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Mahama Boy Causes Confusion At Information Service Dept?   
 
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18-Jan-2016  
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Decision by some top officials at the Flagstaff House to by-pass the appointment authority of the Public Service Commission to appoint a Presidential Staffer, Mr. Francis Kwateng Arthur, as the Director of Information Services Department (ISD) under the Ministry of Communications, has stoked fire at the department, Today has gathered.

Today’s investigations into this saga revealed that staff of ISD believe that officials of Flagstaff House maneuvered to have the 46-year-old Francis Kwateng Arthur appointed as Director of the entity.

His appointment, according to the workers contravened the Public Service Commission Act, arguing that “the position of the Director of ISD was not for government appointees.”

The workers could also not fathom why officials at the Flagstaff House would by-pass the Public Service Commission and give such an enviable position, which requires one with extensive experience and knowledge, to Mr. Arthur.

The workers explained that per the system of the Public Service Commission Act, one could not be appointed as the Director of ISD if he or she is not a civil or public servant, stressing that Mr. Arthur did not qualify to occupy that office “because he is not a civil servant.”

The workers asserted that it was on records that looking for a substantive Director to head the ISD, names of most senior deputy directors and staff of the department; namely Messers Kweku Sessah Johnson, Charles Wereku, Abdulai Samad Issah and Mrs. Elizabeth Effua Essel were penciled down for interview by Public Services Commission, but the politicians were able to manipulate the process and had Mr. Arthur appointed as the Director of ISD.

Information gathered from the department indicated that majority of workers were not happy over the appointment, contending that they were facing tough times in dealing with Mr. Arthur.

They also accused their new boss of messing-up the financial control management system of the department.

The workers, Today findings established, are very enraged and have threatened to lock up the new Director’s office on February 20, 2016 and subsequently make the place ungovernable for him, accusing him of embezzling money which was meant for the staff allowances of the department.

The embezzlement claim, according to them, was currently brewing tension at the department.

The workers disclosed that the immediate past Director of ISD, Noel Actorn Tetteh, the Accountant, Madam Margaret, Director of Budget, Mr. Nii Armatey, and the Director of Finance and Administration, Mr. Charles Wereku, signed cheques amounting to Gh¢142,000 from the department’s coffers to pay the staff allowances, covering the period between July to December 2015.

“But it may surprise you to know that the money was withdrawn on Monday, December 21, 2015 and was kept at the Accounts Section of ISD until the following day, Tuesday, December 22, 2015 which the Budget Officer in charge of Finance and Administration made Mr. Arthur (the new acting Director of ISD) aware that there was such money in ISD’s coffers for the staff allowances and that the money had been withdrawn pending his (Mr. Francis Kwartey Arthur) consent for distribution,” the workers revealed.

“According to Mr. Arthur and some operatives of Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), the said money was illegally sourced, hence Mr. Arthur immediately invited the EOCO to arrest the four top directors of ISD who are currently in the grips of the law,” the workers further disclosed.

The workers wondered why the new director took such inhumane action, noting that all the requisite documents and the laid down procedures were duly followed by the embattled directors to assess the money through the Ministry of Communications, Financial Controller and Accountant General Department, National Treasury of Ghana Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS) and Bank of Ghana before the cheque was released to credit the ISD’s accounts a week before Mr. Arthur was appointed on Monday, December 7, 2015.

The workers asserted that “as at today, Monday, January 11, 2016 that we are speaking to you the money has not been given to the staff as allowance but GHC 40,000.00 has been withdrawn from the amount which is under investigation.”

They went on to state that“…Mr. Francis Kwartey Arthur did not know anything about the ISD but was using EOCO and other National Security operatives to intimidate and harass staff of ISD for no apparent reason.

The workers castigated Mr. Arthur for running the ISD with the Head of Media Liaison Officer, Mrs. Evelyn Anthony, who was on pension but was still at post.

“Could you imagine that Mrs. Evelyn Anthony, who is the head of media at ISD, is now the Head of Director of Operations of ISD who just assumed the position barely one month before Mr. Francis Kwartey Arthur was appointed in December 2015…Although she is a staff of ISD, she never worked at the head office for the past twenty years,” the workers revealed.

But, Mrs. Anthony had since denied the allegations, claiming that she did not take over the position of director of operations at the department as being alleged by her critics.

According to her, although her public services at ISD came to an end in June 2015, she applied for a one-year extension contract from the Public Service Commission for which it was approved and granted by the Head of the Commission last year.

“And that l must say that lam not the only public servant who applied for one year extension of contract in the public service. So out of the one year extension granted to me I have spent seven months and I’m now preparing to leave the office in June 2016.

“…but I want to put on record that I still work as the Head of Media Liaison Officer at ISD and not Director of Operations,” she stressed and rejected the claim that Mr. Arthur convinced the Head of Public Service Commission to approve her one year extension contract.

Speaking in an exclusive with Today on Thursday, January 14, Mr. Arthur confirmed that he was appointed by President Mahama in consultation with the National Media Commission and Chief of Staff, Mr. Julius Debrah, to head ISD as the acting Director after the immediate past Director of ISD, Mr. Tetteh went on retirement.

Mr. Arthur, who is a lawyer by profession, simply said: “I know the Presidential Staffer, Mr. Stanislav Xoese Dogbe, but l would like to set the records straight that it is absolutely untrue that Mr. Dogbe was the one who spearheaded my appointment to act as the Director of ISD…but I was appointed by President Mahama in consultation with some key stakeholders to support the government in its efforts to restructure the ISD to enable it become relevant in this technological era.”

Mr. Arthur went on to tell Today that he was very much aware that the Public Service Commission was currently in a process of recruiting a substantive director to be employed to head the department for which all the deputy directors of ISD have applied for that position.

According to Mr. Arthur, at the appropriate time the Commission will employ a substantive director to head ISD, but he added that President Mahama may decide on his fate whether he should be assigned to another portfolio in the department or re-assigned to the government agency/institution or call him back to the Flagstaff House to continue his Presidential Staffer duties.

On the allegations of embezzlement, Mr. Arthur refuted it outright, stressing that “it was calculated agenda engineered by those criminals and corrupt staff whom he caused their arrest for illegally withdrawing GH¢142,000 from the department’s account without his approval.”

According to him, all these allegations started after he ordered EOCO to arrest four top senior directors.
 
 
Source: Today Newspaper
 
 

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