The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) bill has called for an open and competitive process in the appointment of the Special Prosecutor and the Deputy.
As Members of Parliament continue to debate and propose amendments to the Bill, the CSO Coalition calls on Parliament to consider seriously its proposal, as was contained in the memorandum submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to make the appointment process for the Special Prosecutor and Deputy Special Prosecutor open and competitive.
The coalition is made up of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), and Parliamentary News Africa (PN Africa).
In a press release issued by the coalition today, November 6, they proposed the following: that the position of the Special Prosecutor and the Deputy be advertise for Ghanaians home and abroad to apply; constitute an ad hoc interview panel/committee comprising individuals with the requisite knowledge and/or experience of the job requirements nominated by the following stakeholders, the Judiciary, Public Services Commission, Traditional authority, Religious Groups, Civil Society, Professional Bodies (Accountants and Auditors) and the Private sector, to scrutinise and recommend at least three applicants for consideration by the Attorney General.
The coalition further proposed that the Attorney General shall select one candidate out of the three shortlisted and forward the name for vetting and approval by majority of Members of Parliament present before the President then appoints the person.
“We made the above proposals because we consider the current rendition of the appointment process in Clause 12 is insufficient to cure the challenges of political bias.
We believe the current provision is likely to undermine public trust and confidence in the independence of the Office of the Special Prosecutor if not further amended,” the press release emphasized.
The coalition also encouraged both sides of the House (Minority and Majority) to continue the debate on the Bill in a bipartisan manner, pledging their, “unwavering support to the Committee and Parliament in the effort to pass a credible Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017.
The Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs finalised and submitted its report to the floor of Parliament on 17th October. The Bill has since then been taken through the Second Reading Stage and it is currently at the Consideration Stage.