Government has directed its appointees to provide comprehensive responses to allegations made against them.
This forms part of several directives contained in a letter issued to all government appointees in hopes of promoting and projecting the image of the government.
A letter signed by Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare, directed that all government appointees “including Ministers and Chief Executive Officers,” among others to “provide comprehensive responses to allegations made against them in the public domain within 12 hours of the allegations being brought to their attention.”
The letter also recommended that “the government appointee concerned should work with the Minister for Information should disseminate the response.”
It further directed “all government appointees, including Ministers and Chief Executive Officers” to create and manage “an active social media presence” and admonished “those who are not present on social media to contact the Minister for Information to assist in setting up social media accounts.”
“These accounts should promote government activities as well as the activities of the institutions to enable them to respond timeously to the issues,” the letter further instructed.
Cabinet, at its last meeting held on October 6, discussed the need to establish a Government response system to address various issues in the public domain, particularly with respect to attempts to distort issues or misinform the public.
Praising the directive, a Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr Abdul-Jalilu Ateku said the move to get political appointees to respond to allegations levelled against them is salient to the growth of Ghana’s democracy and a laudable one.
“It is important that if there is any particular problem about a particular Minister or Ministry, it is important that citizens are made aware of what is happening. That is very important and will promote transparency.
When you talk about accountable governance, that is it.”
Dr. Jalilu added that if the directive is followed to the letter, it will help curb speculation, which isn’t healthy for growing democracies.
“When citizens or the media are asking questions, wanting information, it should be readily available because if you don’t make information readily available, then it means that people will just speculate and speculations when it continues, people will tend to take it as the truth. ”