KON advises MDAS prioritise to Communication agenda setting

The Minister for Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, has advised Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to prioritize the involvement of Agenda Setting in government communications.

According to him, Cabinet aims to refine and optimize government communication strategies in alignment with a broader reform initiative aimed at streamlining government communication to the public.

Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah interacting with dignitaries who attended the lecture

The Minister was speaking at a public lecture on the theme, “A Legal Framework for Communicating Governance,” which took place at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) on Wednesday, this week.

Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah noted that certain sections of the current legal framework, which facilitate the communication of governance, are characterised by ambiguity. He explained that these uncertainties within the laws often lead to misunderstandings when conveying governance principles. Consequently, he emphasized the urgent need to amend these legal sections to provide clarity, which will, in turn, support the government in its communication efforts.

“There are parts of the legal framework that have clarity and facilitate communication of governance. It is the ambiguous parts that create confusion in communicating governance. Amendment efforts to bring clarity to the grey areas should be seen to their logical conclusion urgently. Other non-legal imperatives necessary to facilitate agenda setting should also be urgently attended to,” the Minister said.

“In the realm of governance communication within the country, a complex legal framework guides the process. This intricate structure draws its strength from several key constitutional articles. Central to this framework is Article 67, which serves as the linchpin.

Article 67 defines the President as the nation’s executive authority, bestowing upon this office the supreme responsibility for conveying government actions, policies, and their ensuing consequences to the public.

“Outside of that, the President reserves the right to appoint sector ministers to help execute the agenda of the government, and serving as primary communicators for their policy areas, be it education or health. These ministers could make policy statements and field questions in Parliament, adding their voices to what government intends to communicate to the people,” he added.

The Minister for Information argued that despite the clarity of these constitutional directives, the legal framework lacked clarity in defining the mandates and roles of various government entities. Executive Instruments (EIs) that established Ministries failed to specify their mandates.

The Civil Service Act and Presidential Office Act he said are silent on these crucial details stressing that this ambiguity cast a shadow over the coordinated efforts of government communicators and posed challenges in agenda setting.

To remedy the problem, the Minister said the office of the Counsel to the President has initiated efforts to review specific sections of both the Presidential Office Act and the Civil Service Act.

This review, he said aims to inject much-needed clarity and momentum into the functioning of various government components, with a particular focus on enhancing communication.


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