Friday, June 26, 2009

"Discrimination" at Ministry Rectified

Mumuni Recruits 30 People For Foreign Affairs
The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni, has told Parliament that 30 persons have been recruited into the Foreign Service to augment the staff strength of his ministry. He explained that the 30 were those who originally passed for recruitment as Branch A5 Foreign Service Officers in 2008 but were reportedly sidelined in a manner that he described as discriminatory and in breach of the 1992 Constitution.
Hon. Mumuni’s elucidation followed a question posed by a former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Weija, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, on the fate of the ‘thirty persons’ whose appointments as Branch A5 Foreign Service Officers were revoked by the Atta Mills-led administration.
According to the Foreign Minister, the appointment of the officers was suspended and reviewed because there were irregularities in the selection and recruitment process by the previous administration.
It would be recalled that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration on the assumption of office, revoked the appointment of about 40 persons who had already been appointed by the previous administration, setting tongues wagging.
Hon. Mumuni informed members of the Legislature that following a receipt of the financial clearance for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to recruit new staff, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs engaged the services of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the Legon Centre for International Affairs (LECIA) to conduct an entrance examination for over four hundred (400) persons, whose applications had been received by the Human Resource and Administration Bureau of the Ministry.
A Selection Board, he said, was subsequently constituted to interview applicants who had been short-listed on the basis of their performance in the examination as well as considerations of the skills and requirements of the Ministry.
In all, 157 persons turned up, out of a total of 173 applicants invited for the interview. Alhaji Mumuni said the Interview Panel submitted its report on the interview to the then Minister -Akwesi Osei Agyei (pictured) - on March 20, 2008 and recommended the top-ranked 30 interviewees for appointment.
“After consideration of the report, the then Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs' Record of Decision to the OHCS listed eleven (11) out of the thirty (30) candidates recommended by the Selection Board for appointment as well as twenty-two (22) other candidates who had taken part in the interview, but could not make it into the first thirty (30),” Alhaji Mumuni claimed.
He added that other persons who did not participate in the interview at all were also included, bringing the total number of persons recruited out of the exercise to 40, instead of the 30 originally approved by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to begin the processes of appointment.
“However, in the course of the programme, the International Relations Sub-Committee of the Transition Team called the Ministry's attention to some reported irregularities that had come to its notice regarding the recruitment exercise,” Alhaji Mumuni stated.
He said the Committee, therefore, advised the Ministry to suspend the appointments of the 40 officers, pending on the outcome of investigations into the alleged improprieties, adding that the Ministry subsequently informed the officers about the suspension of the training programme and the withdrawal of their appointment letters.
According to the Minister, the grading of the interviewees and the recommendations submitted by the Selection Board had been ignored by selecting 11 out of the top-ranked 30 interviewees and selecting 22 others from outside the 30.
“It also came to light that 7 of the 40 persons recruited had neither taken the prescribed examination, nor attended the interview. These irregularities were found to be discriminatory and did not do justice to the principle of meritocracy,” he stated.
Source:Daily Guide

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