Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has been appointed as a member of the Parliamentary Service Board, Chaired by Speaker Alban Kingsford Bagbin.
The other members are Mr Cyril Nsiah, Clerk to Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader, and Mr Abraham Osei Aiddoo, former Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for Tema West.
The Speaker, commenting on the presence of Mr Nketiah on the Board, noted that the former Parliamentary Service Board had Mr Hackman Owusu Agyeman, former Chairman of the Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party, as member,
He said that was an intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a member of a political party, adding; “What is good for the goose is also good for the gander”.
The Parliamentary Service is governed by the Parliamentary Service Board, which is composed of the Speaker, as chairman; four other members appointed by the Speaker, acting in accordance with the advice of a Committee of Parliament; and the Clerk of Parliament.
The Board has the responsibility of promoting the welfare of Members of Parliament and Staff of the Service. It also has general control of the management of the Service in matters of policy.
At the beginning of proceedings of the House, on Monday, the Deputy Minority Chief Whip and MP for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim, raised the matter on the delay of the appointment of the four members of the Board, apart from the Speaker and the Clerk of Parliament.
He wondered why the House, which exercised oversight responsibility over the Executive, could have the moral responsibility to query that Arm of Government if it had also delayed in appointing a board.
The Banda MP said the non-appointment of the board created constitutional breach.
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, the Majority Chief Whip, agreed with the requests and gave the assurance that the leadership would sit to resolve the matter as soon as possible.
Mr Mahama Ayariga, the Ranking Member on the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and MP for Bawku Central, said the absence of the board was affecting the House’s work as new recruits into the Parliamentary Service, after their interview, could not be signed on without the board, adding that it also affected the procurement of goods and services.
In reaction, the Speaker said the parliamentary committee set up to advice him on the appointment of members to the Board delayed in their work and that the appointment should be done in accordance with the advice of the committee.