GII to President: Appoint Administrator to oversee transition process

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has called on President Mahama to appoint an Administrator-General to oversee the transition process after the 2016 elections.

Mr. Joseph Donkor Issachar previously held that position but he passed away in September 2014, leaving the position vacant.

The GII however argues that it is imperative to appoint an administrator to supervise the process since past transitions have witnessed several challenges.

‘Past transitions have faced several challenges, including administrative lapses, refusal of outgoing officers to surrender official state assets which often leads to forced evictions and adhoc seizure of official vehicles from outgoing officers, all of which stem from lack of precedent to guide such transitions,’ the Executive Director of the GII Vitus Azeem said.

‘These mistakes resulted in social and political acrimony, tension, ill-feeling, bad blood and intense inter-party hostility but most importantly, huge losses to the state.

Both academics and politicians have admitted that the situation is not desirable and should not be allowed to repeat itself.’

Loopholes in Transition Act The Presidential Transition Act makes provisions for periodic stock-taking and an inventory of executive assets, especially during a transition.

This requirement covers state assets in both the official and private residences of senior public officers, including the President, Vice President and Ministers of State.

This provision was aimed at ensuring good record-keeping to provide the new leadership in key government institutions with essential knowledge to undertake their functions.

Mr. Azeem however identified some loopholes in the Presidential Transition Act, saying it does not empower the Administrator-General to deal with public officers who fail to surrender state assets, after leaving office.

He therefore emphasized the need for the loophole to be addressed in order to ‘strengthen the office of the Administrator-General to carry out the statutory duties conferred on that office.’

Duties of an Adminstrator- General The Administrator-General is the Head of the Estates Unit, which, according to its statutory mandate is to: a).

Take and keep an inventory of the assets and properties of the Government which are assets and properties not vested in the Lands Commission established under Article 258 of the Constitution; b).

Ensure that assets and properties of the Government are maintained in good condition c). Ensure that where relevant, the assets and properties of the Government are transferred in good condition.

Most important of all, the Administrator-General is required to make recommendations to the President in accordance with provisions in the Constitution, for budgetary allocations required in a transition for passing the reins of power from one government to the next one.

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