ISD staff protest scandal

•  Mr. Arthur, answering questions from the media after meeting with the  ISD staff.         Photo: Mercy Amparbeng

• Mr. Arthur, answering questions from the media after meeting with the ISD staff.
Photo: Mercy Amparbeng

The Acting Director of the Informa-tion Services Depart-ment (ISD), Francis Kwarteng Arthur, yesterday, walked off a press briefing refusing to answer questions after taking “full responsibility” for the errors in the Indepen-dence Day anniversary brochure.

The press briefing following an emergency meeting with staff of the department who had staged a demonstration early yesterday, to distance the ISD from the errors which ran through all 32 pages of the brochure.

The demonstration was necessitated by an apology statement signed by the Acting Director who linked the department to the errors in the brochure.

“As acting Director for the Information Services Department, I assume full responsibility for the content and I issued an earlier apology statement in my capacity as the acting director of the ISD and as the chairman of the Communications sub-Committee of the anniversary”, he told journalists in Accra yesterday.

He said the earlier statement should not have been linked to the department.

In the apology letter, which was dated January 12, 2016, Mr. Arthur wrote “The Information Services Department wishes to apologise to the President H.E John Dramani Mahama, and the people of Ghana for the misrepresentations in the event brochure, the department which authored the content of the brochure accepts responsibility and wishes to unreservedly apologise for the development”.

Mr. Arthur told journalists yesterday, that after the backlash, which the staff of the “ISD is not enthused about and justifiably so, I have listened to their concerns, suggestions and I am prepared to move along with my team collectively”.

He then walked away from the media turning down questions.

Notable among the errors in the brochure, which has embarrassed government, was the introduction of the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, who was the Special Guest of Honour, as the President of the Republic of Ghana.

The document also contained grammatical errors and misrepresentation of facts about the country, among others.

The ISD, the official information dissemination outfit of the government, therefore came under a barrage of attacks from a cross-section of the public.

Angered by the attacks, the workers staged a demonstration, denying the department’s involvement in the production of the brochure.

“We are not happy about the way the ISD has been discredited today; meanwhile, we practically played no part in the production of that document”, a staff told The Ghanaian Times.

One female worker said “as you can see, we are happy the truth has been laid bare. The apology statement the director issued does not bear any reference number from the ISD, and that is the more reason why nobody should have regarded this statement”.

She said the “authority of the department as the publicist of government has been taken away, by some people and it must be restored so that the ISD works again”.

By Julius Yao Petetsi     

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