Ex gratia and the new conversation- Prof. Gatsi
Ex gratia is a term that has generated debates over the years. The return of ex gratia payment by Togbe Afede at the end of his service to the state as a member of the Council of State. The debate was also occasioned by the proposal to include spouses of the President and the Vice President of the Republic.
Ex gratia connotes favour or out of grace. This gracious word is extended to some privileged executives, parliamentarians and some members of the judiciary under Article 71 Office holders category.
The real conversation is that some people want it removed. Some want it redefined and another group want it paid to a limited number of not more than five.
This week, the former President John Dramani Mahama indicated at his campaign launch that if he wins the flagbearer contest of the NDC and becomes the president he will take the necessary administrative , legal and constitutional review steps to scrap ex gratia as part of responding to the new public conversation. In a democratic regime , listening to conversations critical to reforming public finances to free resources to be better redistributed , resonate well especially to the middle class and the low income earners.
The relevance of John Mahama’s promise is critical as it gives hope to these classes of people that policy will be informed by their conversation. It does not matter whether or not John Mahama and his appointees have once received ex gratia . What matters is that the voices of these classes of people have been taken seriously. It also means when John Mahama becomes President and upon leaving office, he will not take ex gratia.
There is recognition that something must be done about ex gratia. If you don’t know that there is a new conversation about ex gratia , you may be in your old lane. You may defend ex gratia payment because you are about to take one at the end of your service.
I have not take ex gratia before , so l don’t know sweet it is and bdon’t tell me that it must continue. The new conversation is worth recognizing that is to scrap or review it to be received by very limited number of people.
IT expert will say delete the ex gratia.
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