Retirement package for Article 71 officeholders: What you need to know

Article 71 officeholders include the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice, and the Justices of the Supreme Court.

Nana Addo and John Mahama

The rest are Members of Parliament (MPs), Ministers of State, political appointees, and public servants with salaries charged to the Consolidated Fund but enjoying special constitutional privileges.

Article 71 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates that the determination of the salaries and allowances of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary paid from the Consolidated Fund would be determined by the President, on the recommendations of a committee of not more than five persons appointed by him and acting upon the advice of the Council of State.

In determining the salaries of the President, his Ministers, and political appointees, as well as the members of the Council of State, the Constitution states that Parliament will determine that based on the advice of the same committee.

In November 2015, former President John Mahama performed the Constitutional ritual of constituting a committee to review the emoluments of Article 71 class of public sector workers.

The Committee had five members and was chaired by Prof. Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh.

The Committee presented its report in September 2016. Given that the elections were just around the corner and politicians including the President, were crisscrossing the country canvassing for votes, the report did not receive much attention.

The President called for closer collaboration between labour and government to work push for the reforms to abolish ex-gratia for Article 71 officeholders.

He explained that abolishment will pave way for a more efficient independent commission that will be fair to all workers notwithstanding their categories.

He said the state cannot continue to pay the current salaries for Article 71 officeholders due to the pressure on the public purse.

On June 19, 2019, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in accordance with, Article 71 (1) of the Constitution, inaugurated a 5-Member Committee which is to make recommendations to him and to Parliament on the salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities and privileges available, to article 71 officeholders.

Under the chairmanship of Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu and which also had former Majority Leader and former Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Abraham Ossei Aidooh, the Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Dr. Edward Kwapong, the current Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, and a former Managing Director, Donewell Life Insurance Co. Ltd, Mrs. Stella Segbawu, the committee had two terms of reference.

Per the recommended emoluments, the spouse of the President is to be entitled to the payment of a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister-MP while in office.

After leaving office, they will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served one full term as President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.

For the spouse of the Vice President, they will be entitled to payment of salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister non-MP when in office.

After leaving office, the spouse of the Vice President will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served one full term as the Vice President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.

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