National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo Prampram, Sam George has criticized the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s appointment of 998 staff at the presidency, stating that many of the portfolios were just a “duplication of roles.”
A report submitted by the Presidency to Parliament in accordance with Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463) indicated that a total of 998 staff were serving various administrative and domestic roles at the presidency.
The list features nine Ministers of State, 27 Presidential Staffers, 256 junior political appointees, and 706 other persons including domestic and household workers and civil servants.
Sam George, speaking on Eyewitness News, however, stated that the number was too huge, given that the previous administration had only 30 political appointees serving at the presidency as opposed to the current government’s 300 political appointees.
“When you look at the presidency I served in, the total number of political appointees were about 30 and the rest of the numbers were basically public and civil servants. Now you have almost three hundred political appointees. I cannot tell what 300 people are doing that the 30 of us did under President Mahama. It is mind boggling and we still trying to come to terms with it,” he said.
He indicated that the existing number is just a “duplication of roles”, saying “ “If you look at the communications area for instance, there is a Director of Communications who is classified as a Senior Presidential aide, Eugene Arhin and then two other directors of communication. There is also a director of public affairs and then about ten other people who either assistant communication directors or assistant public affairs directors.
“In the area of IT, there are about ten people serving as Directors of IT or Deputy Directors of IT. Under the area of Operations, there is a Director of Operations at the Flagstaff House but there are two Directors of Operations as well. There is also a lady-in-waiting. I never knew of a lady-in-waiting under either President Mahama or Atta Mills.”
By the end of 2014, President John Mahama had 692 employees at the presidency as of December 2014.
They included 24 presidential staffers, and 43 caterers, 36 stewards, 54 drivers,14 night-watchmen, 2 caretakers, 22 sanitary labourers, 3 other labourers, and 85 cleaners as Household staff at the presidency.
President Akufo-Addo has on numerous occasions promised to protect the public purse by ensuring prudent expenditure of the country’s resources, aside dealing with corruption.
In December 2017, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament complained that the President had not presented a complete list of his staff, almost a year after assuming the reins of power.
When many criticized him for his large government size of 110 ministers and deputies, the President justified the appointments with the excuse that, the task ahead of them is huge, hence they needed more hands to deliver on their mandate.