Government has denied claims by the Minority it is preparing to increase the number of presidential staffers at the Jubilee House from 998-1614.
According to the Information minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the number of staffers at the presidency and at Office of Government Machinery are rather going through a programmed reduction.
“The makers of the claim have either confused the Office of Government Machinery (OGM) with the Office of the President (OOP) or are only up to political mischief.
“Contrary to the claim, staff numbers at the Office of the President and even the Office of Government Machinery are rather going through a programmed reduction,” he said at the bi-weekly press meeting in Accra on Sunday.
His comment follows reports last week in parliament by the Minority that government was planning to increase the number of staff at the Office of the President from 998- 1614.
Last Wednesday, the legislator for North Tong, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said on the Floor that he is deeply worried about government’s refusal to listen to Ghanaians regarding the number of government appointees.
“When the list of presidential staffers of 998 was presented to this House, there was national outrage,” he said.
But the minister said, contrary to those claims the number of staffers is rather decreasing.
Making reference to the 2018 budget, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said last year’s established posts for OGM was 1,697, which had rather been reduced to 1,614 in the 2019 budge.
“Specifically, the Office of the President, for the avoidance of doubt, is expected to reduce by 69 by the end of 2019.
“Contrary to the claim peddled last week, there is rather a net reduction of 83 staff at the Office of Government Machinery staff numbers by year end 2019. This will mostly be as a result of retirements that are not being replaced,” he added.
According to him, the minorities claim of an increase was because they were comparing the Office of the President (998 in 2018), which was part of the 1,697 ceiling, with the entire Office of Government Machinery ceiling for 2019 (1,614).
The minister pleaded with the media, that to preserve the sanctity of facts in public discourse, and to subject people who make claims on facts, to strict empirical proof before giving them space to peddle such claims which can have significant effects.