Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) Prof Henry Kwesi Prempeh who had flagged the appointment of Members of Parliament (MPs) to management boards of state-owned enterprises as a bad governance practice and urged the President and the Speaker to ensure that such appointments are not done has been left disappointed as the practice has persisted.
Following the constitution of the Eighth Parliament in January this year, Prof HK Prempeh had said that appointing MPs to state corporate bodies undermined the oversight responsibility of Parliament and was not a sound corporate governance practice. He called on the President to end the bad practice, stressing that if the President failed to end it, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin could end it by refusing MPs the opportunity to be both MPs and members of boards of state enterprises.
“The appointment of MPs to state corporate boards is antithetical to good governance. It undermines both Parliament’s oversight role and sound corporate governance in the SOE sector. It must stop. Having MPs double as Ministers in our system is bad enough, but that, for now, is what our Constitution mandates. MPs as board members is not compelled by the Constitution or by best practice, and it has zero, indeed negative, governance value.
The President must end this bad practice in the interest of good governance, or, failing that, the Speaker must exercise his prerogative under Article 98(2) of the Constitution to disallow it. This is low-hanging fruit when it comes to reforming the way we do business in this town,” Prof Prempeh had written.
With the recent appointment of the Members of Parliament(MPs) to boards, notably the MP for Effutu as the board chair of the Ghana Road Fund, the issue of the inappropriateness of such appointments has resurfaced.
“And here was I thinking Speaker Bagbin could put the brakes on this practice,” Prof Prempeh said while referencing his earlier appeal to him to stop the practice.
Meanwhile, several boards of state corporate bodies remain unconstituted and it is expected that some more MPs will be appointed to serve on those boards.