‘MPs on public boards is breach of 1992 Constitution’

Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee, law Lecturer at the University of Ghana Law School, has stated that the appointment of Members of Parliament (MPs) unto boards of state-owned enterprises is a breach of Article 98(2) of the 1992 Constitution.

She noted that it gave rise to conflict of interest since MPs were constitutionally mandated to hold state institutions accountable.

Mrs Kasser-Tee explained that the act by governments was wrong since the provision stipulates that “an MP shall not hold any office of profit or emolument, whether private or public and either directly or indirectly unless permitted to do so by the Speaker acting on the recommendations of a committee of Parliament”.

She maintained that MPs were only permitted to hold such offices on the grounds that holding such office would not prejudice the work in Parliament and no conflict of interest would arise as result of MPs holding the office however, MPs serving on boards of state-owned enterprises prejudices their work as legislators.

“If you read article 98(2) of the 1992 Constitution, it is very clear what the law wants parliament to do, the question then is, is there a conflict of interest and will it prejudice the work of parliament, absolutely, because we know parliament is supposed to hold accountable state-owned enterprises approving their budgets and other issues.

“If we read the constitutional provision relating to conflict of interest, it is clear MPs should not have financial interest whether direct or indirect, in this case, they do have financial interests in the budget which are being passed because there will be emoluments due to them,” Mrs Kasser-Tee explained.

She urged the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin to enforce article 98 (2) of the Constitution which prevented MPs from serving on boards of state institutions and described it as an opportune time to enforce the provision for MPs to seize membership on public boards.

Mrs Kasser-Tee implored the president to introduce the drafted Social Protection Bill to Parliament for consideration and passage by end of 2022 to ensure the country had coherent legal framework to protect vulnerable individuals in society.

She explained that the Bill sought to secure both legal regulatory as well as financial legal framework for implementation of Social Protection so as to capture vulnerable and provide assistance and support needed to exploit what they have. –myjoyonline.com

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