Structure of the Electoral CommissionThe framework of the current structure of the Electoral Commission can be found in three articles of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Article 43 (1) provides that the Commission shall consist of the seven (7) members:
(a) A Chairman
The Chairman is the chief executive officer of the Commission;
(b) Two Deputy Chairmen
The two Deputy Chairmen are in charge of the two broad divisions of the Commission; i.e. Finance and Administration and the Operations divisions; and
(c) Four other Members.
APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS
Article 52 requires the Commission to appoint officers and other employees in consultation with the Public Services Commission. From this rudimentary structure, the Commission has established a more elaborate three-tier structure consisting of the Head Office, Regional Offices and District Offices.
The Commission has two (2) broad areas or functional divisions, namely; (a) Operations Division (b) Finance and Administration Division.
Each functional Division is headed by a Deputy Chairman (Operations) and Deputy Chairman (Finance and Administration).
The Commission is located at the Head Office in Accra, even though by law the Commission can meet anywhere in Ghana designated by the Chairman. The Commission is required to meet at least once in every two (2) months, that is, six (6) times a year.
The seven (7) members of the Commission collectively constitute the policy-making and management body of the organization and exercise general supervision over the activities of its staff. Section 7 of the Electoral Commission Act, 1993 (Act 451) empowers the Commission to appoint such Committees as it considers necessary for the discharge of its functions. Such committees may include persons who are not members of the Commission, but must be chaired by a member of the Commission. The decisions of such committees are not binding on the Commission.
On a day-to-day basis, the Commission is represented by the Chairman and the two (2) Deputy Chairmen, who are permanently situated at the Head Office. Collectively or individually, they perform the managerial functions of the Commission.
There are seven (7) departments at the Head office. Each of these departments is headed by a Director. The departments are:- Elections; Finance; Information Technology; Human Resource and General Services; Research and Monitoring; Training; and Public Affairs.
A Director, assisted by at least one Deputy Regional Director, heads a regional office of the Commission. Unlike the Head Office, a Regional Office and its staff are not formally organized into functional divisions and departments. A Regional Director and his staff combine both Operations and Finance and Administration functions. As a result, a Regional Director reports to the Commission through the Head Office Directors, as the case may be.
A District Electoral Officer (DEO) reports directly to his or her Regional Director, and heads a District Office of the Commission. Like a Regional Office, a District Office has no functional divisions or departments.
During elections, the Commission engages thousands of officials of various categories in temporary elections duties. They are not formally part of the Commission, but their services are so vital to the work of the Commission that they must be regarded as an informal part of the structure of the Electoral Commission.
The District Electoral Officer (DEO) recruits and works closely with these officials. In this connection, the DEO is required to:
• Recruit the best persons available for the job at hand.
• Organize and supervise their proper training.
• Instill in them the correct attitude towards electoral work (impartiality, probity, Accountability etc) and to maintain the integrity of the Commission.
• Co-ordinate their activities in the spirit of team work; and
• Accord them, the importance, respect and dignity that they deserve