Minister of Information, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has described as untrue claims by the Minority in Parliament that government wants to increase the number of staff at the Office of the President from 998 to 1614.
He added during a media encounter on Sunday November 25, 2018 that the calculation made by the NDC Minority in Parliament is completely false as several requests for them to offer proof to back this claim has been unsuccessful.
The Ofoase-Ayirebi lawmaker said “the makers of the claim have either confused Office of Government Machinery (OGM) with Office of the President (OOP) Or are only up to political mischief”.
The Information Minister said contrary to the claim of the NDC, staff numbers at Office of the President and even the Office of Government machinery are rather going through a programmed reduction.
“There is a clear difference between OGM and OOP. The Executive arm of government is organized into Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The supervising outfit of the executive arm is referred to as Office of Government Machinery. It comprises 19 difference units, one of which is the Office of the President. In 2018 established posts for OGM was 1697. In 2019 it has rather been reduced to 1614”, he indicated.
“The claim of an increase is because the minority is comparing Office of the President(998 in 2018) which was part of the 1697 ceiling, with the entire Office of Government Machinery ceiling for 2019 (1614). So, indeed the established posts at OGM have reduced between 2018 and 2019. It has reduced not increased. This type of analysis can only be done under 1 of two circumstances: If the maker confuses OGM & OOP. The two are different. If the maker is being deliberately mischievous”, he schooled.
He mentioned specifically that the staffers at the Office of the President is expected to reduce by 69 and a net reduction of 83 staff at the Office of Government Machinery by end of 2019 with the reason that the retirees are not being replaced.
He therefore pleaded with the media to preserve the sanctity of facts in public discourse.
“Colleagues, government entreats the media, to subject people who make claims about facts, to first substantiate them, before giving them media mileage to repeatedly peddle such unsubstantiated claims”, he pleaded.
“The basic rule of evidence is that he who alleges has an onus to prove. If we do not push people to first prove their claims and instead give them mileage to keep repeating their false claims, only to ask persons against who false claims are made, to rather come forward and prove their innocence, the media will soon be taken for a ride by people who feel all they have to do is make a claim because you will give them space”, he stressed.