From Alhaji Bashiru Zakari, Kumasi
Professor Douglas Boateng of the UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL), in South Africa has called for open and transparency in the appointment of a new chairman of the Electoral Commission.
Professor Douglas Boateng has therefore recommended that policy makers and all political parties must consider the establishment of an independent selection adjudication panel to appoint the next Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).
Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Djan, who has since 1992 been the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, is due for retirement next year at 70.
As a result, professor Boateng has suggested a panel consisting of two elected representatives from all the political parties and, at least, four members from the civil society must be established
Prof. Boateng who is President of the Institute of Operations Management Africa and chairs the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Africa Advisory Board said the panel must appoint a chairperson who must not be from the party in power.
He suggested further that a job description for the position must be scripted and advertised openly for 90 days for potential applicants to apply after which a search agency must be engaged to undertake the initial screening.
The professor stated that all short listed applicants must attend an interview besides a presentation of his or her value proposition in front of the adjudication panel.
Prof. Boateng said each panel member shall individually score each candidate on such things like experience, independence, knowledge, leadership skills operations management directorship and governance skills among others following which process the candidate with the highest score from the panel shall then be presented to the President who shall be bound by the decision of the panel to appoint the selected individual recommended by the panel.
According to the supply chain expert, such an open process will ensure that the President is protected from unnecessary criticisms and ensure transparency in the selection process.
He said the appointment of a qualified but independent professional was necessary to ensure that the electoral supply chain, associated governance and operations are world class to safeguard Ghana’s democracy.
Prof. Boateng made the recommendations against the backdrop that the Electoral Commission chairman is about to retire and the fact that the President is not duty bound to accept the advice and recommendations from the Council of State on such matters of national interests.
Meanwhile, Professor Boateng has questioned the relevance of the Council of State which came into existence in 1969 and subsequently maintained in the 1979 and 1992 constitution.
Professor Boateng contends that it is time for the strategic intent of the Council of State to be revisited to ensure its relevance to the President and people of Ghana. His contention is against the fact that the President is not bound by the advice of this eminent group who he
is supposed to consult for objective opinion on matters of national interest.
“If the Ministers of State and institutions are not bound by the advice from this eminent group what is the relevance of the Council of State in 21st century Ghana”, he questioned.