The Acting Director of the Information Services Department, Mr Francis Kwarteng Arthur has apologised for issuing an apology in the name of the Department for the error-ridden brochure used for Ghana’s 59th Independence Day.
According to him, he produced the brochure in his capacity as Chairperson of the Communication Subcommittee of the 59th Independence Anniversary Planning Committee, and not as the Acting Director of ISD.
Mr. Arthur on Monday issued a statement to apologise on behalf of the ISD for the brochure that was fraught with grammatical expressions, misrepresentation of facts, poor spellings and other inaccuracies at the backdrop of public criticism.
“The Department, which authored the content of the brochure, accepts responsibility and wishes to unreservedly apologise for the development,” the statement issued by Mr Arthur read in part.
But the statement infuriated the ISD staff who challenged the Director’s claim that the Department authored the content of the brochure which addresed Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta as Ghana’s President.
On Tuesday the staff staged what could be described as a sit down strike as they demanded answers from Mr Kwarteng who eventually met them for a closed door durbar at which even he apologised.
However, Mr Arthur insisted that he was responsible for the content of the error-ridden independence anniversary brochure, which has since sparked controversy and grabbed international headlines.
“After meeting with my colleagues, and [after] deliberations, I have acknowledged that I should have issued it in my capacity as the chair of the Communications subcommittee of the National Planning Committee. I’m assuming full responsibility. I have listened to their suggestions and I’m prepared to move along with my team collectively,” Mr Arthur told journalists after the meeting.
Meanwhile, Graphic Online reports that Ms Munira Karim, the Regional News Editor of ISD said the Communication Subcommittee should take the blame for the errors in the brochure adding that if it was credit the subcommittee would have taken it.
She said that it was unfair to rope the ISD into a situation they knew nothing about.
Ms Karim explained that under normal circumstances, ISD as the main public relations outfit of government, has a media liaison office which should have issued the accreditation for the anniversary programme but for about six years now, the department has been shut out of participating in national activities.
“We are professionals here and at least give us the responsibility and let us fail. In that case you can apologise on our behalf but this is the case we didn’t take part in anything so why do you apologise on our behalf,” she said.
Ms Karim also stated that the ISD has has ceased to take up roles in national programs and virtually does nothing.
She said the department had hoped that Mr Kwarteng, a former presidential staffer until his appointment, would use his links to get the department jobs to do.
Information gathered by Graphic Online from some of the staff at the premises of the ISD is that the department has one of the best printing machines in the country, but due to large amounts of debt owed to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) it has been disconnected and for
that reason are unable to publish or print any materials.