Ministers Should Have 5 Experts – Prof Adei

A former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof Stephen Adei has said ministers of state should be allowed to have five experts whom they will go with when leaving office.

The Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) has raised concerns that many of their members have been sidelined by ministers, municipal and district chief executives who are using political appointees.

They claimed the politicians are interfering with their work and taking over their jobs to the extent that some special assistants have illegally assumed "certain uncontrollable powers" and that staff who refuse to kowtow to "dubious directives" are pushed out of office.

But speaking at the Accra Dialogue Series, Prof Stephen Adei said there should be clear lines on the rolls of special assistants to help curb the protest by CLOGSAG.

“A typical minister who come should be allowed to come with about five experts whom he will go with, but then, they will come and work with bureaucracy.”

Adding he said: “The question is that, is the Minister going to sit down every day to explain what he wants to do, he can’t, somebody must interface. I believe that assuming we have… one of the largest ministerial appointments in our history [like the one] by Akufo-Addo of 110 [ministers], they will commit further.

Prof Adei insisted each one them, the 35 [Akufo-Addo ministers should] have five experts, not political appointees, coming with a minister.

He said a large number of about 150 to 200 people as experts shouldn't be a problem and that "if the Ghana Civil Service of 400,000 there about cannot accommodate a president’s team of about 250 [not the president’s office alone, then], I think that we are saying that, you go for your election."

In agreeing with Prof Adei, former Chief of Staff, Mr Kwadwo Mpiani said government cannot run away from appointing people outside the civil service.

“If even a president decides to bring in only advisors from outside, these advisors need the civil service to help him to perform very well and therefore it is very important for us to have an efficient civil service, a civil service that is politically neutral," he said.