The Institute of Economic Affairs has raised concerns about appointment of Vice-President, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, as chairman of the government’s Transition Team.
According to the Institute, it is the Administrator General, and not the vice president, who must run and head the Presidential Estate Unit, the government agency entrusted to handle the transition process.
The President on Tuesday appointed Mr. Amissah-Arthur to chair the twenty-four-member Transition Team to manage the transfer of power to the new government.
The team Friday started work establishing its sub-committees under the supervision of the Vice President.
But the IEA which spearheaded the drafting of the law guiding the process is arguing that the Vice President cannot be leading the Transition Team.
President John Mahama in accordance with section 8(2) of the Presidential Transition Act 845, appointed Joseph Donkor Issachar, as the Administrator General of the Presidential Estates Unit in November.
The Executive Director of the Institute, Jean Mensah told Evans Mensah, host of Joy FM’s Top Story Friday the law mandates an Administrator General to take charge of the transition process, and not the vice president, in order to ensure “accountability and transparency in the handling of state assets”.
“It is important for him (Administrator General) to take charge of this process because he is an autonomous independent person, and he’s been appointed by the president to manage this transition. He has the authority under the law to do this; he has the tenure of Justice of the Court of Appeal.”
She said the establishment of the Advisory Council is not needed under the current circumstances.
“That really becomes necessary when you have an outgoing government handing over to a totally new government, and the Advisory Council is made of members of both sides and that Council deals with disputes and not the transition so to speak,” Madam Jean Mensah stated.
But former Chief of Staff during the Rawlings era, Nana Ato Dadzie says it would not be appropriate for the Administrator General to chair the team.
He further argued that the Presidential Estate Unit (the office of the Administrator General) had just come into being, and “it is not yet fully institutionalized… even though an Administrator General has been appointed”.
He explained: “Under the law, an incumbent president and the incoming president jointly chair the transitional team: that is what the law said…The original state where you have the an incumbent being on and then the incoming government in; how can you place somebody who is in a nature of a civil service to preside over a meeting being co-chair by the two presidents?”
He said the the law which established the Administrator General's office spells out his responsibilities and other duties clearly.
Play the attached audio to listen to the two arguments