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Articles, law

Who is ‘the government’?


Who is ‘the government’?

In Ethiopia, almost unlimited powers of rulemaking, rate fixing and appointing higher officials is reserved to ‘the government’. This body or person is neither the legislator nor the executive. It is unknown. It could not even be described precisely. However, its existence is for sure.

Any legislative act, for sake of clarity has to indicate ‘who does what?’ ‘The relevant authority will take relevant measures’ is no law at all. It is so obscure. And completely devoid of any meaning. In effect, senseless at all.

Vagueness and ambiguity is usually attributed to bad drafting error. However, the persistent and repetitive use of ‘the government’ and bestowing it significant powers doesn’t seem to be an error. When the law states that the Director General and Deputy Director Generals of the National Educational Assessment and Examinations Agency will be appointed by the government, it has to have in mind someone who will exercise this power. So, why not expressly state the Minister or higher official who will ultimately exercise the power of appointment? The answer is: Just like banks need legal reserve, the government also needs powers reserve. A deliberate negligence to disclose the power holder beforehand, facilitates the smooth and flexible allocation of powers according changing circumstances. Such flexibility allows the possibility of giving, taking, restricting or expanding powers at different times.

Here is a list of laws (though not exhaustive) in which the most important powers of administration are reserved to the ‘the government’

Approval by the government

  • Meles Foundation Establishment Proclamation No.  781/ 2013

Article 22. Amendment of the Proclamation 

This Proclamation may be amended upon approval by the government of the recommendations of the General Assembly by a two third majority vote passed at a meeting in which two third of the members are present

Instructions of the government

  • Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No. 265/2012

Article 5(2)-Objectives of Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise

“to forecast, maintain and administer the required national petroleum reserve and. based on instructions of the government, supply petroleum products from the reserve”

Directive approved by the government

  • Telecommunication Proclamation No. 49/1996)

Article 7(3) (b) –Power of Ethiopian Telecommunication Agency

“employ and administer the employees of the Agency in accordance with directives approved by the Government following the basic principles of the federal civil service laws”

  • Ethiopian Rural Energy Development and Promotion Center Establishment Proclamation No. 269/2002

Article 8(2)(b)-Power of the director general

“employ and administer employees of the Authority in accordance with the federal civil laws employ, administer and dismiss personnel in accordance with directives approved by the Government in compliance with the basic principles of the federal civil services laws”

  • Broadcasting Service Proclamation No. 533/2007

Article 12(3)(b) Power of the Director General of the Authority

“employ and administer employees of the Authority in accordance with directives to be approved by the Government following the basic principles of the federal civil service laws”

  • The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange Authority Establishment Proclamation Amendment Proclamation No. 566/2008

Article 2. Amendment

Sub-Article 2 (a) of Article 12 of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange Authority Establishment Proclamation No. 551/2007 is repealed and amended by the following new Sub-Article 2(a):

Power of the director general

“employ and administer the employees of the Authority in accordance with directive to be approved by the Government following the basic principles of the Federal Civil Service Laws”

  • National Educational Assessment and Examinations Agency Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No 260/2012

Article 11(2) (b) Power of The Director General

“employ and administer employees engaged in support services of the Agency in accordance with the federal civil service laws and, in the case of employees engaged in the core functions of the Agency, in accordance with directives approved by the government following the basic principles of the federal civil service laws”

  • Catering and Tourism Training Center Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No.17412009

Article 11/2/ b) Power of the director general

“employ and administer the academic staff of the Center in accordance with directives to be approved by the Government following the basic principles of the federal civil service laws, and other employees of the Center in accordance with the federal civil service laws”

  • Information Network Security Agency Re-establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No.250/2011

Article 8(2)(b) -Power of the director general

“employ and administer employees of the Agency in accordance with the federal civil service laws and, in the case of employees engaged in the core functions of the Agency, in accordance with directive approved by the government following the basic principles of the federal civil service laws”

  • Civil Aviation Proclamation No 616/2008

Article 12/2/e) -Power of the director general of Civil Aviation Authority

“employ and administer employees of the Authority in accordance with directives approved by the Government following the basic principles of the federal civil service laws”

Directive issued by the government

  • Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission Establishment Proclamation No. 10/1995

Article 6(6)-Power of the Commission

“in accordance with directives issued to it by the government, request for and receive any form of assistance from domestic and foreign sources”

  • Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No.652/2009

Article 13(4)

The government, when finds it necessary, may, by issuing a directive, make any manufacturing or service rendering institution to have contingency plan in order to save people from danger in case of emergency.

Directive given by the government

Distribution of Profits of Public Enterprises Council of Ministers Regulation No. 107/2004

Article 7. Utilization of the Fund

The Fund shall be utilized by the Ministry in Conformity with a directive to be given by the Government

Modality approved by the government

  • Agency for Government Houses Establishment Proclamation No. 555/2007

Article 6(8) – Power of the Agency for Government Houses

“execute the privatization of Government Houses’ in accordance with modalities approved by the Government”

Salary scale approved by government

  • Ethiopia Revenues and Customs Authority Establishment Proclamation No. 587/2008

Article 8(2)(b)-Power of the Director General Ethiopia Revenues and Customs Authority

“employ and administer employees of the Authority in accordance with the regulation to be issued pursuant to Article 19(1) of this Proclamation and salary scale and benefit schemes approved by the Government

  • Revised Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Establishment Proclamation No 433/2005.

Article 17(1) Rights of officers

“Any officer of the Commission is entitled to a salary in accordance with the salary scale approved by the Government

  • Definition of Powers and Duties of the Executive Organs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Amendment) Proclamation No. 546/2007

Article 2(1)

Article 26 of the Proclamation is deleted and replaced by the following new Article 26:

Article 26(19) Power of Ministry Information

“employ and administer, employees holding positions that require unique qualifications in accordance with a salary scale to be approved by the government, and other employees in accordance with the federal civil service laws”

Fee and charge approved by the government

  • Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority Re-establishment Proclamation No. 273/2002

Article 9(2) (g)-Power of the Director General

“prepare and submit to the Minister the rate for the fees and charges to be collected by the Authority and implement same when approved by the Government

  • Ethiopian Wildlife Development and Conservation Authority Establishment Proclamation No. 575/2008

Article 6(15) Power of the Authority

“charge fees for the services it renders in accordance with the rate approved by the government

  • Charities and Societies Proclamation No.621/2009

Article 12(1) i)-Power of the the Agency

“to collect fees for the services it renders in accordance with the rate to be approved by the Government

  • National Educational Assessment and Examinations Agency Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No 260/2012

Article 6(7) –Power of the National Educational Assessment and Examinations Agency

“collect service fees in accordance with the rate approved by the government

  • National Defence University College Establishment Council of Ministers Regulations No. 68/2001

Article 7(6) –Power The University College Board

“to determine fees to be charged by the University College in accordance with directives approved by the Government

Submit to the government

  • Ethiopian Federal Police Commission Establishment Proclamation No. 720/2011

Article 6(5) (31) –Power of the Commission

“study and submit to the government salary scales and allowances applicable to police officers and implement same upon approval”

  • Sports Commission Establishment Proclamation No. 692/2010

Article 9(2) –Power of Federal Sports Council

“deliberate on and forward recommendations on policy issues to be submitted to the government relating to sports”

  • Electoral Code of Conduct for Political Parties No. 662/2009

Article 23(7) –Duties and responsibilities of the joint council

“It shall submit its decisions on matters relating to this Proclamation and other election issue to the Board and to the Government

  • The National Bank of Ethiopia Establishment (as Amended) Proclamation No. 591/2008

Article 7(3)

“The National Bank shall, within three months from the end of each financial year, prepare and submit to the Government unedited balance sheet as well as profit and loss account”

  • Ethiopia Revenues and Customs Authority Establishment Proclamation No. 58712008

Article 8(2) (g)-Power of the Director General

“prepare and submit reports to the Government on the activities and financial operations of the Authority”

  • Radiation Protection Proclamation No. 571/2008

Article 10(6)- Power of The Ethiopian Radiation Protection Authority Board

“Provide advices as appropriate on draft laws to be submitted to the Government as per Article 7(2) of this Proclamation”

Article 7 (2) – Power of the Authority

“Formulate, as necessary, radiation protection policies and draft laws and submit to the Government for approval”

  • Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office Establishment Proclamation No. 32012003

Article 9(1) –Power of the National Intellectual Property Council

“advise the Office on policy proposals to be submitted to the Government

  • Vehicle Insurance Against Third Party Risks Proclamation No 559/2008

Article 26 (6)- Power of The Insurance Fund Board

“study on policy matters relating to vehicle insurance against third party risks and premium amount (payment of insurance coverage) and submit the same to the Government

  • The Ethiopian Civil Service College establishment Council of Ministers Regulations No.3 /1996

Article 6(2)-Powers and Duties of the Board (of Governors of the College)

“to get the charter of the College which regulates its administration drafted and submit it to the Government

Propose to the Government

  • River Basin Councils and Authorities Proclamation No. 534/2007

Article 6(3)- Basin High Council

“propose to the Government the rate of the water charges to be paid by water users in the basin”

Submission by the government

  • Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No.652/2009

Article 25(1)- Procedure of Proscribing Terrorist Organization

“The House of Peoples’ Representatives shall have the power, upon submission by the government, to proscribe and de-proscribe an organization as terrorist organization”

To the Government by the government

  • Public Enterprises Supervising Authority and the Industrial Development Fund Establishment Proclamation No. 277/2002

Article 6(9) Power of Public Enterprises Supervising Authority

“submit information with its recommendation to the Ministry [Ministry of Trade and Industry Now spitted in to two as Ministry of Trade and Ministry Industry] with a view to obtaining the decision of the government on the amount of state dividends to be paid to the Government by public enterprises of each financial year

  • Establishment of the Board of Trustee for Privatized Public Enterprises Proclamation No. 17/199

Article 3 (b) –Power of The Board

“to submit to the government, and have settled, the debts of the enterprise, settle same itself upon approval, and discharge its other obligations”

Subject only to the government

  • Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia House of Peoples’ Representatives Working Procedure and Members’ Code of Conduct (Amendment) Proclamation No. 470/2005

Article 6(2)

“whereas the principal body of draft law initiator is the government, the following bodies shall have the power to initiate draft laws:

(a) Government

(b)  the House of the Federation

(c)  the Speaker

(d) Federal Supreme Court

(e) Committees of the House

(f) Members of the House

(g) other governmental institutions directly accountable to the House

3/   The bodies specified in Sub-Article 2(b), (d) and (g) above, may   initiate draft laws within their jurisdiction given to them by law.

4/   Notwithstanding the provision of Sub-article (2) above, the power to initiate draft financial law is subject only to the government”

Determined by the government

  • Social Security Authority Establishment Proclamation No. 38/1996

Article 9(5)

“Allowance to be paid to members of the Board shall be determined by the Government

Article 11(2)

“the organizational structure of the Tribunal and designation of its members shall be determined by the Government directives”

  • Public Servants’ Pension Proclamation No. 714/2011

Article 57 (2)

“The organization and assignment of members of the Tribunal shall be determined by the government

  • Privatization of Public Enterprises Proclamation No.146/1998

Article 4(1)

“the list of enterprises to be privatized shall be determined by the Government upon the recommendation of the Supervising Authority”

  • Federal Urban Planning Institute Establishment Proclamation No. 450/2005

Article 2(b)- Power of the General Manager

“employ and administer personnel of the Institute in accordance with the federal civil service laws and the salary scale determined by the Government

  • Broadcasting Service Proclamation’ No. 533/2007

Article 9(1) -Board of Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority

“The number of members of the board shall be determined by the Government

  • Vehicle Insurance Against Third Party Risks Proclamation No 559/2008

Article 23(2)

The rate of insurance tariffs to be collected as per the provisions of Sub-Article (1) of this Article shall be determined by the Government on the basis of studies conducted by the Board

  • Federal Prison Wardens Administration Council of Ministers Regulations No. 137/2007

Article 23(1)

“Any prison warden shall, as determined by the Government, be paid.

(a) a salary fixed for the position he is holding; and

(b) various allowances that may be determined as the situation requires.

Designated by the Government

  • Ethiopian Petroleum and Natural Gas Development Enterprise Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No.264/2012

Article 4

“A body to be designated by the government shall be the supervising authority of the Enterprise”

  • Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No. 265/2012

Article 3

A body to be designated by the government shall he the supervising authority of the Enterprise

  • River Basin Councils and Authorities Proclamation No.534/2007

Article 5 Members of Basin High Councils

“A Basin High Council members shall be designated by the Government

  • Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Authority Establishment Proclamation No 412/2004

Article 8

“Members of the Board [Privatization Board) including the Chairperson shall be designated by the Government, and their number shall be determined as may be necessary”

  • Rural Electrification Fund Establishment Proclamation No. 317/2003

Article 7 Members Rural Electrification Board

“The Board shall have members to be designated by the Government”

  • Construction Works and Coffee Technology Development Enterprise Establishment Regulation No. 119/2005

Article 3

“A body to be designated by the Government shall be the Supervising Authority of the Enterprise”

Appointed by the Government

  • National Educational Assessment and Examinations Agency Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No 260/2012

Article 7 (2)

“The Agency shall have a Director General and, as may be necessary Deputy Director Generals to be appointed by the government”

  • Regulation No. 257/2011 Science and Technology Information Center Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation

Article 7(1) Organization of the center

The center shall have

“a Director General and, as necessary, a Deputy Director General to be appointed by the government”

  • Federal Urban Real Property Registration and Information Agency Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No.  251/2011

Article 7(2) Organization of the Agency

The Agency shall have:

“a Director General and, as may be necessary, Deputy Director Generals to be appointed by the government”

  • Technical and Vocational Education and Training Agency Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No. 199/2011

Article 7(2) Organization of the center

The center shall have

a Director General and, as necessary, a Deputy Director General to be appointed by the government

  • Ethiopian Horticulture Development Agency Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No. 152/2008

Article 6(1)

The Agency shall have:

“a Director General to be appointed by the Government upon the recommendation of the Minister [Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Now Minister of Agriculture]

  • Ethiopian Federal Police Commission Establishment Proclamation No. 720/2011

Article 7(1)

The Commission shall have:

“a Commissioner General and Deputy Commissioner Generals to be appointed by the government upon the recommendation of the Minister [Minister of the Federal Affairs]”

Confiscated by the government

  • Commercial Registration and Business Licensing Proclamation No. 686/2010

Article 60 sub article 1

“any person who engages in commercial activities without having a valid business license shall be punished with fine from Birr 150,000 (one hundred fifty thousand) to Birr 300,000 (three hundred thousand) and with rigorous imprisonment from 7 (seven) to 15 (fifteen) years and the goods and/or the service delivery equipments and/or manufacturing equipments with which the business was being conducted shall in addition be confiscated by the government

  • National Payment System Proclamation No. 718/2011

Article 35 sub article 9

“Without prejudice to the rights of third parties, any asset derived from the commission of an offence referred to in this Article shall be confiscated by the government

Established by the government

  • Employment Exchange Services Proclamation No. 632/2009

Article 39(1)- National Committee

“To protect the rights, safety and dignity of citizens a national committee shall be established by the Government”

 

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About Abrham Yohannes

Abrham Yohannes Hailu Licensed Lawyer & Consultant

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Who is ‘the government’?

  1. I love this article “who is the government?” I thought it was just a Cliché we use in our conversations whenever something is wrong in our day to day lives in this country. Not being explicit on such issues, especially in legislations is against governments own principle of accountability. If we do not know who is responsible for what, how can we make them accountable?

    Thank you for the light shading Abrish! Keep up the great work.

    Like

    Posted by Selamawit Adnew | February 1, 2017, 8:36 am
  2. thanks for you posting new updated proc

    Like

    Posted by mebrate gergiso dame | January 31, 2017, 3:59 pm
  3. Dear Abraham, I am not actually a lawyer but so much interested in your Diverse and Wholistic approach in creating legal awareness and informative. I am always your follower in every aspect though so much in need of Public financial Management & Tax and Customs Issues in general as (MA in PFM).

    With Best Regards!

    abdulhafiz

    Like

    Posted by Abdulhafiz A. Abdisubhan | January 31, 2017, 7:57 am

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