It is unfortunate that in the Ghanaian democratic experiment, members of the second arm of Government, the Legislature (specifically and especially MPs), have since the post 1966 ‘coup d’etat’ and the era of the post 1979 administrations, continued to be branded and denigrated by all manner of persons including, military men of those days, some journalists and really persons who should know better, as a bunch of spending individuals who the nation can and should do without; especially since they are more or less an unnecessary drain on the economy.

Parliament has become the weakest link in the national reconstruction chain, and all manner of persons who know ‘almost next to nothing’ about the workings of Parliament (probably except “Ex-Gratia”), get up and say just any and everything and get away with it.

Some such persons continue to portray MPs as a ‘good for nothing’ bunch who are out only to seek and spend ‘Ex-Gratia’ and ESBs (End of Service Benefits).

Some persons including radio journalists have sought to label the recent topical claims of the Forum for Former Members of Parliament (FFMPs), as claims for ‘Ex-Gratia’, even though in reality, IT IS NOT any kind of Ex-Gratia we are talking about here.

A recent write-up in the social media by no less a political person like Professor Gyampo1 also revealed that he has also fallen for the “MPs cum Ex-Gratia” saga.

And worse, he was so sure of himself, almost using unprintable words on the MPs making the claim.

On Election of MPs.

The constitution requires that on elections of MPs, the Salary, Emoluments and other Conditions of Service of elected MPs (plus some other categories of persons identified under Article 71 of the Constitution) be determined by the (Executive)specifically the President through the workings of a NEW Committee to be set up every four years for the purpose. To some of us, this arrangement may not necessarily be the best, but that is what our constitution says we do.

  1. State does not owe MPs anything; demands for ex-gratia repulsive, self-seeking – 29th May 2020

Before the Conclusions of the workings of any appointed Emoluments Committee, MPs continue to enjoy the salary and conditions of the immediate past Parliament.

When the findings of the Committee come out and (if) they are an enhancement over the existing (in the current case 2001-2004) Parliament, members become entitled to some Salary arrears. It is that simple.

The Chinnery Hesse Committee

In the case of the 2005-2008 batch of MPs, a renowned Group of internationally acclaimed Consultants (all Ghanaians) were engaged for the purpose. The team was led by Dr. Mrs. Mary Chinnery Hesse, then a retired Deputy DG of the ILO System and Advisor to the President of the Republic of Ghana.

This group had actually followed up on the work they did for the 2001-2004 batch of MPs, thus coming out in 2005 with CHC Report Phase I (mainly on Salaries and Allowances) and then in 2008 with the Final Report Phase II (covering Facilities and Privileges) for 2005-2008 Parliament) but urging that “the First Phase Report and the Second Phase Report be considered as one composite or consolidated unit”, and that it should NOT be retroactively applied (that is, to other Parliaments before 2001).

The CHC Report.

There is the contention as to whether the CHC Report was actually accepted by the then President J. A. Kufour or not.

I personally have seen documentation though, to and from Parliament, confirming the submission and receipt of the approved CHC Report for the 2005-2008 Parliament.

Probably the existence of two parts to the CHC Report, with Part I – covering work done by the Committee during the Third Parliament (2001-2004); and Part II – Covering work done by the Committee during the Fourth Parliament (2005-2008) and which the Committee urges the duo to be considered “one composite Report” – is what is confusing some people. But let us understand that there is NO DISPUTE that there was a Chinnery Hesse Committee Report (Parts I & II).

The Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has said elsewhere on radio that the original signed versions of the CHC Reports seem to have mysteriously vanished from the then seat of Government, the Castle, during the very chaotic transition from NPP

to NDC Administrations in 2009. (It is just as well a new Transition Law has subsequently been put in place).


Readers will also recall the high tensions and antagonism which characterized that transition after the very heated three-tier elections of 2008 December – 2009 January.

We are also aware that the then in-coming President JEA Mills set up a Committee, the Ishmael Yamson Committee (IYC), to advise him on the implementation (or was it the implementabilty ?) of the (missing?) CHC Report, that had been signed into Law by his immediate predecessor.

It is not too clear whether the IYC worked on the signed or another version of the report.

In my personal view though, and given the levels of acrimony and antagonism prevailing at the time the IYC could not have come out with any other conclusion than what they did.

That the report be rejected (?) or partly implemented. Thus, apart from the now contentious salary arrears mentioned above and which are now being claimed by the FFMPs (on behalf of the 2005-2008 former MPs), the other benefits and emoluments were only PARTIALLY implemented for that batch of MPs.

But what really does the constitution say is the locus (if any) of the IYC in as far as the Article 71 persons are concerned.

Can any in-coming Administration come in to cancel what has been approved for implementation by a previous President? Besides, in my view, what is in contention here is NOT the Benefits but the SALARY ARREARS payable.

Implementing the CHC Report

As a result of the initial confusions the issue of the implementation of the CHC Reports has been in contention for a while.

I am of the view that not only MPs but there are a host of other Article 71 beneficiaries including parts of the Judiciary, the Auditor General, etc., who continue to enjoy the recommendations made by the CHC to date, and have been paid the salary differences applicable.

Why then should the MPs of the time be excluded or not be allowed to benefit from what they have worked for, and was approved for them as well – by the same CHC Report?


A case in point that went through the High Courts of Ghana, is that of a former Auditor General, Mr. Dua-Agyeman, whose post retirement ESBs under the CHC Report were being denied by the 2009-2016 Government of Ghana.

The Court ruling firmly put an end to the speculation that the CHC Report was not accepted for implementation by sanctioning payment to the petitioner.

CHC Final Report (Unsigned ?/UnApproved ?/Multiple ?)

Sometimes the detractors of the MPs position ‘SHIFT THE GOALPOSTS’ by saying the CHC report was not signed.

Other times they say it was not approved or that there are more than one report. Yes, there are TWO Parts to the Report covering the period of two Parliaments (2001-2008/9), as explained above.

As indicated above also, the current Majority Leader in Parliament (who was also in Parliamentary Leadership at the time), has indicated that there was a completed report, and that the signed version of the CHC Report mysteriously got lost at the Castle during the Transition.

But what does the originator of the Report or the Committee’s work, and to whom the Report was submitted for acceptance say? The funny thing is that both President Kufour and Dr. Mrs Chinnery Hesse are alive today and could be contacted regarding whether the Report was finalised and if so, which of the versions (if more than one exists as is being speculated by some) was accepted for implementation.

Alleged Delays in Making Claims.

Again, as pointed out above, a few persons including some journalists, and sadly the Auditor General in his letter by implication, tend to blame MPs for waiting (11 years) until now, 2020, to put in a claim because we (the beneficiaries) know that our Government is in power and that we are by implication dishonest and trying to reap where we have not sewn. This is extremely worrying.

This argument is also insulting and impugns malice to the individual and collective integrity of the persons making the claim. By implication, we (the claimants) do not care about Ghana and probably are less Ghanaian than those who make those assertions.

Further, that all we (the MPs/former MPs) know is to find ways to extract huge sums of monies (‘Ex-Gratia’) from the Ghanaian treasury to spend.

For those who wish or need to know, when the payments delayed, discussions on the claims to these monies were started on behalf of the group somewhere in 2010, by the Hon. PC Appiah Ofori (who is also alive), before the unfortunate passing of our beloved President JEA Mills.

The claims were later documented or formalized in letters to former President Mills.

After the necessary internal checks, approvals were then given (by the then President JEA Mills) for payments. This was when Dr. Dufour was Finance Minister. Then, we lost President Mills.

Subsequently, when the issue of the implementation of the CHC report was later raised with former President Mahama, further research, several checks and balances followed.

At the end of it all, the Office of then President John Mahama wrote on three different occasions around 2014-15, (through the Chief of Staff and also through the Attorney General, if I remember correctly) to Minister of Finance (Mr. Seth Terkper) and his team of ‘Technical Advisors’, advising payment. But again and again, the Hon.

Minister at the time, refused to effect payment (presumably on the still held mistaken grounds; the same old thinking, that the CHC Report was not approved or was rejected); or was it the prevailing soft spot ‘MP-hammering’ sentimentalism ingrained in certain persons?.

Technical Advisors

And let us NOTE some of the selfsame Technical Advisors are still at vantage positions in the same approval chain at the Ministry.

So, is it the fault of the MPs that the claims have dragged to date? Noteworthy meanwhile, is the fact that the same kinds of salary differentials due the fifth (2009-2012) and sixth (2013-2016) Parliaments HAVE BEEN PAID. This can be crosschecked anywhere.

The Attached List

I need to point out however that in the fourth (2005-2008) Parliament, there were 230 MPs.

Based on the approved CHC Report therefore it is my understanding that ALL 230 MPs and those in the Article 71 bracket (who have not been paid fully yet), need to be paid up.

You will notice however that the list attached to the Auditor General’s letter to the Chief of Staff had only about 133 persons listed.

Most or all of the minority (NDC) MPs names has been omitted (for whatever reason). That list is incorrect and needs to be updated after

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proper audit – which is the constitutionally mandated duty of the Government’s Internal Audit Agency.

Conflict of Interest

There are also those who contend that because the potential beneficiaries listed are NOW in Government or in decision making positions, it will amount to a “Conflict of Interest” if they should approve and sanction the payments. But in my view, a few questions need to be answered here.

Were they (the former MPs) due or entitled the payments at the time they were undertaking the assignments as MPs?

Have the monies been paid? Are we being fair to them? Should they be paid any interest? Where does conflict of interest come in here?

Even granted that they are in Government, is it all the 230 entitled persons who are in Government? It is to be noted also that the current claims did not originate from any Government entity.

Neither did it originate from the Office of the Chief of Staff or the Jubilee House. So where does the Conflict of Interest arise?

Double Salary Recipient Investigations

Also flawed is the argument that SOME of the recipients are caught in the ‘double-salary-recipient investigations’ of the CID, and therefore payments to all persons who are otherwise entitled MUST be put off.

The question is: Can these persons be identified (by name)? If so, can the auditors make a recommendation for those names be isolated or removed from the payment lists until the specific cases are finally determined?

Or, is this argument a deliberate attempt to delay or frustrate further the former MPs, some of who have served this country with all devotion, diligence and dedication?

Such pronouncements and actions will of course cause delays, for which we can then turn around to BLAME the MP/Former MPs for delayed action. Is that the idea?

COVID-19: Further Delay Tactics

Equally inadmissible is the argument that because we have COVID-19 around this particular (2005-2008 Former MP) Claims, even if it has been researched,

approved, and is due, must NOT be paid because we are in the era of COVID-19. Again, I believe such pronouncements are only meant to DELAY and FRUSTRATE further – the payment.

People must be given the option to make voluntary payments out of their salaries (as in the example set by H.E. the President and his Ministers), but NOT be entirely denied payment as is being suggested by Mr. Domelovo in the published response to the Chief of staff.

In Conclusion

I wish to suggest that those members of the public who think otherwise, must disabuse their minds that there was no Chinnery Hesse Committee (CHC) Report, or that it was not approved.

The subsequent setting up of the Ishmael Yamson Committee (IYC) to evaluate and assess the work of the CHC has no basis in the constitution and must be shelved.

The questions of ‘Conflict of Interest’, ‘Double salary Recipient’, the COVID-19 story, etc., are all meant to frustrate the claimants and delay further the out-payment of the claims.

I wish to assert also that the due ‘Top-ups’ for the fifth and sixth Parliaments (2009-2012 and 2013-2016 respectively) have been paid and that whatever is due the 2005-2008 Group (the fourth Parliament), must also be paid.

No amount of delays will cause the beneficiaries to forgo what is due them. Just as the President of the FFMP (Hon. David Apasera) has indicated elsewhere, we (the beneficiaries) shall continue the fight, as we have been doing all along since 2011, in the appropriate quarters (not necessarily in the Press) to seek redress to this delay, unfairness or injustice. That is a promise.

CY Brempong-Yeboah

For and on Behalf of: Forum for Former Members of Parliament (FFMP)

c/o Parliament House, Accra

The writer is a currently a Private Sector Operator, a beneficiary to the Claims and also a member of the FFMP Executive Committee. He may be reached on