Bagbin calls for abolishing ex-gratia payments, citing ineffectiveness


Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has reaffirmed his position on ex-gratia payments to Article 71 officeholders, arguing that they no longer serve their intended purpose.


He explained that the initial aim of ex-gratia payments for certain public servants and political officeholders was to mitigate corruption. However, this goal has not been achieved in the current context.


During a public forum in Kumasi to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Fourth Republican Parliament, Bagbin highlighted that these payments were meant to reassure public servants and political officeholders that their post-service needs would be met, thus encouraging them to focus on public interests rather than personal gain.


“The issue of ex gratia is a very thorny issue,” Bagbin stated. “The founders envisaged a situation where they wanted some particular category of public servants, including political officeholders. The ex gratia is not for members of parliament and it’s not even ex gratia, it’s gratuity. There’s a difference between ex gratia and gratuity, and it’s not for members of parliament alone. It cuts through a category of public servants and political officeholders, including the auditor general, the chairpersons of all the constitutional commissions, ministers of state, the presidency, judiciary, and others. It’s not just members of parliament.”


He continued, “The concept was to assure them, because of the importance of the position they occupy and the decisions they take on your behalf. The concept was to assure them, don’t think about yourself, think about the people you represent because, after your office, we will take care of you. So it was to assist us to contain corruption. And I’m happy that a number of industrial chiefs from this region were members of the consultative assembly.”


However, Bagbin acknowledged that in practice, the payments have not achieved their intended goal of curbing corruption.


“Unfortunately, in practice, it has not served its purpose. It has not been able to assist us to curb or contain corruption,” he admitted. “So when I made an attempt to contest as a presidential candidate, I did announce that if elected as president, I was going to ensure that that article is amended from the constitution. So I agree totally with anybody who comes to say that we should do away with Article 71 of the Constitution. It hasn’t served its purpose; there’s no use maintaining it.”


Bagbin expressed his support for amending Article 71 of the Constitution to abolish ex-gratia payments, which he believes have become redundant.

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