General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has been appointed by Speaker Alban Babgin as a member of Parliament’s Service Board.
The MP for Suame, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Tamale South MP Haruna Iddrisu, former Majority leader Abraham Osei Adu, former MP for Wenchi West, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the Clerk to Parliament and the Speaker who doubles as chairman constitute the six-member Service Board.
Mr Alban Bagbin on Monday, March 29, informed the House of his decision to appoint the personalities who make up the Board.
Some members of the Advisory Committee, however, submitted to the Speaker that the membership of the NDC’s General Secretary on the Board “may amount to an undesired intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a political party and may not in the circumstances bode well for the independence of parliament since he [Asiedu Nketa] is the General Secretary of a major political party.”
But according to the Speaker, the only authority prescribed by law to appoint members of the Board allows that Asiedu Nketia be appointed as a member.
He further stated that former MP for New Juaben North, Hackman Owusu Agyeman was, some time ago, appointed a member of the Board despite being a part of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) hence “what is good for the gander is also good for the goose.”
“…I want to note that the former Parliamentary Service Board had Honorable Hackman Owusu Agyeman as a member of the board and Hackman Owusu Agyeman later became the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party. That one was no intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a member of a political party?” he quizzed.
Some legislators in the House appeared not to be in support of the Speaker’s decision while others cheered him on.
Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in his submission declined to challenge the decision taken by the Speaker emphasising that he has no aim to bring the House into disrepute.
“Thou shall not tempt the Majority leader to tempt the Speaker,” the Speaker teasingly stated.
The Parliamentary Service Board makes regulations prescribing the terms and conditions of service of officers and other employees for the effective and efficient administration of the Service.
The Board has the responsibility of promoting the welfare of MPs and staff of the Service.
It also has general control of the management of the Service in matters of policy. The Speaker has ultimate responsibility for the Service.