To Review of National Security Act 526

Information stumbled on by DAYBREAK indicates that former Intelligence Chiefs Colonels Asase-Gyimah and Larry Gbevlo-Lartey are up in arms against a decision by the Minister for National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah to push for a review of the existing Security and Intelligence Agency Act 1996 on which the machinery of national intelligence runs.

According to insider sources, other prominent personalities in that meeting were Kofi Totobi Quakyi, Baba Issifu Kamara, Pius Awelinga, all former national security chiefs belonging to the previous administration, with one of the capos telling Kan Dapaah in the face that it was wrong for the President to appoint a Minister in charge of national security.

Francis Poku, Minister for National Security in the Kufuor administration, was also present at that important meeting intended at tapping into the knowledge of the experienced capos in taking that vital decision.

Under the original Act, the National Security Coordinator, rather than the Minister, has substantial power and control of funds because he is also a spending officer. In the case of the substantive Minister, he only plays political roles, including reporting to Parliament on routine matters.

Under that arrangement, therefore, the hands of the Minister are tied in several matters, resulting in suspicion between the appointee from the Public Service Commission and the Presidency, who is the Minister.

DAYBREAK gathered that Kan Dapaah started meeting the former National Security Coordinators last year at Holiday Inn around the Airport City – all in attempt to get their support in re-crafting the Act and redesigning appropriate policy to tone down the powers of national security coordinators.

Sources at the Presidency have told DAYBREAK in confidence that the President, worried over the deepening levels of infighting between the political appointee and the essentially Public Services Commission pick, called the two in an effort to douse the flame, whilst the combatants gave their word to cooperate with the President.

During the Kufuor administration, the catch was that he appointed a National Security Minister in the person of Francis Poku, who was the substantive National Security Coordinator, which put him totally in charge of spending and operations.

Under the Professor Evans Atta Mills administration, Gbevlo-Lartey was National Security Coordinator, without a Minister, whilst they streamlined the Intelligence Sector under the Interior Minister.

This trend was repeated during the John Mahama administration with all intelligence services being placed under the supervision of the Interior Ministry in accordance with Section 17 of the Security and Intelligence Agency Act 1996.