THE INDEPENDENCE DAY BROCHURE FIASCO:
THERE MUST BE AN IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION INTO THIS CLEAR EVIDENCE OF INCOMPETENCE
To say that the deficiencies in the content and text of the March 6 2016 independence day brochure are bewildering is an understatement.
The designation of the Kenyan president as the President of Ghana (for instance) led Ghana to be held up to severe ridicule in the Kenyan press and social media circles.
How the official brochure for perhaps the biggest national event (outside the 2016 general elections) can be so full of mistakes (on literally every page) calls into question the competence of government and public officials at several levels, including the ministry of communications, the information services department, state protocol department and the flagstaff house communications office.
Under normal circumstances, the drawing up of the programme, and any additional notes and information to form the contents of the official brochure for such a national event will be agreed at the national planning committee level drawn from these public offices and signed off by the minister of communications and the director of state protocol.
That the bare faced and embarrassing errors in the brochure can go through all these officials is a real enigma.
How a seasoned printer, chosen to print such a brochure, could also proceed to print thousands of copies of this error riddled brochure, and receive payment with taxpayers’ monies, is also difficult to understand.
This matter throws into question the working mechanisms of these important state institutions.
The NPP calls for full scale investigations into this fiasco in order to unearth the deficiencies in the working mechanisms of these public bodies that have resulted in this independence day brochure fiasco, so as to properly locate where the blame should be, and to prevent future occurrence and embarrassment.
Questions that need to be answered in such an investigation must include:
a) How was the acting director of the ISD appointed when he was not qualified by the requirements of the Ghana Civil Service for that position?
b) The charge by the staff of the ISD that their work has been usurped by the communications directorate of the Flagstaff House?
c) The propriety of statements issued and signed by the minister of communications, announcing the contents of “a statement signed by the Chief of Staff”, when that “statement signed by the Chief of Staff” is not in the public domain?
d) Which public official actually signed off on the final draft of the brochure before it went for printing?
If it was the dismissed acting director of the ISD, did he have authority to do that?
e) Which printer was selected and proceeded to print such a document with such obvious errors?
f) How true is the report that the chairman of the Independence Day planning committee has laid the blame on the communications directorate of the Flagstaff House and not on the committee or the ISD, and that may have led to the minister of communications assuming responsibility for the directorate etc?
The NPP believes such an official investigation to bring closure to these questions will be in line with good governance principles and also will also ensure that this phenomenal national embarrassment does not recur.