Law Lecturer at the University of Ghana Law School, Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee says the appointment of Members of Parliament (MPs) unto boards of state-owned enterprises gives rise to conflict of interest since MPs are constitutionally mandated to hold state institutions accountable.

She explained that this act by governments is a breach of Article 98(2) of the 1992 constitution.

The provision stipulates that an MP shall not hold any office of profit or emolument, whether private or public and either directly or indirectly unless permitted to do so by the Speaker acting on the recommendations of a committee of Parliament.

MPs are only permitted to hold such offices on the grounds that holding that office will not prejudice the work in Parliament and no conflict of interest arises or would arise as a result of the member holding that office.

Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, the Legal practitioner stated that MPs serving on boards of state-owned enterprises prejudices their work as legislators.

“If you read article 98(2) of our constitution, it is very clear what the law wants parliament to do…The question then is, is there a conflict of interest and would it prejudice the work of parliament? Absolutely, because we know that parliament is supposed to hold accountable state-owned enterprises approving their budgets and all that.”

 If we go to the constitutional provision relating to conflict of interest, it is clear that an MP should not have a financial interest whether direct or indirect. In this case, they do have financial interests in the budget that are being passed because there will be emoluments due to them,” she said.

She called on the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin to enforce article 98 (2) of the constitution which prevents MPs from serving on boards of state institutions.

“I think this is the opportune time for the Speaker of Parliament to act on this and enforce article 98(2) of the constitution so that MPs seize to hold membership on public boards,” she added.

The law lecturer further implored President Akufo-Addo to introduce the drafted Social Protection Bill to Parliament for consideration and passage by end of 2022.

According to her, the Bill will ensure that the country has a coherent legal framework that will protect the most vulnerable individuals in society.

“It [the Bill] seeks to secure both a legal regulatory as well as the financial legal framework for the implementation of Social Protection so that we can capture the most vulnerable of our society providing assistance that they need to be able to able to exploit what they have.

“And these talents at the end of the day will help to promote the human capital of our country and help in the economic social and financial growth,” she told Samson Lardy Anyenini.

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