically, the report places on  record the intensive briefings, meetings, interactions, approval of  appointments and consultations with the President, Ministers of  State and heads of public institutions.

Shortly after its inauguration, the Council  unanimously elected Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Omanhene of Asante Juaben, as its chairman. At its very first meeting, the Council was resolute to position itself  as an  independent body in order to discharge its functions as stipulated under the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

Provisions

The Council reminded itself  of provisions of Chapter 9, Article  89, of Ghana’s Constitution that the Council of State is to “counsel the President in the performance of his functions”.

It extensively discussed its mandate and the posture it was  going to adopt in fulfilling that. As part of its mandate, the Council  is expected to:  “Consider and advise the President or any  other authority in respect of any  appointment which is required by the Constitution or  any  other law  to be  made in accordance with the advice of,  or  in consultation with the Council  of State. Also, “upon request, or on  its own initiative, the Council  of State is to consider or make recommendations on  any  matter being considered or dealt with by the President, a Minister of State, Parliament, or any  other authority established by the Constitution.”

In Article  91  (4) the Constitution highlights the extensive nature of  the scope of  the Council’s  mandate. It  states that the Council   shall  “perform such  other  functions as may  be  assigned to it  by  the Constitution or  any  other law  not inconsistent with the Constitution.”

The  above provisions underline the importance of  the Council  of  State and the unique place it occupies in Ghana’s current governance arrangement. It is important to emphasise that through its advisory role, the Council  is expected to bring the collective wisdom and rich experiences of its members to bear on the work of Government and State institutions.

Information

The  onstitution further provides that the Council of  State shall hold its meetings in-camera,  at least, four times in a year.

The restriction of in-camera sitting seeks  to protect the confidentiality of advice given by the Council  to the President, ministers of State and other heads of public institutions.

The meetings of the Council  may,  however, be opened to the public when considered appropriate.

Extending the Council’s activities into the public domain is to ensure broader consultations and the needed flexibility in the process of information gathering by the Council.