Debates of 9 Jan 2013

PRAYERS 10:45 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Members, two of the Members of Parliament-elect did not subscribe to their oaths on the 7th of Janu- ary, 2013. I have been informed that they are available, so I will now administer the oaths to them.
OATHS 10:45 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Members, on behalf of the Honourable House, I congratulate the two Hon Members.
Votes and Proceedings and the
Official Report
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 8th January,
Let me say on the onset that, if the corrections have to do with names, kindly see the Clerks-at-the-Table as I directed yesterday.
Page 1 . . . 6 --
Mr Isaac Osei 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think there is a mistake here. I have been put down, number 218, as present. In fact, I was absent.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Very well.
Page 7 --
Mr James K. Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 7, paragraph 3, item number 2 -- “Hon Humado, Clement Kofi”. Hon Humado was present yesterday but he has been marked “absent”. So it should be corrected.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Very well.

Hon Members, the Votes and Pro- ceedings of 8th January, 2013 as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
PAPERS 10:55 a.m.

Dr Benjamin Kunbuor 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no Motion shall be debated un- til at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of Leadership on the formula for composition of member- ship of committees, parlia- mentary dele- gations and other parlia- mentary groups and associations and the membership
of the Committee of Selection, may be moved today.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
MOTIONS 10:55 a.m.

Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei-Men- sah-Bonsu) 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question proposed.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Se- kondi) 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on the first page of the Report, the last paragraph, it is stated that, and Mr Speaker, with your permis-
sion, I beg to quote:
“The current membership of the House stands as follows; Majority (NDC) -- 148; Minority (NPP) -- 123; (PNC) -- 1 and Independent
-- 3.”
Presumably, those who do not belong to the Majority part belong to the Minority caucus unless otherwise stated. It is not apparent on the face of the record where the three independent and one PNC Mem- ber belongs, and it is important for the business of this House and this country that we know which caucus they belong to and I thought this Report would make it clear.
But as of now, I am not too certain that the three Independent Members and the
one PNC Member belong to the Minority caucus. [Interruption.] I do not know that they belong to the Minority caucus. I can say that for the Minority caucus because I am a member of the caucus. So if the Hon Chairman of the Leadership Committee or the Leaders will let us know. But, perhaps, to make assurance double sure, for the Hon Members themselves to declare on the floor of the House where they belong.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Isaac Osei 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, adding the numbers which the Hon Member for Sekondi indicated, as on the last two lines in the Report, we have 275. But we do know that we have two vacant seats at the moment, so it cannot be that the NDC has 148. If the Committee will correct this.
Dr Kunbuor 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that point is noted. It was an issue that was taken up at the Committee level. What we intend to do is to make sure that we come up with a baseline formula that will stand the test of time and we know the total number of the composition will be based on the num- ber 275. This issue has been discussed thoroughly and we think this is a firmer grounding to put on it without any caucus claiming to have what they do not have.
Mr James K. Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, even taking the two vacant positions out of the 275 and applying the formula, it is still 55:45.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as the Hon Majority Leader indicated, the point is, even if we do not add the two and then also go further to subtract the number one for PNC and three for the Independent Hon Members from the total, it still comes to about the same. We would have about 54.9, which is near 55. So, I think we took all these things into consideration and decided that everything being equal, we can still go ahead with that ratio -- with
that formula.
So, I think we did what should be deemed as reasonable under the circum- stances and then we go ahead with the approval process.
But Mr Speaker, the other leg is the issue raised by the Hon Member for Se- kondi, Papa Owusu-Ankomah. We have really traversed that path. But if the debate should be resurrected, I think it will be enjoyable at this point in time.
Dr Kunbuor 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I certainly have taken the cue from the Hon Member for Sekondi and I am particularly very happy that he has raised an issue. This is because in 2001, this issue did come before this House. What is intriguing about it is that my Hon Colleague was on this side of the aisle and I was on the other side of the aisle. I guess that this is perhaps, about payback time. [Laughter.] But I do believe clearly that a precedent was established at that time. I would not be the one to be talking for the Hon Members once they are on the floor.
But I do know as a matter of further consultation that the four Hon Members have agreed to do business with the Majority side -- [Hear! Hear!] -- I am using the words “to do business with the Majority side” advisedly because it was the Hon Member for Sekondi who drew my attention in 2001 that the issue was not about which caucus they belonged to but which caucus they intended to do business with. Much as that position made sense at that time, I think it equally makes sense today. [Laughter.]
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I entirely agree with the Hon Majority Leader -- “doing business”. But my only worry was that it was not made apparent in this Report and it is important that we know clearly where our Hon Colleagues stand, so that Ghanaians, in terms of their monitoring of the business of Parliament,


would know where they stand.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speak- er, if I should remind the Hon Majority Leader, when he was in the Minority, his argument was that the proper place for such Hon Members really, is determined by the meaning of “Minority Leader”, as captured in our Standing Orders. And if I may remind him, Mr Speaker, Order 7 provides that:
“‘Minority Leader' means a Mem- ber of Parliament designated by the Party having the largest numerical strength in Parliament other than the Party that has formed the Govern- ment, as the recognised Leader of all the Minority groups in the House”.
Dr Kunbuor 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what they say is that you do not say “sorry” about the dead. But what I do know is that stren- uously as I argued, as the Hon Minority Leader is arguing, I remember vividly that the Rt Hon Speaker then, the late Peter Ala Adjetey, did indicate that he was not pre- pared to interpret that particular definition of “Minority” and “Majority” to disrupt parliamentary business and reminded me that I might disagree with his ruling but that my remedy lay in the Supreme Court.
Mr Speaker, I would want you to be guided by the ruling of your predecessor.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I do not want us to continue this debate. I think that the point raised by the Hon Member for Sekondi is a very important one.
I want to place on record that the Clerk to Parliament has furnished me with the necessary information -- a memorandum
sent to the Clerk by the four Hon Members involved, that they intend to do business with the Majority side -- just for the records.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would not want to challenge it. But I would want us to do a flashback, and I remember vividly that the Hon Member for Avenor-Ave then, floated on the wings of the argument by Hon Dr Kunbuor and really wanted a ruling on the meaning of “Minority Leader” to determine where the the Hon Member should be.
Mr Speaker, we are talking about their proper place in Parliament, not the conduct of business.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, you are not being fair to me. -- [Laugh- ter.] -- I was then in a different world. [Laughter.] -- I am now in a different world. [Pause]
Hon Members, any other issue, other- wise, I would --
Mr Asamoah Ofosu 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have looked at the Report and I find something rather irregular on the face of it.
This document is supposed to have been signed by the Hon Majority Leader and the Hon Minority Leader. Mr Speaker, having done business in this House and received a lot of correspondences, mem- oranda and other documents from my Hon Leader, the signature I find under this Re- port is very irregular and does not seem to be his. [Laughter.] I would want to know whether indeed, he signed the document or it was signed for him, procured or he has decided to change his signature for the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic. It does not look like his regular signature.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, is that your signature and did you sign the document?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speak-
er, I am happy my Colleague says it does not seem to be my signature. This, indeed, is my signature.
Mr Isaac Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would
like to go back to the point I made earlier.
I understand what the Hon Avedzi said, but the fact is that we should actually indicate what the present situation is. We cannot claim that the current membership has 148 from the NDC, representing them in Parliament.
We know that the Hon Henry Ford Kamel passed on and your goodself did not even subscribe to the Oath of a Member of Parliament, and therefore, we should indicate the correct number. Nobody is quibbling about the ratio; we are talking about the numbers; it is 146 and we should indicate so.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Leadership, kindly
amend your Report.
Dr Kunbuor 11:15 a.m.
That is so, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
In the last paragraph.
Dr Kunbuor 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, taking
a cue from the Chair, I would like to re- spectfully crave your indulgence to amend the last paragraph on page 1 in terms of the current membership of the House, which stands at 146 for the NDC, 123 for the NPP, 1 for PNC and 3 Independent Members, as against the original rendition of 148 for the NDC, 123 for the NPP, 1 for the PNC and 3 Independent Members.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member for
Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with the amendment proposed by the Majority Leader, I would want your guidance -- because definitely, the num- ber must be equal to 275 -- [Interruption] -- So can you direct that we have either one paragraph or a sentence to indicate that there are two vacant seats, which are yet to be --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, there is
no need for that direction. If you add the 146, the 123, the 1 and the 3, you would get the 273.
Alhaji Sorogho 11:15 a.m.
You would get 273
-- 11:15 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Yes, and it speaks for itself, that that is the current membership of the House.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker,
I know it is early days yet, but the debate this morning has referred to certain pro- visions of the Standing Orders. Now that you are in the Chair, I am hopeful that within the next few months, we would make a lot of progress with our Stand- ing Orders, which process started in the Third Parliament and you were actively involved. And I know that as we move forward, you would ensure that we do justice to the matter.
Dr Kunbuor 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am par-
ticularly very happy that the Hon Member for Sekondi is revisiting this issue and certainly understands the antece- dents of that draft Standing Orders; I was a member of the Committee and he had just left the Leadership of the House.
I also hope he would remember that
the phrase at that time was that residual powers of the Leader of the House at that time were going to be evoked to make sure that the revised Standing Orders did not see the light of day. I do not intend
to invoke any residual powers and so, he should be rest assured that something would be done in relation to those revised draft Standing Orders.
Several Hon Members -- rose --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of -- Yes the Hon Member for Bawku Central?
Mr Mahama Ayariga (NDC --
Bawku Central): Mr Speaker, in fact, on the subject-matter of the Standing Orders of this House, in the past three days, I have been consulting with some senior Members of this House -- and I have been battling with some fine legal issues about the very legal basis of the Standing Orders of Parliament. I am saying this to seek your guidance, given how long you have been here.
Some portions of the Standing Orders
derive their legal foundation from the Constitution; they are constitutional provi- sions lifted and put in the Standing Orders. Others, Mr Speaker, I have been asking questions about their legal basis given that they are not founded either in an Act of Parliament, a Legislative Instrument (L.I.), or a Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) that is known as the process for the enactment of a legislation.
Given that this morning, senior Mem- bers have raised issues about our Standing Orders, I have been of the opinion that it should be a convention that at the begin- ning of every new Parliament, one of the first things to do, is to move a Motion adopting the Standing Orders as the Orders to guide the proceedings of the House as variously interpreted by the previous Speakers of the House.
Mr Speaker, on that basis, then the non-constitutional provisions of the House become legitimately part of the rules and procedures that would guide the House.
So Mr Speaker, as the Leadership take
up the issue of the Standing Orders, I urge that this fine legal issue be also taken into consideration.
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh (NDC-- Wa
West): Mr Speaker, I think that the point he has raised is interesting. But these Standing Orders like any other consti- tutional body -- We are a constitutional body as Parliament -- we have enacted subsidiary legislation and they hold like any other unless there is a conflict with any other law, which law would then be superior to ours, but I do not think so.
The second leg of his argument is that
we should adopt rulings of the Chair to be part of our conventions or part of our Orders. Until we receive copies of these rulings documented and agreed upon, we cannot afford to do a thing like that. Par- ticularly, the last Parliament where there was a ruling by the Chair that anybody who is presiding can vary the rulings of the previous Speaker, that makes the matter a little more serious.
But I would want us to emphasize that these Orders are in the form of a Consti- tutional Instrument, in the form of any other Subsidiary Legislation, subject to the Constitution and also subject to the powers that Parliament has.
Mr Joe Ghartey (NPP--Esikadu/ Ketan) 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Colleague from Bawku Central discussed it with me yes- terday and if he had discussed it with me today, I would have told him that through the Constitution, I have seen, I believe, an answer to his problem.
Mr Speaker, when we look at article
110 (1) of the Constitution, it states, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may, by standing orders, regulate its own procedure.”
Mr Speaker, that read together with ar- ticle 11 (1) (c) of the Constitution, which talks about the laws of Ghana and with your permission, if I may read that:
“(1) The laws of Ghana shall com- prise--
(c) any Orders, Rules and Regu- lations made by any person or au- thority under a power conferred by this Constitution;”
The combination of those two articles may lead us to the conclusion that our Standing Orders have constitutional back- ing; it is based on article 110 and 11 (1) (c) and therefore, there is not that need for it to continuously be reawakened by some Motion or something like that. Once it is made, based on these two provisions, it is part of the laws of Ghana.
Of course, Mr Speaker, the question of precedent, I think it has been debated in this House as my Mr Colleague, Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh said, it has been debated that these precedents are of the persuasive authority.
Mr Speaker, indeed, even the process that says, for example, that matters before a particular Parliament lapse at the end of that Parliament leads us to the conclusion that each Parliament comes with its own life, with its own Speaker. And Mr Speak- er, as you said, you are now in a different world; you used to be in our world, so you cannot be bound by the decisions of former Speakers.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Members, we delving into matters that are not before us -- the issue of relevance. The Motion before us is the Report before us -- we are delving into issues of Standing Orders.
But they are raising very interesting issues and that was why I decided to hear from one or two Hon Members on the floor.
So I think that we should find time to discuss some of these interesting issues that have been raised on the floor of the House. I am enjoying the debate and, if I am not careful, I would abdicate the responsibility before me and we would rather be talking about Standing Orders rather than the Motion, which is currently before us. Therefore, I intend putting the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Dr Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we, certain- ly, at the Leadership Committee, brought up some matters on other committees that ought to be addressed. I have discussed with my Hon Colleague, the Minority Leader and we would want to crave your indulgence to suspend Sitting and allow us address those matters and re-convene to address them.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, can you inform the House on some of those matters? We are suspending Sitting, what are we going to do?
Dr Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I did in- dicate that we intend to actually go and compose the membership of the Business Committee. This is because tomorrow is going to be the normal day that the Business Committee meets to prepare the business for the week and to also address very specific issues of the Appointments Committee. We are beginning to get some signals. So we would want to actually get these committees put in place as required by the Standing Orders. We could have gone into many more committees but there are a number of caucus discussions that have to take place.
But opting for the Business Committee and the Appointments Committee, they are matters that we can do quickly and then get back, so that we get them addressed

before tomorrow.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, for how long should we suspend Sitting of the House?
Dr Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Thirty minutes to one hour should be sufficient.[Interruption.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speak- er, I agree in principle with what the Ma- jority Leader has indicated, except to say that we should be more precise in the time; I would think that one hour would be all right. I would also want to further indicate that because we may have to constitute committees, in particular with respect to Hon Colleagues who have entered this House and the new, it may be important for all of them to be given copies of our Standing Orders -- [Interruption.] For all of them.
Well, I have asked and I have been told that quite a number have not yet received copies. If, indeed, they have copies, then it serves the purpose, because they need to determine which committees they may want to serve on. So giving ourselves some limited time, we could constitute those committees. But for the time being, I agree with the Majority Leader that we have to take out of turn, these two Com- mittees and constitute them.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, from what the two Leaders have said, am I to understand that the Committee of Se- lection is to meet immediately thereafter, even though nothing has been advertised? I just wanted to be clear, because I happen to be a Member of the Committee.
Dr Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Yes, that is so. Clearly, the process that we have been adopting is an initial one and the implication is that the Committee of Selection will meet immediately. I agree with the Minority Leader that one hour should be sufficient.
Mr W. O. Boafo 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I un- derstand the name of my constituency has been changed to Akwapim North.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Very well; very well.
Mr Boafo 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, before you decide on suspension of proceedings, I would want to seek your guidance.
I have made some observation, which touches on our supervisory jurisdiction so far as Parliament is concerned. With your leave, I may proceed.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
I would want you to discuss that matter with me after the sus- pension of Sitting in the Speaker's Lobby.
Dr Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the venue for the meeting would be the Speaker's conference room, I forgot to add that.
11.32 a.m. -- Sitting suspended.
2.30 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Members, we have Order Paper Addendum. I hope all of you have got copies?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I notice you noticed that from the clock facing you, it is about 2.35 p.m.? There are some things that are supposed to be told to us when we have an extended Sitting. We have been sitting here and it is 2.35 p.m. and we are moving on to some serious matters -- Addendum -- that, I do not have a difficulty with.
My main difficulty -- and I was not
here yesterday, so I am seeking your guidance --
There are some matters that were dis- cussed last Friday. We are about to rise next Friday -- and my good Hon Friend, the Hon Majority Leader is crossing his legs; he is smiling at me; he knows what I am talking about.
Mr Speaker, I do not want it to be said that under your Speakership, certain matters -- we want to move forward. So I am seeking your guidance, that if we can be advised on those matters at any time that you so choose -- but we should be

advised because if we are not advised, we may find it difficult to conduct business of the House. So, I plead with you, Mr Speaker -- I am seeking your guidance for someone from Leadership to advise us.

I thank you.
Dr Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess I have got the message from the Hon Mem- ber, though it is heavily coded; I guess Mr Speaker would know that between the Hon Member and me, since yesterday, till this afternoon, but for the clerical challenges that we had, we should not have had an extended Sitting -- and I should have been somewhere to “practicalise” this matter. But we do know -- [Interruption] -- When I say ‘practicalise' the matter, we are talking about what the Hon Member -- a proper realisation of whatever we have been looking at.
Unfortunately, we have moved into this. But immediately we take these significant matters, the Hon Speaker and myself would be at the very important meeting, so that by tomorrow, we should be able to appropriately instruct the var- ious caucuses on the state of affairs. We are certainly on it.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader said I was speaking in codes. But clearly, if it was coded, he would not have understood me. I would want to decode it -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I would want to thank the Hon Majority Leader for his “coded response” and since this is the first time he is making this assurance, we would take him at his word and tomorrow morning, we would be waiting to further decode
his response.
Thank you very much.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Members, con- cerning last Friday's issue, significant progress has been made. Significant progress has been made.
Hon Members, presentation of Papers
-- 11:25 a.m.

PAPERS 11:25 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Item number 2 on the Order Paper Addendum --
MOTIONS 11:25 a.m.

Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin Kunbuor) 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1), which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Committee of Selection on the composition of the Business Com- mittee and the Appointments Committee, may be moved today.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Item number 3 on the Order Paper Addendum --
Committee of Selection on the Composition of the Business Commit- tee and the Appointments Committee
Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin Kun- buor) 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the first Re- port of the Committee of Selection on the composition of the Business Committee and the Appointments Committee.
1.0 Introduction
In accordance with article 103 of the Constitution and Order 151 (1) of the Standing Orders of the House, the Com- mittee of Selection was appointed on Wednesday, 9th January, 2013 to compose the Standing and other committees of the House.
Pursuant to Order 151 (2) of the Stand- ing Orders of the House, the Committee met on Wednesday, 9th January, 2013 and composed the Business Committee and the Appointments Committee in accord- ance with Standing Orders 160 and 172 respectively.
2.0 Deliberations
In its deliberations, the Committee of Selection was guided by the formula adopted by the House on Wednesday, 9th January, 2013 for the composition of
committees, groups and delegations.
The Committee was also guided by article 103 (4) of the Constitution and Standing Order 154, which require that the composition of the committees shall, as much as possible, reflect the different shades of opinion in Parliament.
3.0 Composition of committees
The Committee of Selection, in accord- ance wth Order 151 (2), prepared the list of Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and members to compose the Business Committee and Appointments Committee. The Ranking and Deputy Ranking Members of the committees have also been indicated. The membership of the two Committees are as follows: 4.0 Conclusion
The Committee recommends to the House to adopt this Report and approve the Business and Appointments Committees as composed.
Respectfully submitted.
Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei-Men- sah-Bonsu) 2:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and to just make one observa- tion, that the name captured as the twelfth name has not been correctly spelt. There is a hyphen between Kyei and Mensah, and of course, another hyphen between Mensah and Bonsu.
On that note, I beg to second the Motion.
Question proposed.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu (NDC -- Tamale South) 2:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to associate

Mr Haruna Iddrisu (NDC -- Tamale South) 2:30 p.m.


2.30P.M. SPACE FOR LIST - PAGE 9 - 2.30P.M.
Mr Speaker 2:30 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, what is the full name of the “William Aidoo”, so that we capture our records correctly? The name did not come up during our deliberations at the Committee of Selection. I thought the Leadership proposed him. So the Leadership should know --
Hon Member, do you have “Owuraku” added to your name?
Mr William O. Aidoo 2:30 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 2:30 p.m.
Very well. So the correct name is “Aidoo William Owuraku”?
Mr W. O. Aidoo 2:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just a little correction. The name is William
Owuraku Aidoo. Owuraku is the middle name.
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP -- At- wima-Mponua) 2:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in con- tributing, I would want to just touch on Standing Order 160 (5), that indeed, the Committee shall prepare a rota of Minis- ters to appear before the House to answer Questions. The Clerk shall be responsible for arranging Questions admitted by Mr Speaker to fit into the rota and informing the Ministers accordingly.
Mr Speaker, this is one area I would want the Committee to be more particular and to be serious about in making sure that we have Ministers coming to the House to answer Questions filed by Hon Members of this Honourable House.
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw the
attention, that indeed, this is one area that is very challenging. As we speak, in the last Parliament, my Questions were held for about three years without Answers. So, I am urging this particular Committee to take note of our experiences in the past to ensure that indeed, we have Ministers responding to the calls of this House.
This is very important that we begin this Parliament on a clean sheet and that we have a committee that is up to the task, a committee that is responsible, a committee that will work for the interest of this Parliament and of course, for mother Ghana. [Hear! Hear!] That is my concern.
Mrs Gifty E. Kusi (NPP --Tark- wa-Nsuaem) 2:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to add my voice for this House to adopt the Report of the Committee of Selection.
Mr Speaker, I am very happy that you are in the Chair now because you have been a Whip and you know how difficult our task is. So, what the Hon Member is saying is something that I support.
Mr Speaker, the way Leadership has been harassed about these issues of
Questions not being answered-- So with you in the Chair, I know you are going to assist us, for the Ministers to know that even if they have something doing, they should consider Parliament as very, very important and therefore, if they are needed to answer any Questions, if they do not have answers --
Sometimes, too, when they send their Deputy Ministers, they will come here and say: “I have no idea”. “I do not know”. “I cannot answer”, as if the Ministers have not mandated them to come.
So Mr Speaker, we are just telling you this because you have been in our shoes before and you know what we mean.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 2:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we would want to assure our Hon Col- leagues that this House has taken note of the concerns they have raised and that -- [Interruption.]
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, please, he is out of order. Ministers, can come from this side. When I say Minis- ters, they can also come from this side. It was a caution to this House -- for all of us. Ministers can equally come from this side. That is why I am saying that he is out of order and he should speak accordingly.
Mr Speaker 2:30 p.m.
Hon Member, why when you were making your submission and people tried to interfere with your deliber- ations, I did not give them the chance was because of your advice to the Business Committee. That was my understanding when you referred to Standing Order 160 (5) and the gentleman who was on his feet, has been proposed by the Committee to be Vice Chairman of the Business Commit- tee. It is on that basis that he was giving you the assurance.
Dr A. A. Osei 2:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he has been proposed. It is not in his interest to begin to speak for the Committee when we have not voted yet. [Hear! Hear!] His
intentions, I accept but you yourself said he had been proposed -- because as you spoke, I thought about changing my mind. Anyway, he is my good Friend.
Mr Speaker 2:30 p.m.
Hon Member, if you use that argument, then we do not have any committee in place to offer any advice.
Mr Agbesi 2:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, our Hon Colleagues have raised some concerns and I am addressing the concerns. I am the Deputy Majority Leader -- [Hear! Hear!] The Majority does business of Govern- ment in this House. So the concerns have been raised that Ministers should try and appear before the House. I am only allay- ing their fears that they have no problem. Our Ministers who are yet to be appointed will duly appear before this House and do business. They have no problem and--
Mr Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Hon Members, I think I will just take the last two contributions, one from each side of the House and then we conclude the debate on this matter. This is not a controversial issue, so --
Hon Member for Ketu South and Hon Member for Subin.
Mr Fiifi Fiavi Franklin Kwetey 2:50 p.m.
(NDC -- Ketu South) Mr Speaker, I wish to use the opportunity to associate myself with the Motion and to first and foremost, commend the Committee of Selection on the composition of both the Business and Appointments Committees.

Mr Speaker, it shows that the effort is

on the way to enable people who are here for the first time to quickly acquire the experience that is necessary.

I wish to also signal that we expect that this particular Appointments Committee will be able to do a very good job, to enable the Ministers who are going to appear to go through a thorough vetting, that is going to ensure that the business of Government will be properly done. And we are certain that —
Mr Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Are you mentioning
“north” or “south”?
Mr Kwetey 2:50 p.m.
The Ministers will sure-
ly be able to come through a thorough vetting, that will enable them to do an excellent job.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh 2:50 p.m.
On a
point of order.
Mr Speaker, [Interruption.] I would like to caution my very good Friend, the Member who just came here, that it is not the first time -- [Interruption] -- that first- timers have served on such important committees. In the last Parliament, I was a freshman and I had the opportunity of serving on the Appointments Committee. In fact, there were three of us on our side who were freshmen-- Hon Joseph Osei- Owusu, Hon Atta Akyea and Hon Gifty Klenam, who were first-timers.
Mr Speaker, more importantly —
Mr Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Where is Hon Joe Osei
Dr Prempeh 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the NPP
Member of Parliament for Bekwai.
Mr Speaker 2:50 p.m.
You are now wearing
Dr Prempeh 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, but more
Some Hon Members 2:50 p.m.
Sit down! Sit
Mr Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Hon Kofi Frimpong, you
know that you are out of order?
Mr Kofi Frimpong 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes. [Laughter.]
Dr Prempeh 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon
Member for Aflao, the Hon Member for Togo-- [Laughter.] The Hon Fifi Kwetey made a statement. He made a statement that should not be left unchecked or uncor- rected. For him to say that he hopes the current Appointments Committee does a good job, he is undermining the authority of the Speaker who was the Chairman of that Committee.
I would want to caution my Brother, that this Chamber — I would want him to know that in his previous years, he might have been a member of setting the records straight, he might have been the mem- ber whose job was propaganda -- [Inter- ruption.] He is a member -- he was the person who served —
Mr Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Hon Member, make
your point of order and sit down, please.
Dr Prempeh 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, to con-
clude —
Mr Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Hon Member, make your —
Dr Prempeh 2:50 p.m.
--That statement,
“Ghana's gold is missing”-- should not be repeated in this, as he is trying to do. I want him to withdraw. I would want him to withdraw that this Appointment Com- mittee does a good job than the previous one. He should withdraw it. He must with- draw it, Mr Speaker. He must withdraw it and be responsible in his speech.
Mr Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Hon Member for Ketu
Mr Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Order! Order! Let us have order in the House.
Mr Kwetey 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I suspect that
the word “unprecedented” is a problem to some Members of this House. Inciden- tally, I actually never said that what this Committee is about to do is unpre- cedent- ed. I did not say that at all.
What I said was that, I am extremely gladdened that this House has a number of first-timers. At no point did I ever say that this is the first time in the history of this House. I never said so. That is the first one.
I expressed the hope that the job of this Committee would actually ensure that Ministers who are going to be vetted would be very good Ministers who will do a good job.
There is nothing to apologise about, nothing at all to apologise about, Mr Speaker.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Isaac Osei 3 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think after the excitement generated in the last few minutes, I would wish to make a more mundane point.
The issue which was raised by Hon Isaac Asiamah is very valid except that there is a little caveat which talks about Questions admitted by the Speaker and I think all of us should bear that in mind.
I thank you.
Mr Speaker 3 p.m.
Hon Members, that
brings us to the end of the debate. I will now put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Dr A. A. Osei 3 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as I said, I
was not here yesterday and I have checked the Votes and Proceedings and I just need your guidance on some matter.
You recall very well in 2009, when we first came, there was an allegation that there was something under the Hon Mi- nority Leader's chair. That was in 2009. In your maiden speech, you made reference to passing on the evil powers of something to him, powers of evil darkness.
Mr Speaker, coincidentally, the first day we came, I saw him looking under his chair. So I would want an assurance from you that our Leader is going to be protect- ed. [Interruption] Is it the same chair?
Mr Speaker 3 p.m.
Hon Dr Akoto Osei, you are completely out of order. [Laughter.]
Dr A. A. Osei 3 p.m.
Thank you, Mr
Mr Speaker 3 p.m.
Hon Members, it is past 2.00 o'clock, the adjournment of the House is at my discretion. But before I do so, let me hear from the Hon Member for Akwapim North.
Mr W.O. Boafo 3 p.m.
Mr Speaker, before you suspended Sitting, I was on my feet, attempting to seek your guidance on an issue of some public importance. Mr Speaker, I am referring to section 14, subsections 1 and 2 of Act 845, that is the Presidential Transition Act, 2012.
Mr Speaker, these two subsections empower the President to undertake an exercise, whereby outgoing Ministers will continue to perform some functions assigned to them by the President. Mr Speaker, under subsection 2, this exercise is to be carried on by the President and it requires two major preconditions.
One is that, those affected must be appointed by the President and the period of their tenure must be stated in the ap- pointment. Mr Speaker, I read from page 3 of today's Daily Guide issue -- [Some Hon Members: Daily Guide!] -- [Inter- ruptions.]
Mr Speaker, from page 3, I realised that a statement issued from the Office of the President indicated that the President had directed that some Ministers, Regional Ministers and the Ambassadors and so forth were to continue in office subject to a caveat that they were not required to take decisions in respect of policies.
Mr Speaker, the tenor of subclause (2) clearly indicates that the exercise to be undertaken by the President should not be by directives but by appointment and the period must also be specified in writing.
Mr Speaker, it appears that if the report in the Daily Guide is correct -- [Interrup- tions] -- And Mr Speaker, I stand also corrected that this statement was also relayed on the electronic media -- [Some
Mr Speaker 3 p.m.
Hon Members, I had the
privilege of discussing this matter with the Hon Member in the Speaker's Lobby during the suspension of Sitting and he gave me a copy of the publication.
After going through the publication, I have realised that the Statement also used the word “appointment”. What I thought he was going to raise, which is relevant to us, is for us as a House to be supplied with the names of the caretaker Ministers who are performing oversight responsibility. And as a House, then we will know which of those caretaker Ministers Parliament can deal with. I think that it is to that extent that the issue that he is raising is very relevant to this House.
I will ask the Hon Majority Leader who is in charge of Government Business to furnish this House with the names of caretaker Ministers, so that this House will know who to deal with when it comes to those respective Ministries. And I think to that extent, it is a very relevant issue that the Hon Member has raised --
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
Mr Speak-
er, I believe the Chair could not be wiser
than the stance that you have taken. Mr Speaker, but I think further to that the com- munication from the Presidency, which was on the airwaves was that the President had directed that they should continue in office. That was the communication from the Presidency.
Now, if it is being said that it is appoint- ment, that is all right. But we need it to be in the form of appointment, just so that we know the terms of appointment and even the period that it may last. This is because Parliament, in exercising its oversight responsibility, will require to know this.
So Mr Speaker, I believe you are right in asking the Hon Majority Leader to go for the real communication and, of course, the names also involved and Parliament will take it from there.
Dr Kunbuor 3 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I certainly will take a cue from your directive to the extent that it deals with the general over- sight responsibility of not only Ministers but by article 58 of the Constitution, anybody exercising executive authority in this country.
To that extent, I certainly will be able to follow it but the oversight over Minis- ters is what I am certainly not sure when I do not know whether this category of peo- ple are Ministers or not. But I am saying that once they are going to be exercising executive authority, whether with policy, or without policy, we will make sure that Hon Members get the full list.
But Mr Speaker, because we are in a House of records, it is important that we register clearly what we do and what we say here. I am sure Hon Members are aware of the known and acceptable mode of communication by the Government to this House. At least, there is no paragraph in the Standing Orders which says “Daily Guide” is a mode of communication to this House -- [Interruptions.] Wait! So one can get information from any other

Wait! Mr Speaker, I am saying this because we do not spend all our energies on speculations and people's style of fan- cy how they choose to use what style to report a governmental directive. That is why I am saying that we would seek the particulars from Government to tell us what exactly was the communication. But I will not say the source of my authority, which is the communication to this House, is Daily Guide.

I think the Hon Dan Botwe should know that he is a Leader now, so he should not be heckling.

So we will take the necessary steps to get the information that we need for Hon Members. But I did not want it to go on record that any time any newspaper or electronic media claims to be reporting what Government has said, this House takes -- [Interruptions] -- Yes, I know what I am saying -- this House takes that as a substitute for the official position, please.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
Mr Speak- er, I think it is sufficient for my Colleague, the Hon Majority Leader to say that he will go to the source of communication and furnish the House with the relevant information. But I believe he cannot question the exercise recently engaged in by the Hon Member for Akropong (Mr William O. Boafo). This is because, Mr Speaker, he quoted from an official
publication -- [Interruptions] -- and the former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice is telling me that it is not an official publication.
For your information, Standing Order 7 defines for us what official publication is. I am telling you that he quoted from an official publication. I am not saying that that is the document from the Presidency; I am not saying that. He read from an official publication. And --
‘“official publication” means any publication produced by or under the authority or with the sanction of any Ministry, department, organ- isation, agency, association, society or club;”
That is what it means. So he quoted from an official publication.
Mr Speaker 3:10 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, both of you are right on this issue. In terms of official document, you are right.
But he said that there is a mode of communication to this House, and that the Daily Guide is not an official mode of communication to this House. That is the point he is making. But whether it is an official document, you are right. He is also right on this matter in terms of com- munication to this House.
Mr Speaker 3:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I will not take any further comment on these issues. The Leaders have spoken on the matter and they have spoken for both sides of the House.
Hon Members, I have been informed that the Business Committee will be meet- ing tomorrow.
Hon Members, on that note, the House
is adjourned till tomorrow at ten o'clock

  • [Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu: Mr Speak- er, I rise to second the Motion………..
  • SPACE FOR APPENDIX - 10 a.m.

    SPACE FOR TABLE - PAGE 10 a.m.

    SPACE FOR TABLE - PAGE 10 a.m.

    SPACE FOR APPENDIX - 10 a.m.