President John Evans Atta Mills has decided to set up a Committee on Emoluments to revisit the issue of emoluments to specified public holders.
The Committee would be set up in consultation with the Council of State when it is established.
A statement signed by Mr Mahama Ayariga, Presidential Spokesman, said the recommendations of the Committee would then form the basis for the final decision of the ex-gratia awards. The Committee would have one month for its work.
The following is the full text of the statement.
“On Wednesday, the 4th of February, 2009 the attention of the President was drawn to correspondence from the Ministry of Finance to the Controller and Accountant-General to effect payment of ex-gratia awards to the Ex-President, Ex-Vice President and Ex-Ministers and Members of Parliament, as per the recommendations of the Chinery-Hesse Committee on Emoluments.
“Following investigations, it was established that there was no basis for proceeding with the ex-gratia payments as recommended by the Chinery-Hesse Committee.
“Under Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution, payment of emoluments to the Legislature as recommended by a statutory Presidential Committee on Emoluments has to be approved by the President whilst those of the Executive and Ministers have to be approved by Parliament.
“However, the Presidency has not seen any approval for the payment for Members of Parliament by the previous Government, while there is controversy over the approval of recommendations in respect of the Executive.
“It, therefore, came as a surprise to the Presidency that Mr Moses Asaga, a member of the three-member team holding temporary responsibility for the Ministry of Finance, had purported to have authorized payment in spite of the clear absence of legal authority.
“Consequently, the President ordered a withdrawal of the purported approval and withdrew the nomination of Mr Asaga as Minister-designate for the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing.
“Having considered all the circumstances surrounding the matter, the President has decided to set up, in consultation with the Council of State when it is established, a Committee on Emoluments as stipulated under Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution to revisit the issue of emoluments to the specified public office holders.
“The recommendations of the Committee will then form the basis for a final decision on the ex-gratia awards. The Committee will be given one month for its work.
“In the meantime, the President has decided that instead of the payment of ex-gratia of five months salary to Members of Parliament for each full year of service in addition to a resettlement grant equivalent to two months for every completed year of service recommended by the Chinery-Hesse Committee, they should be paid, on account, ex-gratia equivalent to four months salary for each full year of service as has been the convention, pending the submission of a report by the new Committee on Emoluments.
“Recommendations in respect of all others covered by the Chinery-Hesse Committee Report will be determined after the submission of the report of the new Committee.”