Govt Nails Ex-Minister

Akwasi Osei-AdjeiTHE GOVERNMENT Transition Team has accused the ex-minister for Foreign Affairs, Akwasi Osei-Adjei, of perpetuating an irregularity in the appointment of 30 civil servants, who were recently axed from the Ministry.

The dismissed civil servants are A5 Foreign Service Officers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who had received their appointment letters and had been officially sworn into office.

Ambassador Victor Gbeho, Chairman of the Team’s Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs, in a press statement, said the appointment of some of the officers concerned had not been done fairly and in accordance with the rules and regulations, and that there had been clear cases of discriminations in the appointment process.

“The number of persons recommended for appointment had been unilaterally raised to forty by the ex-minister, contrary to the thirty originally approved.

“Only about 20 percent of the persons appointed by the ex-minister fell within the first 30 places of the list of over 150 applicants interviewed for the appointment and about another 20 percent did not appear at all in the interview list,” Ambassador Gbeho noted.

He said the Interview Panel established by the Ministry had recommended that those who placed within the first 30, in order of merit, were to be appointed for the job and that it was on the basis of the irregularity detected that the Committee directed that all the appointments be suspended for a review of the situation to ensure that things were done in accordance to the rules and regulations.

Mr. Osei-Adjei, in an interview with DAILY GUIDE had described the dismissal of the workers as “most unbelievable and improper” and sharply rebutted the allegations from the Transitional Team.

“Why would I do anything like that in the first place; I can    tell you that the Ministry is short of human resource and needs people with specific expertise so when the recommendation came that I should sign for 30 people to be employed, I met with my Directors and Ministry staff and after various reviews which lasted for about three months we consulted the Head of Civil Service and had to add ten more names to the list.

“It was not a decision I took hiding somewhere, we all looked at the merits of the demands for human resource coming from many sections of the ministry and we did what we all agreed was in the best interest of the ministry and the country,” Osei-Adjei explained.

The ex-minister said the additional names added were part of those who had passed the entrance examination, aptitude test, medical examination and interview.

“As a Foreign Ministry, we would prefer someone who is a computer literate and bi-lingual or a multi-lingual, and if such a person scores about 75 and another person who speaks only English scores about 80 we may decide to appoint the computer literate bi-lingual who scored a lesser mark and you need to know that the appointment is not to be done solely on the recommendation of the panel, there are other considerations that goes into such matters.

“It is not just about appointing people and then spending money to train them to meet the requirements of the ministry when there are people who already have the requisite skills; you look at such things, the age factor and all that,” Osei-Adjei added and maintained that whatever decision he and the ministry took was in the best interest of the country.

By Halifax Ansah-Addo