A senior research fellow of the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), Dr Michael Ofori-Mensah, has observed that the transition challenges encountered in 2017 are for the most part a manifestation of a breakdown of state institutions.
He has, therefore, stressed the need to urgently address those transitional challenges as effective management of political transitions remains integral part of good governance.
According to Dr Ofori-Mensah, the IEA has proposed that the Administrator-General should submit periodic (narrative and financial) reports to Parliament to enhance the transition process in Ghana.
He also called for the introduction of subsidiary legislation that outlines the finer details relating to the Administrator-General’s role and the Presidential Estates Unit’s (PEU’s) mandate.
The proposed regulations, Dr Ofori-Mensah stated, should also empower the Administrator-General to surcharge public officials for damaged or missing state assets.
He explained that that would help to ensure accountability in the use of state assets.
The IEA, Dr Ofori-Mensah said, also recommended that the government should block the sale of state assets to outgoing and retiring officials and introduce “midnight” law to address issues of last-minute appointments, contracts and policies.
According to Dr Ofori-Mensah, the Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845) is an initiative of the IEA and the Ghana Political Parties Programme (GPPP).
He said the law emerged in response to the past transition challenges, which deepened political polarisation and led to tension in Ghana’s body politic. As a result, Dr Ofori-Mensah said the Presidential (Transition) Act provided a framework for the political transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another, with the aim of ensuring the transition challenges of 2001 and 2009 were not repeated.
He observed that while the transition law attempted to address a range of issues identified in previous transitions, its benefits transcended regime change, since accountability remained the centrepiece of the law.