The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, on Monday 29 March 2021 named the General Secretary of National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, as part of a six-member newly constituted Parliamentary Service Board.
Other members of the board are the MP for Suame, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Tamale South MP Haruna Iddrisu, former NPP Majority leader Abraham Osei Aidoo, former MP for Wenchi West, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the Clerk to Parliament , Cyril Nsiah, and the Speaker who doubles as chairman constitute the six-member Service Board.
The board is tasked with the responsibility to appoint the clerk to parliament and oversees the welfare of MPs and staff of the parliamentary service.
A special advisory committee or leadership of the House advises the Speaker on the composition of the board.
On Nketiah’s inclusion, Bagbin noted that it raised some eyebrows from the advisory committee, however, he had the final say.
“It is considered by some members of the committee that the membership of Asiedu Nketiah amounts to an undesired intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a political party and may not in the circumstances bode well for the independence of Parliament since he is the General Secretary of a major opposition political party.
“Notwithstanding, Mr Speaker is the person clothed with the authority to appoint the other four persons, who together with the Clerk-to-Parliament constitute the Parliamentary Service Board. It is also our considered opinion that Mr Speaker will do what is appropriate,” Bagbin read out a letter he received from the committee to the House.
In response, the Speaker said on the floor: “But I want to note that the former Parliamentary Service Board had Honorable Hackman Owusu-Agyeman as a member of the board and Hackman Owusu-Agyeman later became the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“That one was not intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a political party. What is good for the gander is also good for the goose. Honorable members the board will be constituted and we will start our work.”