The Presidential (Transition) (Amendment) Bill: A Move from Diagnosis to Prescription

The first test for implementing major aspects of the Presidential (Transition) Act was presented during the post 2012 election period. Following the transition, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) initiated research to critically evaluate the process. Encouraging evidence was provided of the Act being put into practice. However, challenges were highlighted and recommendations were outlined. The IEA’s proposed reforms were presented to Government – in the form of a draft Bill to fine-tune the Transition Act. This is what forms the crux of the Presidential (Transition) (Amendment) Bill, 2016 currently before Parliament. This paper discusses the key amendments in the Bill in order to provide further clarity on the thinking behind the proposed changes. For this analysis, the amendments are categorized under three themes – (i) resolving legal technicalities (ii) value for money and (iii) enforcement. In this issue of the Legislative Alert – additional recommendations are outlined and it is aimed at improving the management of official assets. Overall, the paper argues that the reforms outlined in the Bill will accrue efficiency savings, promote accountability in the use of official assets and strengthen Ghana’s system of governance. In this regard, the Presidential (Transition) (Amendment) Bill is a step in the right direction. We urge Parliament to consider the proposals set out in this paper and approve the Bill. Taking this stand will not only unlock the full potential of the Transition Act – but will also be in the national interest.