General News of Friday, 12 October 2018
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The Minority in Parliament has written an open letter to the principle of Staff requesting an update on the presidential order to temporarily suspend all foreign travels for ministers, deputy ministers, regional ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in addition to the Foreign Affairs Minister.
It can be seeking clarification on the status of an identical ban on the purchase of new vehicles by ministries, departments and agencies
The letter which emanated from the Ranking Person in the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, on June 21 recalled that, 2018, the principle of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei, communicated under her signature and name to all or any sector ministers and deputies, regional ministers and their deputies along with MMDCEs and heads of government agencies informing them of a presidential directive to temporarily suspend all foreign travels and exempting only the Foreign Affairs Minister.
The letter continued to state that the directive was made public and that both deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor and former Information Minister, Dr Mustapha Abdul Hamid, vouched for the authenticity of the document which, at the right time, was in wide circulation.
“They both attemptedto offer some clarity and assured the country that “soon” new guidelines covering future foreign travels will undoubtedly be developed as government strives to cut expenditure and keep ministers along with other appointees centered on domestic duties,” Mr Ablakwa recounted.
Mr Ablakwa said his open letter to the principle of Staff was in utmost good faith and in the spirit of good governance requesting that she provided an update for Ghanaians on the ban, four months on.
“This update, if provided, aside from helping build confidence inside our governance processes in order that matters of the nature aren’t regarded as propaganda stunts, it will enable those folks in the legislature discharge our constitutionally mandated oversight obligations adequately,” Mr Ablakwa’s letter posited.
The letter additionally said it had been worth the reminder about how exactly an identical ban on the purchase of new vehicles by ministries, agencies and departments dated March 21, 2017 that was also signed by the principle of Staff and made public had seen no public reversal 19 months on yet evidence abounded on the purchase of fleets of new vehicles from the presidency to ministries, agencies and departments.
“Respectfully, this tendency to go public with bans of most sorts and remain silent thereafter hoping all Ghanaians will forget and move ahead will not promote rely upon public officers neither does it develop a good image for government. It destroys our search for accountable governance&rdquo also; the ranking member said.
In the index case of the ban on travels, the open letter said it turned out four “long” months because the matter became the main topic of national interest and that Ghanaians deserved to learn if the ban was still in effect, if not, when it had been lifted and that when it was in effect still, when it might be lifted and if the promised guidelines were ready.
Mr Ablakwa can be seeking to know very well what the brand new guidelines contain adding that the taxpayer ought to be informed about how exactly much the federal government has saved in specific terms and also the general impact of the assessment of the ban.
The Person in Parliament (MP) for North Tongu added that it had been imperative to explain “that people seek to keep in the spirit of public engagement with this matter as initiated by your government whenever your signed memorandum was made public and formed the foundation for extensive commentary by numerous government officials. It really is in this context that people have elected to utilise an open letter approach which we believe will improve the quality of transparency and accountability most of us yearn for.”