No increase in number of staffers at presidency- Oppong Nkrumah

The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has refuted claims by the minority in parliament that government intends to increase the number of staff at the Office of the President from the current figure of 998 to 1614 in 2019.

On the contrary he said there was a programme reduction that would see the numbers at the Office of the President drop by 69 staffers to bring the number to 929.

Speaking at the bi-weekly media briefing organised by the ministry yesterday, he said on the contrary, staff numbers at the Office of the President as well as the office of government machinery were rather going down.

He said the allegations as put out by the minority was either borne out of mischief or a clear misunderstanding of the difference between the Office of Government Machinery and that of the Office of the President.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained that there was a clear difference between the office of government machinery and the Office of the President, stressing that the “executive arm of government is organised into ministries, departments and agencies. The supervising outfit of the executive arm is referred to as Office of Government Machinery.”

He said the Office of Government Machinery comprised about 19 different units, one of which was the Office of the President.

Quoting from the 2018 and 2019 budgets pages 185 and 161 respectively, which outlines what is referred to as staff establishment and cost,  he noted that in 2018, the Office of Government Machinery had a ceiling on staff at 1,697 while that of 2019 had 1,614.

This according to him implied a reduction of 83 staff when the figure for the two different periods were compared, adding that “In 2018 the Office of the President itself was programmed to have in terms of staffers 785 plus another of 240 who come from a number of agencies and on secondment to  the Office of the President.

He said the extra 240 were to come from agencies like the Ghana National Fire Service, the Department of Parks and Gardens, Controller and Accountant General Department, Audit Service and the Public Works Department among others.

However, other agencies like the Millennium Development Authority, the African Fund for Bio Fuel, the State Enterprises Commission, the Divestiture Implementation Committee and the Council of State, among others were all part of the Office of the Government Machinery.

The reduction in the numbers in the 2019 budget, Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained was a result of the non-replacement of retired staff and the closure of some of the offices.

By Cliff Ekuful

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