The Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies of the University of Ghana, Legon, Prof R. A. Ayee, has suggested that moral and ethical uprightness must feature in the standards for the vetting of ministerial appointees of the government.
Expertise, qualification and experience, he added, were other key standards that were needed in judging the nominees for their designated positions.
In an interview, Prof Ayee, was of the view that the ministerial position, apart from its functions of running the business of government, was also a position that mirrored the government and the naion as a whole.
It was therefore important for the moral and ethical lives of the nominees to be questioned to ensure that only those who could pass the test was approved to take up their post.
Prof Ayee added that for a country with a huge youth population, there was the need for ministers to be appropriate role models and hence morally and ethically upright.
In his view, all the nominees of the President, were on the face value “quite strong,” however, the onus was on Parliament to undertake due diligence and scrutinize them to ensure that Ghanaians benefited from only the best.
He said on standards of expertise, qualification and experience, a minister could be lacking in one but that should not be enough to disapprove of his or her nomination.
He said if a minister was lacking in experience, he or she could make up for that as there were experience administrators in the ministry.
Prof Ayee said although he was not expecting any deviation from past vetting exercises, where nominees were approved en masse despite questions on the qualification or expertise of some nominees, the vetting this time would be more rigorous because of the slim majority of the ruling National Democratic Congress Party (NDC) .
He explained that vetting exercises since the fourth republic had been undertaken without the due diligence and scrutiny expected by the people because all the four parliaments had had a majority membership from the ruling government.
It had resulted in the appointement committees approving of nominees that had questionable credentials.
He said the vetiing of ministers was in line with the responsibility of parliament in having an oversight role over the executive and suggested a thorough exercise this time.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the IMANI Center for Policy & Education , Mr Franklin Cudjoe, has also suggested the extension of the time for the public to provide information on nominees for the vetting exercise
He however added that the proceedings of the Appointments committee life on TV were important as it provided the public some disclosure of information on the nominees.
He said politicians tended to back themselves when they were in the wrong, judging from past vetting proceedings where questions had been raised on a nominee’s candidature, but but that nominee had been approved despite the questions raised.
He said it was therefore right for proceedings to be held life for all to be in the know on how their ministers were approved.
DAILY GRAPHIC, SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2009 PG 3