After more than two decades of parliamentary practice under the Fourth Republic, Parliament on Wednesday, passed the Council of State Bill, 2020 into Law.
The new law is to provide for the establishment of a Secretariat to provide professional and administrative support for related matters for the effective and efficient delivery of the mandate of the Council of State.
The Bill was laid in the House on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Miss Gloria Akua Akuffo in accordance with Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution and referred to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for consideration and report by Rt. Hon. Speaker Oquaye.
The Council of State was established and composed under Article 89 of the 1992 Constitution and its membership-comprises a former Chief Justice, a former Chief of Defence Staff, a former Inspector-General of Police, the President of the National House of Chiefs, a representative from each region and eleven members appointed by the President.
It performs a crucial role in the governance of the country paramount among which is the constitutional duty to counsel the President and to consider Bills which have been published in the Gazette or passed by Parliament upon request by the President under Article 90 of the Constitution.
Chairperson of the Committee Banda Ben Abdallah presenting the Committee’s report indicated that despite the crucial mandate of the Council of State within the governance system it is bereft of the necessary administrative structures for the smooth execution of its mandate since it has to rely on the services of few seconded officials from other public institutions.
It has therefore become imperative to enact a law to establish the necessary structure to provide for the establishment of a Secretariat to provide professional and administrative support for the effective and efficient delivery of the mandate of the Council.
Meanwhile, provision has been made in the Act for the conditions of service of staff of the Council through the promulgation of a legislative instrument by the Minister responsible for Justice on the recommendation of the Council.
A provision has also been made for the appointment of an Executive Secretary and other staff to be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Secretariat to ensure the implementation of the decisions of the Council as it requires administrative and logical support to discharge its constitutional mandate.