Friday, July 10, 2020

Has The President Set Up A Commission Of Inquiry Or Investigative Committee To Address The Social Security Impasse?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Questions are being asked whether the President is legally authorised to establish an investigative committee. The Public Enterprise Act states the following in section 41:

“(1) The President may, from time to time, give the Board general directions, and after consultation with the Board, give the Board special direction, as to the exercise of the power and discharge of the duties of such Board, and such directions shall be carried out by the Board.

“(2) The President may, when he or she considers it necessary to do so, direct any person to hold an inquiry into the work and financial position of the corporation.

“(3) When an inquiry as is referred to in subsection (2) of this section is held, any Director or any member of the staff of the Corporation shall, on being requested to do so by the person holding the inquiry, furnish such information within his or her knowledge with regard to the affairs of the corporation and produce such books of accounts or documents in his or her custody as the person may require.”

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It is therefore evident that the President can hold an inquiry into the work and financial position of the SSHFC.

On the other hand, the President can establish a Commission of Inquiry. Section 200 of the Constitution stipulates that,

“The President may, whenever he or she deems it advisable,  issue a Commission appointing  one or more Commissioners and authorising  such Commis­sioners to inquire into-

(c)      the  conduct  or management  of any  department  or authority  of the public  service  or any  local  government  authority  or  Public  Enter­prise;”

Foroyaa’s contention is the suspension of any staff while the inquiry is on. This tends to give presumption of guilt before an inquiry is done. Our view there should always be presumption of innocence before any inquiry.

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