The Member of Parliament of Bawku Central, Mr Mahama Ayariga, has asked the Administrator-General to provide Parliament with the handover notes of past ministers in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s first term to enable members of the Appointments Committee to do a thorough job on vetting ministerial nominees.
He said while the Presidential Transition Act provided that during the transition there should be handover notes which must be given to Parliament, the House was yet to receive the notes.
That, he said, was a clear violation of the Act.
Section Seven of Act 845 provides among other things that “The Administrator-General shall make available to the person elected as President the original copies of the handover notes.
“Subsection two states that of the five other copies, the Administrator-General shall retain one copy and one copy shall be sent respectively to Parliament; the Chief Justice, the Council of State and the Public Records and Archives and Administration Department.
“It has even become more imperative because as a member of the Appointments Committee, we are going to be vetting ministerial nominees and the interesting thing which we all know is that the President has virtually retained most of his ministers in the same sectors that most of them served for four years,” Mr Ayariga said in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
“Between when we vetted them in 2017 and approved them to occupy the office and today, the only thing that has happened is that they have served as ministers in those sectors for four years and the only place I can get that report is the Presidential Transition Act report notes,” he explained.
He said members of the Appointments Committee would not be able to do a thorough job if they did not have copies of the handover notes.
“As for the new ministers, they have never occupied the office so we will be assessing them on whether they meet the constitutional criteria and to find out whether or not they will be able to serve as ministers, but we don’t have a track record of them in public office to assess.
“But for the ones who have served as ministers and are being asked to come back as ministers in the same sectors that they have served, the starting point should be the handover notes of that person which by law the person is expected to produce and given to Parliament,” he stated.
Mr Ayariga noted that the leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) caucus in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, last raised the issue and demanded that the handover notes be made available but the House still had not received it.
“For those of us who are on the Appointments Committee, if we don’t get the notes, we won’t be able to do any serious work,” he said.
He said the members on the committee would, therefore insist on getting the handover notes this week.