Debates of 22 Dec 2014

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:45 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:45 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Members , Correction of the Votes and Proceedings.
  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 19th December, 2014.]
  • Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Hon Members, we have the Official Report of Thursday, 11th December, 2014 for correction.
    Official Report of Thursday 11 th December, 2014, any correction?
    rose
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh 10:45 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Column 2325, the last but one paragraph -
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Yes?
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 10:45 a.m.
    What I said was, “laws were put there to be respected”. The “laws” has been omitted. “Laws were put there to be respected”.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    You said the last but one paragraph?
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Which of the sentences?
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 10:45 a.m.
    The first sentence, Mr Speaker; “…were put there to be respected” should be “laws were put there to be respected”.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Column 2325?
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 10:45 a.m.
    The 2325 column - [Interruption] - No, column 2326, sorry.
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 10:45 a.m.
    Then the last paragraph, Mr Speaker, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “I would want to make an appeal to you that you add your voice, so that the DACF funds will be released on timeous basis to save the people of this country from grinding poverty.”
    It should be “g-r-o-u-n-d-i-n-g” not “grinding”
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Very well -
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 10:45 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker - [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    What?
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 10:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have been reliably informed that it should be “grinding”. So, I withdraw the second amendment made, respectfully.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    You are withdrawing the second correction?
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 10:45 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Hon Members, the Official Report of Thursday, 11th December, 2014 as corrected is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, do we have the estimates of the Electoral Commission and Parliament ready?
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 10:45 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. We have that of the Electoral Commis-sion; but that of Parliament is still in progress. So, we can lay that of the Electoral Commission.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Have you distributed them?
    Mr Agbesi 10:45 a.m.
    For the Electoral Commission, I think so - they have been distributed. [Interruption.] They have been put in Hon Members' pigeonholes this morning.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Hon Members , do you have the Report from the Electoral Commission? I do not have - [Interruption.] - I do not have.
    Hon Members, in my discussion with the Leadership this morning in my Lobby, what we want to do is to take those two estimates of Electoral Commission and Parliament. That will pave way for the laying of the Appropriation Bill. Then the Finance Committee can go and consider the Appropriation Bill. If there is any other matter, we will take it on the floor of the House or suspend Sitting; whichever way, depending on the kind of business that is available to be transacted on the floor of the House.
    Now, if we do not have those two estimates, we cannot lay the Appropria- tion Bill. If we do not have those two estimates taken, we cannot lay the
    Appropriation Bill. So, I need to be advised.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
    I have just been told by the de facto Chairman that the Reports are ready. They are about being printed. So I, with the indulgence of the House, we can do the laying of the two documents while we tidy up and come to present them in the House.
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Very well.
    Item number 5 (a) (i) on the Order Paper, by the Chairman of the Committee?
    PAPERS 10:55 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Item number 5 (a) (ii), on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee, Vice Chairman?
    By the Vice Chairman (Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu) (on behalf of the Chairman) -
    (ii) Report of the Special Budget
    Committee on the Annual Budget Estimates of Parliament for the year ending 31st December, 2015.
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, is the Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation here?
    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, item numbered 5 (c) on the Order Paper.
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Is item 5 (b) ready?
    Mr Chairman, is item number 5 (b) ready to be laid?
    Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah 10:55 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Members, item number 5 (b), by the Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee?
    By the Chairman of the Committee -
    Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Instrument,
    2014 (C.I. 85).
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Item number 5 (c), by the Leader of the delegation?
    By the Leader of the delegation (Mr Alfred K. Agbesi) -
    Report of the delegation of the Parliamentary Friendship Associa- tions Management Committee on the Study Visit to France.
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Item number 5 - No! We cannot take that one.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would want to take item number 5 (e) on the Order Paper [Interruptions.]
    Mr Speaker, I am told that item number 5 (e) is not ready but -
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, if you have not finished with your estimates, how can you lay the Appropriation Bill?
    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, item number 6 (b) - [Laughter.]
    Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker -
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, you have not caught my eye. [Pause.]
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know what this new procedure is.
    We have not looked at the estimates of Parliament and Electoral Commission. So, how can the Appropriation Bill be laid? [Interruption.] No! The Bill is -
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, I have made that statement that if we have not dealt with those two -
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:55 a.m.
    Exactly, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    We cannot lay the
    Appropriation Bill. I have already made that point.
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:55 a.m.
    The Hon Deputy Majority Leader is trying to lay a Bill. Is he anticipating what Parliament is going to do?
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, what is the next item we are laying?
    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, then the next item will be item number 7 on the Order Paper, the Electoral Commission estimates.
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority
    Leader, we have item number 6 (a) - the Minerals Development Fund Bill, 2014.
    Do you want it to be laid? [Pause.] Do you have it?
    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Minister
    for Defence is in the House. He can take item number 6 (a) on the Order Paper on behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources. With your permission and the indulgence of the House, if the Minister for Defence can lay the Paper on behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.
    Item number 6 (a) on the Order Paper?
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul — rose -
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Nitiwul 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know whether he can confirm that the Bill is ready; do they have it? When they distribute them, do we need to share subsequent copies? [Interruption]
    Where is the Bill?
    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Your question is whether I can confirm whether the Bill is ready and I am saying it is ready and the Minister for Defence is ready to lay it.
    Ankomah — rose
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Yes?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my professional Colleague, classmate and friend, I think probably, he has already got it. That is why he is trying to lay it. But my appeal to him is that he should tread cautiously, otherwise, this last day, he will come under too much pressure and he may collapse. [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Members, we have the Minerals Development Fund Bill.
    Mr Agbesi — rose -
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy
    Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, from the sentiments of the House, my Hon Colleagues do not have copies of the Bill --[Laughter] -- and that is why -
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, we have copies of the Bill. I have my copy here and I have checked from the Clerks-at-the-Table. We have copies of the Bill. So, unless there is a reason preventing its laying, we may go ahead to lay it. If you think that we should defer it -
    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker -
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, I am speaking.
    If you think we should defer it, I will do so. But it is on the Order Paper and you need to tell the Chair something. I have a copy of the Bill and I have checked from the Clerks-at-the-Table, there are enough copies. If you think that, as the Deputy Majority Leader in charge of Government Business, there is a reason we should not lay it, tell us, so that we will defer it.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am aware from the information available to me - but my Hon Colleague on the other side indicated -
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, it was a simple question. You know the rules, that there must be enough copies before it is laid - sufficient copies for distribution. They just want to get clarification from you whether there are enough copies.
    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, there are enough copies. But I do not know -- my Hon Colleagues are complaining. So, I seek your permission for the Minister for Defence to lay it on behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Members , presentation and First Reading of Bills,

    Minerals Development Bill, 2014.

    Hon Minister for Defence?
    BILLS - FIRST READING 10:55 a.m.

    Mr Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, for the Business of the House now, we could go on with the Motions.
    With your permission, if we can take the item regarding the Motion for the Electoral Commission - the estimates.
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority
    Leader, you did listen to what the Hon Minority Leader, who is the Vice Chairman of the Committee said that, they are running copies but you should allow it to be laid, so that when the document comes, they can distribute it to Hon Members. As of now, we do not have that.
    Hon Minority Leader, do we take the
    Youth Employment Agency Bill?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we came working on it this morning and we have not finished.
    Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    But the Minister too -
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
    I thought that we could rather suspend Sitting to enable us go and continue with the work on it.
    So, I would plead that at this juncture, with the indulgence of the House, we may have to suspend Sitting for a brief while to enable us finish with those two estimates -- Parliament and the Electoral Commission -- and come back to deal with that, and that will still give us some space to conclude work on the -
    Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Are you asking for suspension?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is so.
    Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Hon Members, I agree with you but before we go on suspension, if we could take item number 5 (c), the one laid by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader, as Leader of the delegation if we can take that Motion and one or two people will speak and we will adopt it. The document was distributed long ago.

    Sorry, the Hon Deputy Minority Leader No! you are a member of the delegation --

    Hon Members , we wi l l wan t to adopt this document as a working document two people and then we can take the suspension, get the documents if the Electoral Commission and the Parliament's documents are ready, then we will come back, take that and refer the Appropriation Bill to the Finance Committee and we could take other related matters.
    Mr Agbesi 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
    Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Hon Members, we will take item number 21 on the Order Paper Motion. We will take item number 20 first to suspend the Standing Orders and then you will move to item number 21
    Mr Issac Osei 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Item number 21 on the Order Paper Motion.
    MOTIONS 11:05 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Would you no t mention the other Members of the delegation? [Laughter.]
    Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh rose
    Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Hon Member for Manhyia South, do you have a point of order?
    Dr Prempeh 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a clarification you sought for the members of the delegation when the Hon Deputy Majority Leader started speaking But we are not only interested in the members. Who was the interpreter on behalf of our delegation? This is because the French Assembly is a French -speaking Assembly.
    Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Hon Member, you are completely out of order.
    Dr Prempeh 11:05 a.m.
    Membership and the interpreter.
    Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Please, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, hurry up and conclude
    Mr Agbesi 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Hon Members, what I intend doing is that, I will take one from each side and put the Question. This is because we need to suspend Sitting or we need to continue. There are two views coming up, so that we move on to --
    Hon Member for Wa West?
    Question proposed.
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh (NDC - Wa West) 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to support this Motion to adopt this Report.
    It is very important, because since I entered Parliament in 2005, the way we have formed friendship associations has left a lot to be desired.
    One, they leave a paper in the mails room and Hon Members just write their names. Sometimes, they do not even call for a meeting. When they call for a meeting, the attendance is very poor. But with this Report and with what has been recommended in the Report, it is very important that we have guidelines for doing so.
    We should also have an apex body
    by the Parliament of Ghana to issue guidelines how this should be done. Indeed, Hon Members who are interested in being friends to other countries need to get some basic information about those countries and show interest in them before they belong to the friendship association.
    It is important, as a Parliament, to be interested in what is going on in other countries, so that we can learn best practices from them. It is important also that we should make sure that we open our horizons, by looking at what is going on in the world. And if we have a study group, as is recommended - We can have a smaller group that can study a country or a geographical area, such that in the event of anything, we can advise government and the whole country on what is going on.
    I believe that the Report should not just be adopted and be left like that. We must act on it; it is very well recommended and I believe we should do so.
    Finally, Mr Speaker, this is something that is very progressive and we must continue to do so. Many of the associations never give a report; even when they visit, they do not bring us what they have gone to learn. It is important that we learn through this Report what is going on in other countries.
    Thank you very much for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Hon Member for Subin, then the Hon Member for Sekondi.
    Mr Isaac Osei (NPP - Subin) 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I commend this Report to Hon Members of this House.
    Mr Speaker, the purpose of this Report is to enable Parliament give structure and form to the friendship associations. The Report is very clear on how we form
    friendship associations.
    The Report, as has already suggested, that it is meant to promote democracy. In the promotion of democracy, it is not about whether one is in the Majority or Minority but at the beginning of every Session, the chairpersons of various associations are divided pro rata depending on the size of the caucus, so that if there are ten associations, it may well be that six should be chaired by the Majority and four by the Minority.
    Mr Speaker, in the selection of particular associations to various caucuses, it is important that the political bend of the various caucuses be borne in mind, so that for example, in our case, we may well find the Majority choosing Russia and China, while the Minority will choose the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA).This is just an example because of the political bend of the -
    Very important in the Report is the establishment of an Apex Management Body. It is that body which would receive and register these associations and it has been suggested here that we already have the structure of leadership in place and we may well decide that that is the apex body that we should use.
    Also, I think the friendship associa- tions certainly, as practised in France, gives real meaning to the concept of the State. So that if there is a visit by the President or the Speaker, for example, you take Hon Members of both sides. If the President is visiting, Hon Members of both sides within the particular association -
    The cardinal principle is that it fosters
    inter-parliamentary cooperation. This is because those who belong to the Iranian Association -- the Ghana-Iran Association, for example, will definitely
    be visiting Iran and they do so, at least, once a year and in some cases, twice a year. The only qualification is that the country has to be a member of the United Nations and our country, Ghana needs to have a diplomatic relationship.
    As has been suggested by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader, it is possible for associations to be established with some countries which do not have diplomatic relations with us. But that concept actually generates specialist interest. So, the friendship associations can generate individuals who have specific interest and knowledge about particular countries and I think all is good for us.
    With these few words, Mr Speaker, I urge all Hon Members of this House to support the Motion.
    Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Hon Member for Biakoye, then the Hon Member for Sekondi.
    Mr Emmanuel Kwesi Bandua (NDC - Biakoye) 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to this Motion.
    I also urge all Hon Members to support it. This is very important because these associations are structured in a way such that, at least, both sides of the House benefit. For instance, when there is no order in the way these associations are formed, what happens is that anybody gets into the mails room, puts down names and then Hon Members who are interested put down their names. But you will realise that even in the election of officers, sometimes, it is not done properly. Only a few people meet and select the few people to chair the association, particularly those who initiate the formation of the association and that is not good enough.
    In addition to this, these associations do
    Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP - Sekondi) 11:25 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    As other Hon Colleagues who have spoken previously, I support the Motion and urge the House to adopt it.
    And in doing so, I would want to make a few comments. I noted from the Report that there should be an apex managerial body, which will include the Leadership of this House and Mr Speaker.
    However, my personal experience in
    the affairs of this House shows that where Leadership qua the leaders are in charge of anything, getting things implemented is quite difficult because they have so much on their heads. I do not want to give too many examples. I would have thought that in this case, we would encourage the deputies to take charge of it, so that we may get results when it comes to implementation of the recommendations in this Report, as soon as possible.
    Mr Speaker, on a larger issue, we are talking about Parliamentary Friendship Associations but Parliament itself, as an institution, is a member of international bodies such as Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Pan African Parliament and so forth. But my experience is that, in all these international associations, Ghana has not been able to make much of an impact because representation there has become ad hoc.
    A member who may be interested in these and may learn the rules for some time, by virtue of the change in the position he holds in Parliament, no longer attends. So, for many years, even in the Common Wealth Parliamentary Associa- tion, we have not had a Member from Ghana who has been considered for the highest position.
    If you look at the CPA now, the head is a former member of the Zambian Parliament because he had continuously participated in the activities of this Parliament. We have Members here who have served for over twenty, sixteen or eight years. Invariably, none of them is someone who is well known in any of these Associations.
    So, while commending the Committee for its recommendations, Mr Speaker, I urge that we do likewise for the international associations of which Parliament is a member, so that the impact of our democratic governance will find expression at the international level.
    Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Members, I thought
    I was going to conclude - Very well, two minutes.
    rose
    Minister for Defence (Dr Benjamin B. N. Kunbuor) (MP) 11:25 a.m.
    Sorry, Mr Speaker. I just wanted to -
    Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Members, at times, when former, Leaders are on their feet, you have to recognise them.
    Dr Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Iwould want to make one or two corrections.
    I agree entirely with the concerns expressed by the Hon Member of Parliament for Sekondi. But it is also significant to notice that we have had a permanent member in the Planning and Review Committee, in the person of the Hon Minority Leader, in the IPU, and he has been involved in that activity for quite some time. I also remember that my good- self chaired the Legal Committee of CPA until I left; and I was also one of the members in charge of the training of new parliamentarians, which I had performed in four countries. So, it is all not too bad, but we should encourage that people should go to higher offices.
    Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the debate.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Members, on your behalf, I sincerely thank the Hon Members of the delegation for work well done. Indeed, for almost twenty-two years in the life of this Parliament, this is the first time we are taking bold steps to formalise and develop guidelines for the formation of
    friendship associations. I am most grateful to all of you.
    Hon Minority Leader, we had early on agreed that after this Motion, we suspend Sitting to go and finalise work on the Bill that you are working on. But there is another view coming in, that we can proceed with what has been done now. I do not know what your view is but we do not have the two estimates. I learnt you have done a lot of work on the Bill. So, another view is coming in, that we should take this period to start working on the Bill while we wait for the two estimates. Or should we suspend Sitting, so that when we resume, we then finish with everything?
    Mr Agbesi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, at this stage, you have to suspend the House to let us get the necessary Papers in order before we come back and continue with the business.
    Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    For how long?
    Mr Agbesi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, at least, for
    an hour.
    Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    An hour?
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the application is for the suspension of the Sitting of the House and not the House. This is because that seriously will amount to a coup d'état. He said you should suspend the House and you are not suspending the House but the Sitting of the House.
    Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Members, we are going to suspend Sitting for an hour and I hope that when we come back, the Reports of the Electoral Commission Estimates and that of Parliament would be ready, then we can also have the Appropriations Bill laid. Also I expect those working on the Youth Employment Bill to finalise the amendments, so that we can start serious work and have the House adjourned in good time.
    Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, I have a copy of the Report of the Special Budget Committee on the 2015 Annual Estimates of the Electoral Commission. I hope Hon Member have it? So, that is item numbered 7 on the Order Paper.
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES 11:25 a.m.

    Majority Leader (Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin) 11:25 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢35,700,455 for the services of the Electoral Commission, for the year ending 31st December, 2015.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, in terms of the Motion Paper, and the Report of the Committee -- I am seeking your permission, Mr Speaker, to allow Hon Prof George Yaw Gyan-Baffour to present the Report of the Committee in support of the Motion and I reserve the right to wind up the debate.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Member for Wenchi?
    Prof. George Y. Gyan-Baffour (NPP--Wenchi) 11:25 a.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    I think the Hon Majority Leader is right. My name is Yaw. That is it. I was born on Thursday. So it is Yaw. He is right.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in doing, that I would want to submit the Report of the Committee.
    Introduction
    The Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth E. Terkper presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December, 2015 to Parliament on Wednesday, 19thNovember, 2014 in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.
    Pursuant to Order 140(4) of the Standing Orders of the House, the annual budget estimates of the Electoral Commission (EC) were referred to the Committee on Special Budget for consideration and report.
    The Committee subsequently met with the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Hon Ato C. B. Forson, the Chief Director and officials from the Ministry of Finance, and officials from the Electoral Commis-sion in the consideration of the estimates.
    The Committee expresses its apprecia- tion to the officials for their inputs at the meeting.
    Reference Documents
    The Committee referred to the following documents in the discharge of its duties:
    a. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana
    b. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana
    c. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern- ment of Ghana for the 2014 financial year.
    d. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern- ment of Ghana for the 2015 financial year.
    Mission Statement
    As per its establishing statutes, article 43 (1) of the 1992 Constitution and Act 451, 1993, the EC is to organise and supervise all public elections and referenda to advance the course of democracy and good governance through free, fair and transparent elections.
    The goal of the Electoral Commission
    The goal of the Commission is to be an institution adequately resourced, staffed with professionally trained and motivated personnel, totally independent in the performance of its functions and dedicated to efficient delivery of free, fair and transparent elections to advance the cause of democracy and good governance for sustainable development. Core functions of the Electoral Commision
    The core functions of the Electoral Commission are to:
    i. compile the register of voters and revise it at such periods as may be determined by law;
    ii. demarcate the electoral boun- daries for both national and local government election;
    iii. conduct and supervise all public elections and referenda;
    iv. educate the people on the electoral process and its purpose;
    v. undertake programmes for expansion of the registration of voters;
    vi. store properly election materials; and
    vii. perform such other functions as may be prescribed
    by law
    Performance in 2014
    For the implementation of its pro- grammes and activities in the 2014 financial year, an amount of one hundred and forty-one million, eighty-two thousand, one hundred and seven Ghana cedis (GH¢141,082,137.00) was allocated to the Commission.
    However, due to the scheduled Districts and Units Level Elections (DLEs), Parliament approved a total sum of three hundred and twenty-seven million, one hundred and seventy-nine thousand, seven hundred and twelve Ghana cedis (GH¢327,179,712.00) to the Commission to enable it conduct the DLEs. The breakdown of the total allocation and actual releases as at September are shown in Table1:
    Table 1 2014 Total approved Allocation
    against Actual Releases as at September
    SPACE FOR TABLE 11:25 a.m.

    SPACE FOR TABLE 11:25 a.m.

    Dr A. A. Osei (NPP - Old Tafo) 1:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have just read the Committee's Report and an assurance by the Ministry of Finance that upon “reasonable request”,
    an amount of GH¢109 million will be made available to the EC. We are not told for what specific purposes; whether it is for wages, goods and services or capital expenditure.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at the lined item for general goods and services, there is an amount of GH¢108 million for wages, GH¢369 million for goods and services and GH¢315 million for capital expenditure (Capex). Then a huge amount of GH¢ 835 million from donors. I need to know under which of these items we are getting the GH¢109 million from.
    Ideally, the Electoral Commissioner should have proposed the distribution in terms of wage, goods and services and capital expenditure. As it is, it says, an amount of GH¢109 million from General Government Services (GGS). Under wages, we have GH¢108 million. So, it cannot be wages. Is it for goods and services? I am not too comfortable with this arrangement. I know that it is out of convenience and with time constraint, we want to go this route.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to suggest that it is not the best way. Ideally, we should have reallocated, such that it is guaranteed that they will have it -- Yes, it will mean changing the appropriations but that way, it will be guaranteed.
    If I ask where the GH¢109 million is coming from - which lined item? We ought to know. All it says is that, it has been made under that and if and when they request reasonably - Under where? Is it donors, capital expenditure or goods and services?
    rose
    Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Hon Member for Manhyia South, do you have a point of order?
    Dr Prempeh 1:45 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    I would want the Hon Member for Old Tafo to elucidate further what he is talking about. This is because, as far as the GH¢109 million is concerned, it was part and parcel of the EC's budget for the District Assembly Level Election last year, which we used the Appropriation formula time to ask the Hon Minister for Finance to provide money for.
    That assembly election has been postponed to this year. That is why that specific amount we were told at the Committee -- So, it is neither for compensation nor for anything. It is towards the district election, that was factored in last year's and it has been carried over. Maybe, the Hon Minister for Finance can answer it better but it is not salary. It is not to do with this year's EC budget per se.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me try and bring my Hon Colleague's attention to page 171 of the Budget Statement.
    First of all, there is nowhere in the budget that says that, we appropriated it last year and we are continuing. It does not exist. The Hon Member should look
    Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Hon Member for Wenchi?
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Old Tafo is right on that. The Report did not explain that one. But if we can look at Table 2 on page 6, what we
    will realise is that, the difference between what has really been requested for and what was given is about GH¢107 million. That is the one that the Hon Minister for Finance, in his explanation to us at the Committees, is trying to make up for.
    A bit of it will be for compensation; a chunk of it will be for goods and services and then for assets as well. So, it is broken down in that form but because he wants it to be based on real request, he did not break them down in that proportion.
    Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Hon Member for Wenchi, I was going to ask you to clarify Table 2 that you have just drawn our attention to. The EC requirement that was submitted to Government was GH¢143,084,203. The Motion now is giving them GH¢35,700,455. If you look at the difference, you have GH¢107,383,748. So, where is the GH¢109 million coming from?
    If you look at the GH¢107 million, it has been programmed. So, where is the GH¢109 million coming from? Is it more than what the EC itself is requesting? I am not too clear about that. So, maybe, you can -
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if -
    Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Let him clarify this for
    me because he referred us to that table.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:45 p.m.
    Yes, I am taking off from there.
    Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Very well.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if that is the case, then what we ought to do is to simply add the fact for GH¢107 million not the GH¢109 million. For the difference, GH¢2.7 million will come out of the GSS of GH¢108 million. That is what they are saying and we should not doubt them. Then we do the breakdown as is indicated.
    I know that GH¢69 million will come
    from the line item that says GH¢369 million, so that EC cannot then come later and say, they want GH¢80 million of goods and services when they themselves need GH¢69 million. They will only take to the GH¢107 million, not the GH¢109 million. That is the difference. This is because, if this breakdown is -
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Because you use the GH¢107 million, it answers the issue to a very large extent. Then we know the programmes for the breakdown that you raised in your submission. If it is not the GH¢107 million but the GH¢109 million, then it becomes another matter.
    Hon Member for Wenchi, are you getting the point?
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am getting the point.
    Mr Speaker, the Committee actually made that clear in page (8), 9.3, the “implication of the 2015 allocation to the Electoral Commission”. Mr Speaker, if you read from line (3), it says;
    “However, the Ministry assured the Committee of a Discretionary Fund of GH¢109,000,000.00 in the General Government Services Votes to take care of elections related expenditure. This means that a total of GH¢144,700,455 which exceeds the requirement of GH¢143,084,203.00 has been provided…”.
    So, the earmarked figure is even more than what they originally required. But the reason that they gave to us is that, they do not want to tie it to the EC directly because they think that -
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    When you use the GH¢109, then the point that the
    Hon Member for Old Tafo is raising becomes very relevant. Then what is the breakdown? What are they going to use it for? How does Parliament perform its oversight over the allocation to EC itself. Then you will have to give us the breakdown of the GH¢109 million; that is the argument that the Hon Member is making. If you use the GH¢107 million, then we know the breakdown in your own Report at page 6 table 2, then the issue that the Hon Member is raising about breakdown will not crop up at all. If you make it GH¢109 million, then his question that he is raising about what is the breakdown of the GH¢109 million, becomes very relevant.
    Prof Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you are right. The basis of the GH¢109 million. as for that one, the Minister for Finance should be able to tell us because that is what he had actually -
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Parliament should not be interested in the GH¢109 million; Parliament should be interested in the GH¢107 million. This is because the breakdown is here and therefore, we can hold the Ministry of Finance responsible and we can also hold the EC responsible in the performance of our oversight. But if you use the GH¢109 million that the Hon Minister for Finance is assuring the House, then you will have to give us a breakdown of the GH¢109 million under the various programmes. That is the point the Hon Member for Old Tafo is raising.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 a.m.
    Can I offer an amendment that I think can take us forward?
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Maybe, as an explana- tion.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the main reason according to the Minister for Finance did not want to break it down is that, he wants to earmark that amount and that he will only release when there
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.


    is a reasonable request; that is what we explained.
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Hon Member for Wenchi, the concept of “reasonable request” is not known to this House. Let us be very, very careful and know exactly what we are doing. This is because we will be given a blank cheque that we cannot monitor and perform our oversight responsibility over. Immediately we talk about GH¢109 million, we will ask for a breakdown. What about if they decide to use it for GH¢109 million which is not known to Parliament?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think if the Hon de facto Chairman does not mind, it will make matters easier for us if we amend the Report on page 6. I beg to quote:
    “However, a discretionary provi- sion of GH¢107,383,748.00 has been made to cover the difference in the General Government Services Votes as displayed in table 2 and we would only be given upon a request from the EC”
    The EC, for example, cannot write to the Hon Minister and say that “I need GH¢80 million for goods and services” when he himself says he needs 69. This GH¢109 million matter, we cannot justify because this is what they requested.
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    I think that if we resolve this matter, we can make progress.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if that will resolve it, yes, I do not have a problem with that. In actual fact, there was a history behind this GH¢109 million but in order not to go into that history -
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    So, you are keeping the history; you should tell the House. [Laughter.]
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.
    In order not to go into that history, let us amend -
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Oh, I see. [Laughter.]
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.
    There is a history to this GH¢109 and that is why [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, in order to avoid any controversy, I am going to amend it to say that -
    rose
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi, before I call the Finance Minister.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.
    That is on page 8 - Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Yes, if the Committee agrees to do the amendment, then we will do it. But let me hear from the Hon Member for Sekondi first.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think it is early days yet to be talking about the amendment. I would rather suggest that after the debate, before the Question is put, if no new issues have arisen, as regards the figure, then the change is made.
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    It is not affecting the figure in the Motion at all.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you are right; it is not going to affect the Motion.
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Yes, it is not going to affect the Motion.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.
    But if the sense of the House is that it should reflect what is in table 2, I am going to make an amendment to the Report on page 6, paragraph 8.0 and the line that starts with “However, a discretionary provision…” it should read:
    “However, a discretionary provi-
    sion of GH¢107,383,748.00 has been made to cover the difference in the General Government Services Votes for elections related activities, to be accessed upon reasonable request by the EC”.
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Your amendment is that wherever you see the “GH¢109” -
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:55 a.m.
    You should replace it by “GH¢107,383,748.00.”
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Absolutely. Then it becomes a consequential amendment to the Report?
    Yes, Hon Member for Bekwai, let me hear you.
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu 1:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not think that will still solve the problem. This House is approving the -
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Then let me give you the chance to make your submission at the appropriate time.
    Mr Osei-Owusu 1:55 a.m.
    Very well.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if that amendment is effected, then on page 8, the figure of GH¢144 million should also disappear, so that the requirement we are talking about is the GH¢143,084,203.00.
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Yes.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 a.m.
    That wi l l be consequential. Mr Speaker, I brought that amendment and I think it is neater, so that we do not go into why do you give them GH¢109 when they need GH¢107? I hear there is a history but we will not go there; it may get into all kinds of things.
    Mr Speaker, if we do that and somebody says they do not want the word “discretion”, I do not know how we are going to handle that. We should direct the Hon Minister for Finance as when needed. So, if we say “discretion”, are we saying
    that if he does not want to give them, then he will not?
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    No! As far as we are concerned as Parliament of Ghana, the money is there except that it is not in the Vote of the EC -- that is the General Government Services, yes. This is because it is an assurance he has given to this House and it is captured by the Committee's Report.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 a.m.
    My understanding is that “upon request”, they will “release”. I thought the discretion gives some room and if that is what we want to do, let us say it. But I thought that the Committee is said we should not give them room if it is for the district elections? That is the point I thought the Committee made, that as long as it is for elections, the money must be provided. Then the word “discretion” should not appear here, because we are appropriating it just under the Ministry of Finance. So, he has to release upon request for the elections. If that notion is clear, I do not have any difficulty.
    Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
    Hon Member, thank you very much.
    Hon Member for Sekondi, after that Hon Member for Bekwai.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NNP -- Sekondi) 2:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, for those of us who are not too knowledgeable about financial matters, we understand an approval by Parliament of a sum for an agency to be exactly that sum that has to be appropriated.
    I looked at the Motion, and it says that we should approve of GH¢ 35,700,455. I looked at the Report and Mr Speaker, your Committee is recommending that we do not appropriate the GH¢107 million; that is the difference to the budget of the EC. But to a large chunk of money, which I
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NNP -- Sekondi) 2:05 a.m.


    consider to be also very discretional. I mean, that is what it is.

    However, in my view, this may not be the best way to go. If the Committee is convinced that the sum is needed, let it recommend that we change the figure that has to be appropriated. To say that it will affect the appropriation -- after all, it is figures, and that is why the House is there. We can change the figures if we desire. But there is also a problem, Mr Speaker, that I have with the EC. I have a big problem.

    As far as I am concerned, it is becoming more and more unaccountable. Year in and year out, we may have problems with elections, but the EC never takes responsibility for it. It gives excuses. Because it is an independent organisation, no one wants to touch it. If we believe that they need that much money, well, let us appropriate it to them. But let us ensure that the money is used for the purpose for which it is being appropriated.

    If it is misused, those responsible should suffer the consequences. But this idea of; ‘Well, if the EC really needs it, it should be released”, I do not even understand that concept. It is contrary to all notions of strict budgetary allocation and oversight of Parliament. If it will not change the overall figure, then let us do it, and make sure that they do not abuse it. That is my understanding of the purpose of this whole exercise that we are undertaking. Considering the fact that the EC is a very important institution, it ought to be given the resources to enable it discharge its constitutional duty.

    That is really its duty, and should be held accountable. After all, if they make a request, and the request is not considered to be justified, the Minister for Finance has to come to Parliament, or a Committee of Parliament or Special Budget Committee and explain to us, and the Committee, together with the Ministry will find a way.

    But then, the Committee will be acting for and on behalf of Parliament.

    But this whole idea of having this sort of loose arrangement, gives room for both Government and the EC to do whatever they think is necessary for them, and it deprives this particular House of the power of constant oversight of the performance of various departments and agencies.

    I do not have any problem with it, but let them explain it further to us, especially those of us who are a little unfamiliar with the budgetary processes. In my view, now 107, 104 or whatever, if it is not allocated, it is an understanding. Since when -- and Mr Speaker, we must be frank with ourselves -- has anyone been held responsible for failing to comply with certain understandings that have been given to this House? So, what are we doing?

    Thank you very much Mr Speaker.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 2:05 a.m.
    I thought you should
    listen to the Hon Member for Bekwai, before you come in?
    Yes, Hon Member for Bekwai.
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP-- Bekwai) 2:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am trying not to repeat what my Hon senior Colleague, Papa Owusu-Ankomah has said, because a lot of the things I conceived, he has spoken to them.
    But I think the issue of independence of the Electoral Commission should guide us not to place them at the discretion of anybody. And that, for the exercise or for their function, they have set out the things they need. Our responsibility is to appropriate those sums, so that they can perform the functions. This issue of the
    money is available, apply to me, anytime you apply, you may be refused and if you are refused, even if it is unlikely, if it does happen, what happens to their functions?
    If you read the Report, you will find that their budget was put in disarray because of certain economic changes. What they used to budget for, their imports and the foreign exchange, misbehaviour that occurred in the earlier part of the year has affected their budget. The fuel price fluctuations have affected their budget. So long as there is a danger that a discretionary application may cause delays, there is also the real likelihood of causing a delay in the election itself.
    I would want to align myself with my Hon senior Colleague, the Hon Member for Sekondi that our duty is to appropriate them. Let us add the broken down expenditure; what they have shown they would need for the elections put together, appropriate it formally, so that the Minister's discretion is taken away.
    Mr Speaker, that is my contribution.
    Mr Speaker 2:05 a.m.
    Hon Minister for Finance, do you want to come in before the Hon Member for Wenchi? Let us hear the Hon Member for Wenchi, then I will call you.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 2:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond to some of these things.
    Actually, I am not holding brief for the Minister for Finance, but there are certain institutions like the EC and National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), whose budget follow a certain cycle.
    In certain years that there are no elections, they will get normal budget, but in years that there are elections, their budgets are special and they go up. This
    particular year; 2015, actually, if we had followed the calendar properly, it would not have been a year for elections. The elections were supposed to have been last year. Because of the changes that came about, Local Government elections have actually shifted into 2015. I think that is the source of the whole thing.
    The GH¢35 million that has been allocated was actually for the normal budget of the EC in a non-election year. But the elections are now in 2015. That is why that GH¢107 has arisen. So, we have to look at this budget in context of that. Next year, we will see that it may even shoot higher because of the 2016 elections. But the Hon Minister is saying, alright, we could not do it last year, so we are going to do it next year.
    There are certain things that they still will need, even though they have covered a lot of the things in the previous year this year. So, whenever you need it, you come and tell me and I will give you the resources. That is what this GH¢107 is about.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 2:05 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minister for
    Finance?
    Minister for Finance (Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper) 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for this interesting and very insightful debate on the Report. I will try to be brief.
    Mr Speaker, in respect ing the independence of certain organisations as required by the Constitution, there is also a very important constitutional duty which we have to perform for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), with respect to the total expenditure of Government. In addressing an element of the Committee's Report, where waivers are requested for setting aside the chart of accounts or the GIFMIS, Parliament will not also be able to report to the nation adequately on the

    specific nature of expenditure, which is the point I understand the Hon Ranking Member has made.

    That at the estimates stage, which is budget procedure, it is important for all expenditure to be as precise as possible. We are moving even in areas such as non- road arrears, we have begun to allocate them to the specific institutions under the chart of accounts and other accounting requirements, which this House has approved, to improve the public financial management system.

    Therefore, it is important that we respect the independence of institutions and I do say so in cognisance of the fact I am addressing Parliament, which is one of those bodies.

    But at the same time, we must be able to also classify the expenditures properly. In order that when it comes to the PAC stage, first, the Controller and Attorney-General will be able to prepare the public accounts and the PAC will be able to perform its functions and report.

    The second point -
    Mr Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:15 p.m.
    On a point
    of order.
    Mr Speaker, It appears to me - probably because of my lack of indepth understanding of chart accounts and the like -- that the Hon Minister may be misleading the House.
    From my understanding, Mr Speaker,
    is the Hon Minister suggesting that we cannot include the GH¢ 107 million in their account because if we do that we cannot prepare proper public accounts?
    An Hon Member 2:15 p.m.
    No! That is not what he said.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:15 p.m.
    That is my
    understanding. Probably, the Hon Ranking Member understands it because he has been in the Ministry of Finance; that is my problem - [Laughter] - Yes, that is the statement he made, that because of chart of accounts, we have to prepare public accounts and so forth. Why?
    If they need GH¢107 million and you add it to what it is, why can they not account for it when it comes to public accounts?
    That is why I am saying that if there is a problem, Parliament - even though the EC is independent, exercises oversight in the long run in respect of its accounts - appropriation. So, if it will create a problem, let the Special Budget Committee work together with the Ministry of Finance when it comes to some of these things --
    rose
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, at the risk of not trying to speak for the Hon Minister, what I thought the Hon Minister said was that, as Parliament, it is not wise to say, “We give them GH¢107 million for whatever?” We know that they need about GH¢ 2.7 million for wages; let us attach it. That is all the Hon Minister is saying. If they need GH¢ 69 million additionally for goods and services, then let us pin them down. But he is saying that, that is the only way we can oversee properly.
    But if we give GH¢ 107 million, and they say they spent it on wages, what will we do? I think that is all he means.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:15 p.m.
    Why did he not say it that way? -- [Laughter] - That is my problem. I do not have a problem with it. But he said that if we do not do it and do it some other way, we cannot account for it properly. He should provide the software to take account of this; that is all.
    Mr Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Yes?
    Mr Terkper 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, precisely so. The Hon Ranking Member has demystify the point.
    The point is, in making estimates, a
    table is a table, travel is travel, and all institutions must present the estimates as detailed as possible; as he said.
    Mr Speaker, the institutions have Accountants and Budget Officers who help them to do it. Therefore, we are not asking too much of these institutions.
    The second point was made by the Hon Prof. Gyan-Baffour.
    Mr Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    The Hon Majority Leader will wind up. When he moved the Motion, he indicated the right of reply. And it was because certain issues were raised, that I thought that you would clarify it. But the person in charge of the Motion is the - yes. So, -
    Mr Terkper 2:15 p.m.
    I am only clarifying the points that were raised.
    Mr Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Very well. Then do so.
    Mr Terkper 2:15 p.m.
    I have two other points.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:15 p.m.
    I am sorry.
    Mr Speaker, I see that it is 2 2:15 p.m.
    20 p.m., but I never heard you say that we will Sit outside the prescribed hours.
    I do not know, maybe, you said it and I did not catch it.
    Mr Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Well, under the rules, either I say it or you do. We both have not said it - [Laughter] - Look at the rule, if I do not say it, you have to say it.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not want to move, that this House do now adjourn. I know that the nature of the Business is that, we will have to Sit beyond the prescribed hours. I am just drawing our attention, so that you will let it be on record.
    Mr Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Very well. I so direct - [Laughter.]
    Yes?
    Mr Terkper 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the second point has been addressed and the Ministry will work with these institutions on expenditures which are extraordinary and tend to be less precise. When it comes to election, it is very difficult to project even what donors will present at the very last moment as their contribution.
    The last one, Mr Speaker, is also that the Constitution and the Financial Administration Act (FAA) have mecha- nisms for taking care of expenditures like forest losses and other changes through the supplementary budget.
    Therefore, that is the appropriate means by which we come to the House to make those adjustments. I would like to bring this to the attention of committees, that there is a set down procedure which is used to cater for these changes as they occur.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 2:15 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I would want to take this opportunity to thank Hon Members for supporting the Motion, and raising the issues that really confronted the Committee.
    Mr Speaker, the Motion is asking the amount that was approved before the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    In other words, you are informing the House that the GH¢107,000,000 or the GH¢109,000,000 was not subjected to the normal pre-budget hearing at the Ministry of Finance? They did not do that?
    Mr Bagbin 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is the
    GH¢109,000,000.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Yes! They did not do that?
    Mr Bagbin 12:25 p.m.
    They did not do that.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Very well.
    My Bagbin: Mr Speaker, that is the issue that Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah raised, that the Electoral Commission should go through the normal budgetary process and prove their budget provision. I think that was why we said, this is what the Ministry has gone through; they have vetted, scrutinised and agreed that they needed it for the year. Let us, as a House, approve that amount of GH¢35,700,455.00 and leave it at that. That is the amount they are requesting to be approved by the House. That is the amount of GH¢35,700,455.00.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was hoping that the de jure Chairman would tell us about the history that he is referring to. He said that there is some history; we are all at a loss. What history? [Interruption.] He has given us a bit of it. So, there is more. He should feed us. [Laughter.]
    rose
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:25 p.m.
    I am sorry Mr Speaker, if I seem to be dragging this matter. But we should not be treating
    any agency with kid's gloves. That is the problem that I, as a representative of Sekondi Constituency, think has been happening with the Electoral Commission
    (EC).
    Probably, having regard to what the Chairman of the Committee said, the EC needed to be invited at a Committee of the Whole so that we discuss some of these matters. I feel strongly about it.
    Mr Bagbin 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, rightly so. I, as the Chairman, together with my Colleagues, did not treat them with “kid's gloves”. We actually reprimanded them at the meeting. [Interruption.] That is something that is critical to the approval of their estimates. So, we did not approve that. But the Hon Minister, represented by his deputy, was really not only taken aback but very furious. He was furious before the Committee. He wondered how they could treat the Ministry that way, as though the Ministry was just denying them of their legitimate provision.
    That was the picture they are painted to the Committee. So, it was really quite heated and we did not leave the Electoral Commission just to go like that. We gave them a lot of tongue lashing and I hope that they will sit up and do a better job.
    Mr Speaker, we thank Hon Members for their contribution. [Interruption.] We are calling on the House to unanimously approve the amount of GH¢35,700,455.00 as the budget for the next financial year for the Electoral Commission.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, I think the explanation and the clarification given by the Hon Majority Leader have resolved some of the doubts some of us had on reading the Report.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢35,700,455 for the services of the Electoral Commission for the year ending 31st December, 2015.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    The other amount, which is GH¢107,383,748, if they want to take it, it must be subject to the process.
    Item number 8? Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, before I move the Motion, I think there is a typographical error in the figure they are requesting to be approved for the Services of Parliament. The figure as captured in the Report should rather read: “GH¢187,194,572” not “GH¢187,194,527”.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Very well.
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES 12:25 p.m.

    Chairman of the Special Budget Committee (Mr A. S. K. Bagbin) 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢185,194,572 for the services of Parliament for the year ending 31st December, 2015.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move the Motion in accordance with the terms on the Motion Paper and with the Report that will be submitted by Hon Prof. George Yaw Gyan-Baffour.
    Ranking Member (Prof. George Y.
    Gyan-Baffour): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in the process, I submit the Report of the Committee.
    Introduction
    The Hon Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth E. Terkper presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government
    SPACE FOR TABLE 12:25 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    But Hon Members, before I open the floor, I will like to make
    one point clear.
    When I became the Speaker, I was informed that the decision was taken by our predecessor Board, that the Leadership should take charge with regard to the furnishing of the place, and the Clerk has referred that matter to the Leadership to do -- the foyer, the lobbies and all those things. My Board is not prepared to review that decision of my predecessor Board.
    I have left that matter entirely to the Leadership of the House, because those places are entirely for Hon Members. As much as possible, the Leadership should take charge and get those things done.
    When they bring anything - anytime they are ready, the Board will process it for them. I will like to place that on record.
    If the Leaders are unable to do that, they should let me know. But until then, the decision has been taken that they should take charge of furnishing those places.
    Yes, Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations?
    Question proposed.
    Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) (MP) 2:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to associate myself with the Motion for the approval of that sum of money as was quoted by Prof. Gyan- Baffour.
    Mr Speaker, just to refer him to page 2 of the Committee's Report, I do have difficulties with:
    “Strengthening the capacity of Parliament to perform its legislative financial function effectively and
    efficiently;”
    Mr Speaker, I am not aware that Parliament performs a financial function. I do have a difficulty. Even if we perform a related function, that must be defined properly. But to say “Strengthening the capacity of Parliament to perform its financial function”, what financial function does Parliament perform?
    Mr Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    Special oversight functions.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 2:35 p.m.
    Absolutely. So, I thought that a very important word was -
    Mr Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    Financial oversight
    function.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 2:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, to just add that, I have seen somewhere, another paragraph where the process must be strengthened between Parliament and the Ministry of Finance and to urge that for instance, the completion of our office accommodation must be seen as a matter of priority.
    Every year, when we keep investing in a particular infrastructure, which is not being used, it does raise some questions.
    Mr Speaker, finally, page 5, paragraph 5.5, State of the Nation Address. We only find a paragraph which says that H.E. the President Mr John Dramani Mahama delivered a message on the state of the nation.
    I do know that, as a matter of formality, we normally would convey a thank you to the President, together with the issues that are raised by Hon Members of Parliament. We do not just leave the paragraph standing as if the Statement was just delivered to the House. The House worked on the Statement, and we would report on what work we did on the Statement in terms of constructive criticism and others.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 2:35 p.m.


    With these few comments Mr Speaker, I associate myself with the Motion.
    Mr Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    Hon Member for Manhyia South?
    Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (NPP - Manhyia South) 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion with a few words.
    The job of Parliament is to oversight keenly the Executive, which is one of our key functions. If we oversight the Executive but we are constrained by the Executive for funds to oversight it and we just take it like that, because there is no money, Mr Speaker, it undermines our single obligation to the people of Ghana, to exercise proper, effective and efficient oversight.
    Mr Speaker, if Parliament's budget is 0.45 per cent of the total Government's budget, how can we provide any effective oversight over such an overburdened Executive? If the Leadership of the House should go to His Excellency the President to negotiate how much is going to be given to us, ab initio, we have abdicated our oversight responsibility. Imagine that the Leadership of the House is going to His Excellency the President, John Dramani Mahama to get money to make sure he does the right thing, will he give us the money?
    Mr Speaker, I have in my hand a copy of Parliament's budget. Even if that had been 100 per cent approved, it will represent less than one per cent of Government's budget and we could not be given? When we compare ourselves to any West African coast, this Parliament of Ghana is short-changed. Even the one that has been approved, the releases are another thing. The Committee's work cannot go on.
    Mr Speaker, I pray that by the time the four year tenure of this Parliament is over under your Speakership, we would have instituted a measure, such that this idea that a paltry 0.5 per cent of Government revenue, Government expenditure, Government budget should go to Parliament for oversight, will not be scaled down by His Excellency's signature.
    Mr Speaker, it needs some of us to go out there and start talking about the fact that the President does not want Parliament to work. It is not in the interest of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama for this Parliament to exercise oversight of him. That is why he will cut your budget and that is why he has cut your budget. And that is why the Hon Minister for Finance will not listen. This is because, he has helped the President in cutting our budget.
    Mr Speaker, we have to -
    Mr Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, the President made recommendations under the law, the Parliamentary Service (Amendment) Act. The Judiciary has suffered the same fate; the Audit Service has also suffered the same fate. It made recommendations. The President made recommendation. So, we must be very fair to the President. He made recommenda- tions.
    Dr Prempeh 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, whether the President in making the recommendation thought about effective oversight, is another issue. If we are going to allow the President to cut the Judiciary's budget; if we are going to allow the President to cut the Parliament's budget -- but nowhere did we hear the President cutting the Executive's budget. Do we have any evidence that his budget has been cut?
    Actually, they are overspending.
    Mr Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think to be fair to ourselves, we have always had committees say on the floor of this House that, we made a request for so much, yet they did not agree. They cut it and committees will come and recommend that if possible they should look for supplementary resources. So, if the Hon Member is saying it, then we should, as committees, stop that sort of recommendation to the House. Office of Government Machinery -- I am a member of the Finance Committee. It is almost always the same. We all complain but Parliament is different, and that one I agree with my Hon Colleague.
    Dr Prempeh 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the issue I am talking about, I have in my hand a letter dated 12th November, 2014 - [Interruption]
    Alhaji Ibrahim Dey Abubakari 2:45 p.m.
    Where is the letter?
    Dr Prempeh 2:45 p.m.
    Yes, I willd submit it if you want. I am not sure you are daring me here.
    Mr Speaker, the President has said 2:45 p.m.
    “…based upon available resources, I recommend to the House for the approval of the sum of one hundred and eighty-five million…”
    When we merely requested for GH¢267.00. If you look at the cut, it is nearly 30 per cent. Mr Speaker should stand up for Parliament. This House should never again tolerate His Excellency the President treating Parliament as his handkerchief --
    Mr Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, I have been privy to certain information which has not been captured in the Committee's Report. The Leadership of the House has been in consultation with the Office of the President, led by the Hon Majority Leader, who under the Parliamentary Service Act is the liaison between this House and the Office of the President and Cabinet, to try and negotiate this.
    I think that it has not been captured in the Report on this matter, and as a member of the Committee, I thought you had been briefed at the Committee level.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you said that by the Parliamentary Service Act, the Majority Leader is the liaison? No! It is the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. The Hon -
    Mr Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    The Leader of the House.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr Prempeh 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, can I continue?
    Mr Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    No! please. The Majority Leader is on his feet.
    Mr Bagbin 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to urge and call on my Hon Colleague, Hon Matthew Opoku Prempeh to withdraw that phrase that the President cannot use Parliament like his “handkerchief.”
    Dr Prempeh 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I withdraw that phrase. Obviously, we are being treated as a second fiddle.
    I withdraw and I apologise to the House for using a phrase they do not like.
    But Mr Speaker, we are being treated as a second fiddle. I am looking for the Majority Leader to show me a letter like this, signed by His Excellency, that when we did the budget for the Executive this year, our budget should have been -
    Mr Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    Hon Member for Manhyia South, you know that the law that we are relying on, which applies to the Judiciary, the Audit Service and Parliament, does not apply to the Executive. So, please, continue.
    Dr Prempeh 2:45 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    That is precisely my point, that in cutting -- if the three arms of Government, we see that he has cut Parliament that exercises oversight -
    Mr Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    Hon Members, let us get the point clear. There is a difference between making recommendation to the
    House and cutting. If the President has decided that he is cutting, that will be a different one. He has made a recommen- dation to the House and as the Majority Leader rightly pointed out, he was performing his legal duty because that is what the law says.
    Dr Prempeh 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the President has performed his legal constitutional duty and this House has capitulated. Parliament cannot stand for itself but it is even worse now that Parliament will decide to follow the President because he has recommended.
    Where is our teeth? We should reject the President's recommendation and do what is right for this House.
    Mr Speaker, this Executive recommen- dation smacks of cutting the budget of Parliament to prevent us from exercising oversight. Mr Speaker, it is not only that: if we do not fashion a way, such that the different arms of Government, even their approved budgets will not be subject to “tot-tot” releases -
    rose
    Dr Prempeh 2:55 p.m.
    What I mean by “tot- tot” releases is, like the District Assembly Elections we did the last time, this first quarter, the Ministry of Finance should be able to give our quarter allocations for Parliament and the Judiciary in advance, so that by the time 1st January comes, Parliament has received the first quarter; by the time it is 1st April, Parliament has received the second quarter - [Interruption.]
    Mr Bagbin 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Parliament has over the years performed its leadership role - leadership by example. When the resources in the family are that limited and the father is not able to cater for the request of his sons, he does not insist that what he wants is what he should take. He must
    show sacrifice; he must show leadership.
    That is why throughout the years, Parliament has always asserted - because other Ministries, which are our children, are not able to get what they want. So, when it comes to that of Parliament, we cannot be insisting on our pound of flesh; we must show leadership - [Interruption] - That is the leadership we are showing [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker, to say that Parliament is being treated like we do not matter is wrong. This is because, we take the decision and we take the decision based on this principle of leadership. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I said “over the years”; I did not say only this year.

    So, Mr Speaker, this is an improvement on [Interruption.]Please, there is no phrase in what I said as “the first time”; I never said that. Please, do not forget that the Parliamentary Service Act was passed during the time of your regime. Yes! So it is a new introduction and since we passed it, we have been trying to implement it. I have been in Leadership throughout, except for a few years-- [Interregnum.]

    Mr Speaker, yes, we have this challenge; yes, we must show leadership. But at the same time, I think that the agreement that would be captured in the supplementary budget is what we should be insisting on when it comes before the House.
    Dr Prempeh 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to wind up.
    Mr Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    Hon Member, conclude. You have been on the floor for a very long time.
    Dr Prempeh 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to conclude by saying that, if the Office of Government Machinery, not the whole Executive, has been allocated over GH¢453 million and that is not cut, then surely GH¢267 million, which is about 70 or 80 per cent of that sum need not be cut by 30 per cent. If you say we should show leadership by example, then the Office of Government Machinery should as much show leadership as Parliament.
    Mr Speaker, I would conclude by saying that, next year, we should find a better way of appropriating moneys to the two arms of Government plus the independent Government institutions.
    I thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr Bagbin 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Office of Government Business is not above Parliament. Go through it and see the items. That cannot be compared with Parliament in leadership. Parliament is far above the Office of Government Machinery - [Interruption.]
    Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC-- Ho West) 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion to approve our budget with reservation.
    Mr Speaker, item 6.2 on page 6 of your Committee's Report states -
    “Oversight function
    ‘Par l i ament wi l l under take monitor ing act ivi t ies a t the local level with the involvement of service providers and the community members to increase the effectiveness of the Public Accounts Committee.”
    I believe that the oversight respon- sibility of committees is not only limited to the Public Accounts Committee. The Government Assurances Committee has been doing its work and your Committee should have recognised that and included it. I know that the Government Assurances
    Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC-- Ho West) 2:55 p.m.


    Committee has been doing its work with the support of other donor agencies.

    I believe that if our budget had increased or the releases had come, the Government Assurances Committee and other committees would have done better than what we did this year. But with the assurance that if this budget is approved and the releases come, other committees will also have oversight responsibilities as enshrined in our Constitution.

    Mr Speaker, the other thing I found not the best with our estimates is that, in your Committee's Report, item 8.3, the reduction of our budgetary estimates will not help this Parliament. Why do I say so? Your Committee's Report states that with the reduction in our estimates, the research assistants that were supposed to be given to Hon Members will not be there.

    That means that, we would not have research assistants in our Job 600. So, the completion of Job 600 will just be a building that is lying there without research assistants and without help from other people. Meanwhile, people have been crying that we are not doing our work effectively as Hon Members of Parliament. Mr Speaker, had it been some other Parliaments, this Appropriation Bill will not be passed today.

    But there is a saying in our language that, a torn cloth is better than none at all. If your cloth is torn, at least, you can tie it round your body.

    So, with that, I would want to support the Motion.

    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Justice J. Appiah (NPP - Ablekuma North) 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion moved for the approval of the sum of GH¢185,194,527.
    Mr Speaker, the mandate of the Parliament of Ghana is to perform legislative and financial oversight of the
    rose
    Mr J. J. Appiah 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on page 8 of the Committee's Report -
    Mr Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    Hon O. B. Amoah, do you have a point of order?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 2:55 p.m.
    Yes Mr Speaker, I have a point of order.
    The Hon Member is saying that not all the 25 million Ghanaians intend to come to Parliament. Mr Speaker, in the first place, if, indeed, there is that intention, it is not all the 25 million people who are qualified to come to Parliament because there is a certain qualification that a person must meet before he or she can come to Parliament. If the population of Ghana is 25 million people, even if they have the intention, it is not all the 25 million who can have that leeway to come to Parliament because some will not qualify to come to Parliament under the current dispensation. So, he should clarify his statement.
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker and I thank the Hon Member for his advice.
    Mr Speaker, on page 8 of the Committee's Report, Compensation of Employees was GH¢65,992,239.00, and the amount released was GH¢37,533,640.00, leaving a balance of GH¢27,575,599.00.
    Mr Speaker, how could Parliament be effective? Compensation includes foreign travels for Hon Members, and I am saying this because the “first timers” are also part, and the “level 200s”, which applies to me, are also part of this compensation.
    Mr Speaker, at the last meeting we held with the Clerk to Parliament, I told him that if these moneys are not released on time, the “first timers” and those of us “second timers” would find it difficult to travel outside the country to do parliamentary business. It is very important. We have to be exposed internationally, so that, at least, they will know that Parliament has men who are also working. We have to be exposed to the outside world, but the ‘first timers” do not get these privileges.
    Mr Speaker, now let us get to the goods and services. GH;36,511, 000.00 was budgeted, but only GH;18,000,000.00 was released. Why, Mr Speaker? -- [Interruption] - Yes, to the Minister for Finance.
    On page 12 of the Committee's Report, Establishment of Parliamentary Training Institute - a very laudable idea. But if this comes through, how would money be released for this very important project?
    Mr Speaker, let us get to the furnishing of the “Job 600” project, which is very dear to my heart. It is very dear to my heart. I have been championing this cause on the floor of this House. Mr Speaker, may I crave your indulgence to read from page 6 of the Report?
    “Furnishing of Job 600
    The project provides office space for 252 Hon Members following the completion of the civil works …”
    - [Interruption] - It is for 252 Hon Members. That is what is- [Interruption]
    Mr O. B. Amoah 3:05 p.m.
    It is 262 -
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    It is 252.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Which page is that?
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Which page are you reading?
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Page 6 of the Committee's Report; it is 252 here. It is not a different Report.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is reading a different Report. Ours is 262. So, we should stop him and check which Report he is reading.
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Then check it for me.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    I have 262.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, and he is reading 252.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    In actual fact, he is right. Is should be 252. The proper figure should be -
    Yes, Hon Member for Wenchi? You presented the Committee's Report, there is a deficit of 23. So, if you add the 23 to the 252, you will get 275.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    We are reading the Committee's Report; he has inside information, so, he can say the 252. He is reading from a different Report.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Hon Member for Wenchi, he is reading from page 6, paragraph 6.3?
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Yes, I am correct.
    Dr Osei, sit down.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Hon Member for Wenchi, it should be “252.”
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Yes, that is a matter of fact. It should be 252.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think there was a bit of confusion when I read it in the morning. It was 252, then you said it should be plus 10 -- Leaders as well. So, I think that is why he added 10 to the 252. So, it is 252.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my worry is, Hon Joe Appiah is reading from a Report -
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    It is the same Report; the only difference is 252 and 262.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker! It is not. As you said, they had 252 earlier, and it has been changed. So, he has -
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, I am telling you it is 252.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Report he has says 252, which is my worry.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    We have corrected it to 252.
    Please, Hon Joe Appiah, conclude.
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, may I
    crave your indulgence to read:
    “The project provides office space for 252 Members. Following the completion of civil works, the tendering process for the furnishing is almost complete, and the building is scheduled to be occupied by December, 2014.”
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Hon Member, where did you get that Report from?
    Hon Member for Ablekuma North, it
    seems you are the only person with that Report in the House.
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Where did you get that Report from, please? Has that Report been signed?
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Yes, it has been signed, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    I will want to get a copy

    Do not quote, please. You are quoting from a non existing Report.
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. Thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    The only Report we have is the one that has been signed by the Chairman of the Committee, and the Clerk to the Committee.
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, according to the Report -
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Please, all the things that you have quoted, apart from the 252, are wrong. [Laughter] - No! What he is quoting is not the Report -- he is not quoting from the Report.
    Yes, Hon O. B. Amoah?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think he had the Report from the Clerk. This is because he mentioned the Clerk's name. Indeed, I went to check and he is holding two Reports -- one with the 262 and the other with the 252. So, he should let us know which Report he was referring to.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Your Report is not known to the House.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 3:05 p.m.
    It is not known to the House. So, he should stick to what is known to the House and has been signed.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Absolutely.
    Hon Members, we have a lot of work to do, so I will want to put the Question.
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker -
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    So Hon Member, conclude. You have made the point with regard to the budget.
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the building is scheduled to be occupied by December, 2014. What is today's date? Today's date is 22nd December, 2014.
    I thought I could celebrate my birthday which fell yesterday, 21st December, 2014 -- my 55th birthday in my new office. But Mr Speaker, the office is not completed, and all Hon Members are still transacting businesses in the booths of their vehicles.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Hon Member, I said
    conclude.
    Mr J. J. Appiah 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Clerk to Parliament and staff of Parliament are - [Interruption]
    rose
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, is it a technical point of order, otherwise, I will call on the Hon Majority Leader to wind up, and I will put the Question.
    Hon Members, look at the time. We have not laid the Appropriation Bill, and there are a number of other things - Yes, I will call the two Leaders. So if it is a technical issue or an error you will want to draw our attention to - Otherwise, I will call the Hon Minority Leader to speak, and I will call the Hon Majority Leader to wind up and I put the Question.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is an important matter. In the Committee's Report on page 12, they made mention of the status of our contribution to the Tier
    One Pension Scheme --
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    On which page is that?
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Page 12, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Yes?
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    I think what is left out is the status of our contributions to the tier two, not just the tier one, it should be in totality. Nobody in this House can tell us where our money is towards tier two. Whether any contributions have gone, we do not know. So, it is not only to tier one, the Pension's Schemes is mandated for tiers one and two. So, the Committee has forgotten a big part.
    If labour is in court, how come Parliament, we are not raising an issue about our tier two pension scheme? What is the quantum of our contributions? And how much interest has it yielded?
    Mr Speaker, this is a serious matter. So, it is not enough to ask the Clerk to Parliament to deal with tier one contributions. We should have a comprehensive -
    Mr Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Hon Members, correct your Reports; the Clerk to Parliament says it is “two”; it should be “tier two”
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:15 p.m.
    Aha! Oh! So what about tier one? Mr Speaker, we should have both. What is the status of -
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    I learnt the matter that cropped up at the Committee level was tier two and not one.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Members need to be informed accurately about both tiers one and two. This is because they are both mandatory. If you see what is happening with labour, there are serious issues, and since the issues came, we have not heard anything -
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    Hon Member, they have tasked the financial officer; it is in the Report.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is for emphasis. Now they say it is tier two; I am saying it should be both.
    Mr Speake4 3:15 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Member for Wenchi?
    Prof Gyan-Baffour 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is right. There was scanty information on this issue. So, when you look at it, we said “for instance” -- and we were doing just an instance, not that it is the end of the story.
    So, for instance, the status and management of the percentage of the SNNIT contribution of Hon Members that is deducted from tier one; it was just for an instance. So, it could be tier two or any other tier. That is why it was reported that way.
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    Very well.
    Prof Gyan-Baffour 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, when they go in there, they will find out what really has been deducted from our salaries.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, then the Hon Majority Leader.
    Hon Minority Leader, you have the floor.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, may I respectfully yield my place to the Hon -
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    There are a number of people who want to speak on this matter.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I will not speak after him. I am just
    yielding my place to him.
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    Please, I will give you exactly two minutes.
    Mr K. T. Hammond (NPP - Adansi Asokwa) 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is the Leader's slot which has been deferred to me, so I am entitled to the time that you have allocated to him. Mr Speaker, it is not my own time, it is his time that I am speaking in.
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    Please, I am giving you three minutes and I am very serious about it. We need to make progress. I think the points and the views that you want to express on this Motion have been strongly expressed on the floor of the House. I think we should put the Question. We have a lot of work to do.
    Mr K. T. Hammond 3:15 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that those views have not been expressed strongly enough. They have not been very strongly articulated. I have the singular misfortune of asking this House not to approve this Motion and the budget estimates that have been given to us.
    Mr Speaker, you know why the constitutional provisions clearly indicate that the Judiciary should be looked after in the way that they are being looked after and why we have been left out in the way we have? It is as simple as that; the Judiciary has no say in what happens in this House. We claim that we are the masters of our own procedures, masters of our fate, and masters over everything; we prepare this very sad Report and we get up to ask for the approval of this document.
    Mr Speaker, “Job 600”; -- 230 Members of Parliament - I am among the very first 230. So, whatever comes out there, I think I will be entitled to something. My other Hon Colleagues, about 45 of them, will not be entitled to
    anything. Look at how this point has been captured at page 8 of the Report. It says and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “the reduction will impact on all the activities of Parliament for 2015 budget year. If something is not done about the allocations.”
    Something like what to be done -- Short of asking for the rejection of this particular document?
    We should not simply pay lip service to the fact that we are the masters of our own destiny and our own procedures. We should send strong signals out there --
    When the Executive decided that they will reduce our estimates by 30 per cent, did they reduce theirs by 30 per cent? Have they reduced theirs by 30 per cent? We claim, if this is not done, that will not happen; and we sit down and we are going to approve it.
    Mr Speaker, let us send a signal out there, we are not approving this. We should stick to the original over GH¢200 million that we asked for and let them give us the millions. Look at this place, look at the rotunda and the labels round this Parliament, it is disgusting. We have to get a place, befitting of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana. We take this out and they reduce it and Mr Speaker, --
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    Your time is up.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank Hon Members of Parliament for the concerns raised.
    Clearly, the power given to us is not self-serving. I hope and wish that my Colleague, Hon K.T. Hammond had insisted on us not approving the appropriation for the Judiciary, since they are not here to talk. But when it comes to our own, he says we should not approve
    it; the power is not self-serving.
    Mr Speaker, your House Committee has taken very serious views on some of these issues that have been raised and we have held five meetings. I have the draft Report -
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    In fact, I have been informed that the House Committee is doing very well and I received some communication from your office.
    Mr Bagbin 3:15 p.m.
    Thank you, Sir.
    We have a draft Report which I am
    going through and which we will bring to the House; for us to look at all these issues of welfare and other facilities for Parliament.
    When we submit that Report, we will have a better opportunity to comprehen- sively discuss, the working environment for Members of Parliament, so that we will be in a better position to execute our functions.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:15 p.m.
    On a point of Order
    Have I breached an Order?
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    Strictly point of Order, please. Which rule did he breach?
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is no supplementary budget before us. The Hon Majority Leader said we had been assured that if there is a supplementary budget; nobody can anticipate a supplementary buldget. We live for today.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to remind him that the supplementary budget we might get, if it comes at all, might be
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:15 p.m.


    smaller than this, because oil revenue is falling. So, that assurance -
    Mr Bagbin 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am an optimist. But I understand the principle he is relying. He is relying on the principle of the monkey. The monkey says that what is in his stomach is his, what is even in his mouth is not yet his. I will understand that.
    But I thank Hon Members for the support and I call on all to unanimously approve the figure for Parliament.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, let us -
    Mr K. T. Hammond 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he mentioned my name and that is why I wanted to clarify -
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Hon Member for Adansi- Asokwa, you are breaching the rules; you have not caught my eye. Nobody is on the floor for you to take a point of order against. I am speaking, and when the Speaker is speaking you should resume your seat.
    Hon Member for Adansi- Asokwa, what is your point of order?
    Mr K. T. Hammond 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have decided wisely to resume my seat. So, I have.
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, I understand the sentiments that you have explained on the floor. As I indicated early on, there have been series of discussions with the Leadership of both sides of the House, including the Hon Member for Wenchi on this matter. There have been several engagements between the Majority Leader and the President on this matter, and so, let us accept this figure for now and look into the future.
    The truth of the matter is that, the
    Minister for Finance needs Parliament and that is the most important thing which means a lot.
    Hon Members, I will now put the Question.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢185,194,572 for the services of Parliament for the year ending 31st December, 2015.
    Hon Majority Leader, we have the Appropriation Bill here, so if you can -
    Mr Bagbin 3:25 p.m.
    We now move to item number 6 (a) on page 2 of the Order Paper.
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, Presenta- tion and First Reading of Bills, item 6(b), by the Minister for Finance. [Interrup- tions]
    Pardon?
    Dr A.A.Osei 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he said item 6(a) but we have already done item number 6(a).
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Yes, we have done item 6(a). I mentioned number 6(b).
    Dr A.A.Osei 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is the Leader of Government Business and he said item number 6(a). So, I was confused. [Interruptions] - He said (a) and the Speaker said (b). So, who is leading Government Business? [Pause.]
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, it is supposed to be item number 6(b); we cannot take item 5(d); it is the Report of the Committee.
    Dr A.A.Osei 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he said item number 6(a). So, he has to correct himself.
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    This one, item 5(d) is coming from another angle. We are taking item 6(b). We have already done item
    number 6(a) earlier in the morning.
    Mr Bagbin 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is rather item number 6 (b).
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, the Presentation and First Reading of Bills by the Minister for Finance.
    Mr Seth E. Terkper 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to effect a correction before moving for the First Reading of the Appropriation Bill, 2014.
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    That is not so important. The draftsperson will know what to put there. Any way, you could effect it.
    Mr Seth E. Terkper 3:25 p.m.
    All right. Appropriation Bill, 2014.
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Very well.
    BILLS -- FIRST READING 3:25 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your kind permission, we now move to consider item number 18 on the Order Paper, the Suspension of Order 80 (1) for “the adoption of the Report on the Constitutional Instrument on the District
    Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Instrument, 2014 (C.I 85)”.
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Very Well.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    MOTIONS 3:25 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Yes, the Hon Member for Wa West?
    Mr Joseph Yileh Chireh 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. [Interruptions.]
    Mr Speaker, they signalled for me to sit down and that is why I was - I am not bowing; I am seconding the Motion. It is a procedural Motion.
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    I will put the Question.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Item number 19 on the Order Paper.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    District Electoral Areas and Designation of the Units Instruments,
    2014 (C.I. 85)
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah) 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts

    the Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Instrument, 2014

    (C.I. 85).

    Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.

    Introduction

    The District Electoral Area and Designation of Units Instrument, 2014 (C.I. 85) was laid before Parliament on Friday 21st November, 2014 in accordance with article 11 (7) of the Constitution. Pursuant to Order 77 and 166 of the Standing Oders of Parliament, Rt Hon Speaker referred the Instrument to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee for consideration and report.

    Reference Documents

    The Committee referred to the under- listed documents during its deliberations:

    i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

    ii. T h e S t a n d i n g O r d e r s o f Parliament.

    iii. Electoral Commission Act, 1993 (Act 451).

    iv. Local Government (Creation of New District Electoral Areas and Designation of Instrument, 2010

    (L.I. 1983).

    v. Ghana Gazette No. 19 (Published on 11th March 2011) on results of District Assembly Elections,

    2010.

    vi. District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Instrument,

    2014 (C.I 85).

    Background Information

    Article 45 (b) of the Constitution provides that, the Electoral Commission shall demarcate the electoral boundaries for both national and local government elections.

    Article 51 also provides that, the Electoral Commission shall, by constitu-

    tional instrument, make regulations for the effective performance of its function under the Constitution or any other law, and in particular, for the registration of voters, the conduct of public elections and referenda, including provision for voting by proxy.

    Pursuant to the aforementioned constitutional provisions, as well as section 2 of the Electoral Commission, Act, 1993 (Act 451), the Electoral Commission is mandated to conduct all public election and referenda in the country.

    In this regard, the Local Government (Creation of New District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument, 2010 (L.I 1983), was laid in Parliament by the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) on 19th October, 2010. On 21st November, 2014, the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Instrument, 2014 (C.I. 85) was laid in Parliament by the Hon Minister for Defence, Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor on behalf of the Electoral Commission.

    The purpose of the Instrument is to demarcate the Electoral boundaries of each District Listed in the second column of the schedule of the Instrument.

    Deliberation

    The Committee met with Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the two Deputy Chairpersons and other Directors from the Electoral Commission as well as a technical team from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD). Officials from the Attorney-General's Department were also in attendance. The Committee is grateful to them for their attendance and input during the deliberations.

    During the deliberations, the Committee received a memorandum from the Akuse/ Amedeka Citizens Association. The memorandum raised concern about the legality of Akuse and Amedaka which are townships surrounded by only settlements in the Greater Accra Region, but have now been sited under the Lower Manya Krobo Constituency in the Eastern Region.
    Mr Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, Mr First
    Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
    MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:35 p.m.
    Yes, Hon
    Member, please, proceed.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 3:35 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Observations
    The Committee noted that following the coming into force of the Local Government (Creation of New District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument, 2010 (L.I 1983) on 24th November, 2010, the Supreme Court in many cases declared the said L.I 1983 void.
    In Okane and others v. Electoral Commission of Ghana and Attorney General (2011 (2) SCGLR 1136), the Supreme Court held that, L.I 1983 was legislated in contravention of the Constitution. The Supreme Court further ruled that, “to the extent that Parliament amended L.I 1983 that was laid before Parliament instead of annulling the Instrument; the Instrument was ultra vires article 11(7) of the Constitution. Consequently, L.I 1983 was void and of no legal effect.
    The Committee again noted that, in Clement Apaak v. Electoral Commission and Attorney General (2012 (1) SCGLR 651), the Supreme Court held that the Electoral Commission was vested with exclusive constitutional authority under article 45 (b) of the Constitution to create electoral areas.
    The Minister responsible for Local Government and Rural Development was held not to have the authority to create or establish electoral areas; and to the extent that any language purported to impose such authority on the Minister, that language was void to the extent of its inconsistency with article 45 (b) of the Constitution.
    The Committee observed that the Supreme Court, however, held that it was unreasonable to restrain the Electoral Commission from conducting national or local elections on the basis of electoral areas specified in the impugned L.I 1983; if those electoral areas coincided with those created by the Electoral Commission.
    The Committee further observed that subsequently, the Electoral Commission, in view of the declarations by the Supreme Court, has laid C.I 85 before Parliament to demarcate electoral boundaries of each District listed in the second column of the schedule of the Instrument; as the Electoral Commission is the sole instrument mandated by the Constitution under article 45 to do so.
    The Committee noted that; the coming into force of the C.I 85 would eliminate the challenges and inconsistencies associated with the electoral areas in L.I 1983 listed in Ghana Gazette No. 19 (Published on 11th March 2011) and further conduct District Assembly Elections and General Elections in the country.
    Conclusion
    The Committee has carefully examined the District Electoral Areas and Designa- tion of Units Instrument, 2014 (C.I 85) and is of the considered view that the Instrument does not contravene the provisions of the Constitution and Order 166 (3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament which serve as a reference guide to the Committee. The Committee accordingly, recommends to the House that the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Instrument, 2014 (C.I 85) should come into force at the expiration of twenty-one Sitting days as provided for under article 11(7) (c) of the 1992 Constitution.
    Respectfully submitted.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:35 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Cletus Apul Avoka (NDC- Zebilla) 3:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in seconding it, I humbly submit that I have had the opportunity to look at the Committee's Report and then I have also listened to the Chairman's statement in view of the observation and conclusion.
    I entirely associate myself therein and have nothing useful to add except to pray that the conclusion as captured in the Report be adopted by this august House. Thank you.
    Question proposed.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:35 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin
    (NPP - Effutu): Mr Speaker, I am grateful that it has pleased you to give me this opportunity to add my voice to the matter before this House.
    Mr Speaker, while we consider this Motion, perhaps, it is important to put on record that the Electoral Commission (EC), which is not above the law and knows the law, ought to have waited for this House to deal with the C. I. 85 to have the effect and the full force of the Constitution before embarking on the opening of nomination and closing of same.
    Mr Speaker, as we speak, the EC, chaired by Dr Afari Gyan, his able deputies, Directors, Regional Directors and District Officers have opened and closed nominations.
    Mr Speaker, this House must send a signal to the EC in plain language that it is not above the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. It cannot arrogate to itself the powers conferred on Parliament. If the EC believes it can do anything, any time and anyhow, then it should not have brought this matter to this House to get Mr Speaker's Committee to labour all day night to get this Report through.
    Mr Speaker, as we consider this C.I., let us in clear language send a signal to them that everything they have done is null and void - [Interruption] Everything they have done is null and void because they cannot put something on nothing. If the basis of their actions were illegal, the effect is a nullity --[Interruption]
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:35 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 3:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, much as I agree with my Hon Colleague, that the EC is not above the law, I would want to believe that if he finds anything wrong with the action of any organ, he cannot declare that action illegal or null and void. It is only the court that can do so. So, he should tread cautiously and let us - while he wants us to abide by the law, he equally must also go by law.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 3:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe this is not a point of order and since he is my very senior, I will not respond. But the fact still remains that nobody or organ of State must be seen to be undermining the powers conferred on the House by the Constitution - [Interruption.] That is the gravamen of this submission I am making. It is not a matter of going to court, but it is a matter of this House letting the EC know that what it has done is void. It has no effect in law. That is clear. We do not need to go to court on this matter. It is for this House -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:35 p.m.
    No! Hon Member, I think the point he is making is that we are not clothed with that power; it is the Supreme Court. That is the simple point that he is making.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 3:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with him to some extent, but I have an overriding point which is to say as we sit today - it is like any other law. When the memorandum comes, the Bill is going through Consideration Stage, then we hear that the Minister has taken an action.
    Mr Speaker, if we as a House are unable to speak to such a matter and we say that the Hon Minister or that constitutional body or statutory body has acted illegally, so, we should go to court for interpretation -- There are matters that must go to court for interpretation and there are matters that when the opportunity is there -
    It is very clear, unambiguous that the matter is before us for consideration. We have
    not finished. That was the more reason -- Mr Speaker, if you may recall, we had to Sit last week Saturday to do parliamentary business, all in an attempt to make sure that the proper thing is done. So, if while we go on to consider a matter, the EC, -- If you may recall, when the EC was going to open the limited registration, the matter was in court, but they still wanted to go ahead.
    Do you remember what the Supreme Court said? The Supreme Court said, when a matter is before them and they decide to disrespect the Supreme Court, they were acting

    in contempt and they were accordingly directed to restrain themselves until the matter was determined whether a Health Insurance Card could be used as an I.D.

    In this same case, Mr Speaker, applying that principle, this is a House -

    If we decide not to consider this today,

    the elections cannot be held. So, we should tell the Electoral Commission (EC) of this Republic that what they have done is a nullity. That is not a matter of going to court. We, as a House, have the powers, that the matter that came before us, we have not finished --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, your point is well made. Can you move on?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am exceedingly grateful.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Can you conclude your submission?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this was the most important point but because it was not clear, I needed to labour and re- labour. But I think it is clear. I am grateful.
    So, Mr Speaker, --
    Mr J. J.Chireh — rose -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Hon Member for Wa West?
    Mr Chireh 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not rising on a point of order. I am making my contribution. [Laughter.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Let him conclude.
    Mr Agbesi — rose -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Hon
    Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is still saying that he has made the matter clear. Is it this Parliament which declares null and void, the actions which to him or to us are contrary to the Constitution? Does Parliament have the power to declare any action, based upon the Constitution, null and void? Parliament has not got that power and so, if he says the thing is clear, what message is he sending to the people in the country who abide by the rules of the Electoral Commission?
    Parliament has not got the power
    to declare any action, based upon the Constitution, null and void. That is my issue; he should not go there. He can criticise the EC; he can say what they have done is not according to the Constitution, but to declare that it is null and void; it is not the business of Parliament.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Member, can you conclude?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I will conclude but before I do so, it is very important that I draw my Hon senior's attention to an important point I am making. I should not be quoted out of context. What I am saying is that, the basis of ECs action is a nullity, because what is before us has not become law. It does not mean that we should wait on the Supreme Court to pronounce same. That is not the point I am making. We have to understand that as we are today, whatever they are doing is a nullity -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, this point has been made over and over again.
    Conclude, Hon Member.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he
    interjected, that was why I was making that - [Interruption] It is because he
    interjected, that I needed to be repetitive -
    Mr Speaker, I conclude, that to let the Electoral Commission respect the laws of this country, we as a House must act, by unanimously telling them that whatever they did, which have no effect in law, must be started all over again. We have the powers to tell the EC -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, your time is up.
    Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on this note, I support the Motion boldly moved by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Your time
    is up.
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh (NDC - Wa West) 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would urge this House to adopt the Motion and to accept the Report, that we have submitted. In doing so, I would want to be very clear about some of the issues that the Hon Member who spoke made.
    There is the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 78 which was used for our elections and which was passed by this House. And in that CI 78, the electoral areas were clearly demarcated. The CI 78 has not been revoked. So, on the basis of that, the EC could even go with the procedure, except as was pointed out by the Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislative Committee, those electoral areas, which the Supreme Court could nullify in terms of the procedure and the creation, the elections were held in 2010 and the Assemblies have been functioning up to date.
    So, for an Hon Member of the House to be raising the issue and turning this House into a Supreme Court, is not the best. Though we may have the power to say something, all these organs of State respect
    one another. If we are doing something here, the Supreme Court is very careful in what they can say.
    When we start any debate and there is a case in court, the presiding officer will draw our attention, that this is the case. But for us to be saying the things that we say and order and give commands and keep repeating the same things about other State organs, which are supposed to be independent, is not appropriate.
    In any case, if it should be that the Electoral Commission did what they did, it was also partly because of this. If by March or April ending, when the last Assemblies were inaugurated and given life and legality -- if by the end of that period we do not have the Assembly Elections, we will have difficulty about the transition. There would be a vacuum.
    It is in anticipation of these things that you will notice that the Electoral Commission themselves say the most difficult Election to conduct is the District Assembly Elections, because of the volume of the candidates and the kind of printing they need to do.
    So, in order that they are not stampeded, I am sure that part of the issue was how to speed up. The other day, I indicated that the Speaker and the Leadership of this House ought to bring some people to account for their time. These elections, when were they supposed to have been conducted? When were these Instruments supposed to be laid? We have to interrogate these issues, why the delay? Who is causing this delay? But not to be questioning the activities, which we all know - That is why today is Monday and we are Sitting and the inconvenience it has caused all of us.
    When things like this happen, the issue is, what do we say and do to prevent these occurrences? But I would want us to support this because, if we do not do so, we are likely to distort the electoral
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Yes, Hon K. T. Hammond?
    Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond (NPP - Adansi Asokwa) 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the matters raised by my Hon Colleague, Yieleh Chireh actually laid the frustration of my Hon Colleague who spoke early on. He talked about the fact that at least, the Electoral Commissioner should have exercised some patience and not have proceeded with the indecent haste with which he has done what he did.
    My Hon Colleague, in articulating the issues, simply made the point clearly without admitting or maybe, without
    realising that he supported the point that he criticised, and that the Electoral Commissioner, in doing what he has done, is wrong.
    First, he made the point that probably, the Supreme Court actually made a declaration that certain electoral areas were non existent or their creation was a nullity. Those people, he said, are there, still sitting in the various District Assemblies.
    I would have thought that it was for precisely those reasons that the Electoral Commissioner decided in his wisdom to sanitise the Legislative Instrument (L.I. 83) that we have and make sure that we have the L.I. 85. But what is the reason, and indeed, the report makes it abundantly clear the Supreme Court, in various cases has indicated what is wrong, what is invalid, what is unlawful. The Hon Deputy Leader takes issue with the Hon Member from Winneba because he made a point of saying; “declaration”.
    Mr Speaker, alright it is the Supreme Court, which has the constitutional mandate to make declarations. This House of Parliament has a constitutional right to say that something is wrong.
    Declaration, apart from the legal connotation of it, it is English Language plain, simple, English Language. Let us be clear say it loud and clear to the hearing of the Electoral Commissioner, that what they have done is wrong. If it is not constitutionally wrong, it is morally reprehensible. Indeed, by the fact that we have been gun pressed to come in here on Monday to make sure that we give constitutional validity to this document, maybe, the 21 days would not have run. But we have come here today to make sure that we deliberate on the constitutionality of it, and to pass it and indeed, to give the Electoral Commissioner ample time latitude to proceed with what he
    wants to do.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday, in my con-stituency, a lot of people were running helter skelter and trying to file their [Interruption] on a Sunday and trying to file their whatever. I think it was the Friday, because that was the last day. What was the point Saturday, Sunday rushing to file this, and indeed, in doing that, the Electoral Commissioner was breaking, if not the letter, the spirit of what he himself has brought for us to do. If it were the case that the L.I 83 was of any validity and they could use it, then why rush and bring this thing to us?
    Mr Speaker, let me just refer you to the very first page of the document the memorandum, paragraph the revocation and with your permission, I beg to quote;
    “The Local Government creation... is hereby revoked…”
    Mr Speaker, he brought this thing on the 21st November, 2014, and he is revoking it at that time. I assume that the revocation is when this thing comes into effect and the only reason he is revoking what my Hon Colleague is talking about, is because he himself is not comfortable with the validity of that one on the basis of what the Supreme Court had declared and so, he has sanitised this he has brought this for the House to go through, I will allow you [Interruption.] No! He does not allow us; the law allows your House 21 days [Interruption]
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh, are you up on a point of order?
    Mr Chireh 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes on a Point of order.
    My Hon Colleague is misquoting me. I am saying that he is misleading the whole House. He talked about the revocation of Constitutional Instrument (C.I 78) and
    the point I am making is that, until today, it is not revoked and so, the actions he took in respect of some of the they were legal. Apart from that, when you create the impression that people are acting illegally are we as Parliament to decide that people are acting illegally or we should just talk about them?
    If you think that you have the courage of your conviction, you go to the court and ensure that Ministers or whoever you were talking about, who is taking the law into his hands is brought to order. But it is not for you to incite people to say things that will provoke other people to say all kinds of things about institutions that we have to give respect to. It is not right.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Hon K.T. Hammond, can you begin to wind up?
    Mr Hammond 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am tempted to respond to what my Hon Colleague I do not understand. We may not be able to use the declaration that he complains about in its legal manifestation. Is the Hon Member suggesting the House of Parliament cannot simply say, this thing done by somebody is wrong, and that we always have to rush to court to ask for declaration? When the Constitution does not mandate my Leader is adding, what is wrong and in fact, illegal? I do not understand. The Constitution was created by this House.
    We look at the Constitution and test the actions of whoever that is against the constitutionality of the Constitution that was passed. And of course, the whole nation joined in the passing of it, but the validity of whatever, I do not understand. If your suggestion is that we cannot loudly and clearly say to whichever departments that what they have done is inimical to the Constitution or to some statutory provision made by this House, then I
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Thank you very much Hon Member.
    Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations?
    Minister for Employment and Labour and Relations (Mr Haruna Iddrisu)(MP) 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to associate myself with the Motion, that this House accordingly recommends to the House, that the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Instruments, 2014 (C.I. 85) should come into force at the expiration of the 21 Sitting days as provided under article 11 (7) (c) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. In doing so, to remind my Hon Colleague and brother, who just had his bite on this particular Motion my senior brother, Hon K. T. Hammond, that he ought to be reminded - he is my senior in the Law - that he cannot ouster the authority of Parliament and cannot over extend the mandate of Parliament.
    We are not adjudicators in law and therefore, where you have lingering doubts in your mind as to the constitutionality or otherwise of the matter, the Hon Member knows the forum to proceed to.
    Mr Speaker, may I now come to my own comment on this matter, and it is to remind the Electoral Commission,
    that sub-sequent to this, they need to come clear and early on the creation of polling stations per electoral area and per constituency as a way forward in preparing for the 2016 general elections.
    One of the vexed issues now for many constituencies and even parties con-stitutions is that, we have made polling stations contaminant to polling agents and other structures. We need to know the number of polling stations in a particular constituency, for the purpose that would determine as a party, who gets elected at that level to play a role for the political party. I would think that we should approve this for them.
    Mr Speaker, finally, for us to appreciate that the Electoral Commission has to work through within a particular calendar of days, in terms of computation, I recall in terms of the general presidential and parliamentary elections, that they ought to start in a particular date in October, in order that they can work into the 7th December and same principles apply in respect of the District Assembly Elections.
    Mr Speaker, with these few comments, I associate myself with the Motion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to lend my voice to approve of the Report from the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Instruments,
    2014 (C.I.85).
    Mr Speaker, I believe, in doing this, we should be very clear in our minds what we are doing.
    Mr Speaker, today's Sitting of Parliament has been occasioned by the late laying of this Constitutional Instrument.
    My Hon Colleague, the former Majority Leader is tying-in the Appropriation Bill.
    I will tell him that notwithstanding the shortness of time that we had at our disposal, Parliament could have sat late into evenings to do that. Our Sitting today and the Sittings that we held on Saturdays have been occasioned by this Con-stitutional Instrument, and so, we must be seeing to be doing what is right.
    Mr Speaker, the bullet 5.6 of the Committees' Report states 4:05 p.m.
    “The Committee noted that the coming into force of the C. I. 85 would eliminate the challenges and inconsistencies associated with the electoral areas in L. I. 1983 listed in Ghana Gazette No. 19 (Published on 11th March 2011) and further conduct District Assembly Elec- tions and General Elections in the country.”
    Mr Speaker, what this is saying to us is that, there are known challenges and inconsistencies in both the L. I. 1983 and C. I. 78, which this new Instrument seeks to cure.
    Indeed, Mr Speaker, the purpose of this Instrument as captured in the document, with your permission, if I should read, provides that --
    “The purpose of this Instrument is to demarcate the electoral boun-daries of each district.”
    Mr Speaker, for emphasis, the purpose of this Instrument is to demarcate the electoral boundaries of each district as listed in the second column of the Schedule to this Instrument.
    Mr Speaker, so, without this, nobody can purport to hold any elections based on the known inconsistencies that have
    been pointed out by the Supreme Court. So, now this demarcation will necessarily fulfil some of the electoral areas that existed earlier.
    This demarcation will also come to sanitise and cleanse the electoral areas which had the challenges and inconsis- tencies.
    Now, the question that arises by the conduct of the Electoral Commissioner while this Instrument has not matured is, on what basis did they ask them to pick their forms and file for nominations? Is it on the basis of this new C. I. 85 or the C. I. 78? This is the question that arises.
    Which is why my Hon Colleague from Winneba was saying that the Electoral Commission (EC) -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, he is the Hon Member for Effutu not Winneba.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Winneba is the capital. -[Laughter] -
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the correction.
    Mr Speaker, it is a legitimate question that you have been asked to sanitise what obtained early on. They acknowledged that there were challenges and problems, for which reason they are coming with this new one, by their own words, “to demarcate the electoral boundaries.”
    In the process, they are going to fulfil some of those existing ones and also sanitise and tinker with the boundaries of some of the ones which you created, that you now noted, have problems and challenges.
    Before we come to that position, the EC is saying that they should go and pick forms and file. On what basis? Which Instrument will guide them? Mr Speaker, that is the legitimate issue raised by the Hon Member for Effutu. That is why he came to the conclusion, that what he did to the extent, had no proper foundation, is an illegality. That is the point that he was making.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    Hon Members, I will put the Question. I think we have had enough debate on this issue.
    I generally agree that the EC should be sounded to veer off that kind of conduct. This is because, as much as possible, we all want to make sure that the processes take place. But that does not mean that we should be stampeded.
    So, with that, Hon Members, it has been moved and seconded, I will put the Question.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Bagbin 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we now have to go to the Order Paper Addendum It was first itemised at page 3, the original Order Paper as item number 9, but because of the winnowing, it has now been captured in the Order Paper Addendum. So, Mr Speaker, we would start from page 1, dealing with the Youth Employment Agency Bill, 2014.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    Very well Hon Members, the Youth Employment Agency Bill, 2014 at the Consideration Stage. [Pause.]
    I believe that with regard to clauses 1, 2 and 3, there are no amendments
    advertised, so, we will deal with clause 1 first.
    I have been informed that clauses 1, 2 and 3 have already been dealt with, so, I will start with clause 4.
    BILLS - CONSIDERATION 4:15 p.m.

    STAGE 4:15 p.m.

    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu) 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4 - subclause (1), paragraph (a), after “a” insert “person of recognised standing and experience in administration and human resource development or training as the”
    So that it would read,
    “a person of recognised standing and experience in administration and human resource development or training as the Chairperson”
    Mr Joseph Z. Amenowode 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have no objection to that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, I would put the Question.
    Hon Member for Wa West?
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have seen the amendment but if you look at the end of that, if you come to “training”, you have to stop there because there is “as the”. I do not see why, “as the” should be part of it. Your amendment, look at the advertised one. You are saying that;
    “a person of recognised standing and experience in administration and human resource development
    or training as the.”
    No, this is the original one - they said a Chairperson and that is all. So, you are now qualifying who should be the Chairperson. It is a person who should have this background. But as you added “as the”, I do not know what you want to say.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this one is an insertion between the word “a” and “Chairperson”. A true reading of this amendment is an insertion between the words “a” and “Chairperson”, so that it would read;
    “a person of recognised standing and experience in administration and human resource development or training as the Chairperson”
    So, it is an insertion between the two words.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4 - subclause (1), paragraph (e), delete and insert “The Chief Labour Officer”
    Which then would mean that for (e), one representative of the Ministry responsible for Interior which is below the rank of Deputy Director, to be the Chief Labour Officer. We decided now to retain that one and rather delete (c) and insert “Chief Labour Officer”. So, “the governing body of the Agency is a Board consisting of”; (c) now would read “Chief Labour Officer”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    If I understand you, you are deleting the whole of (c) and substituting it in place of (c), “Chief Labour Officer”. Do I understand you to be saying that?
    Mr Amenowode 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we agree that they should delete that and substitute it with “Chief Labour Officer of the Ministry”. So, we are in agreement.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?
    Mr Chireh 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not complaining against the amendment, but the basis for giving freedom to the Minister to nominate somebody. It is more about policy than specific labour issue because his job as the Chief Labour Officer has nothing to do with these things that we are doing.
    But if you want him to come as Labour Officer, you are tying the hands of the Minister and the Minister may have somebody who should be directly reporting to him. That is why we are saying a representative of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations. While he may be thinking that the Chief Labour Officer is under -- if you look at it, it is a separate office and the directors who work with the Minister are more appropriate in these terms.
    I do not know whether you adverted your mind to this; I have no objection to the amendment but there is a reason you always want the director to be in the Ministry. This is because of policy considerations.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I also agree with Hon Yieleh Chireh because there should be a reason a representative of the Ministry responsible for employment should be a member. And so, if you bring in the Chief Labour Officer, it is more or less a restricted chance for the composing authority. The representative of the Ministry is needed there. So, I do not support -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Minority Leader, can you give us the rationale behind this proposed amendment?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought that we should be careful, rather not to shepherd this whole structure into the ambit of politicians. That is the principal reason.
    In discussing this, we had an effective participation of the current substantive Minister responsible for Employment and Labour Relations and I think that he was comfortable with it. But now, we have sympathisers who want to weep more than the bereaved and it seems their tears are overflowing. If the Minister would be ferried by the tears of the sympathisers to allow for that, I would not say anything, except to add that I believe in that case, we still have to have a place for the Labour Officer.
    They are concerned with employment and at least, the statistics of the unemployed against the employed and so on. But I would trust to know the direction of our pursuits.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the Minority Leader would have no objection, I would persuade him to abandon it.
    We had discussed it earlier but as you are well aware, parliamentary debates are now a guide to interpretation. So, even for purposes of administering this Act, we are guided by his recommendation that in considering a Director at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, we could look to using the role of the Chief Labour Officer. But I think that the representative of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations not below the rank of director is still useful
    for our purposes.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    Then in that case, that proposed amendment is withdrawn. I believe that we can move on.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we actually looked at this issue critically and I have no problem with the retention of clause 4, subclause 1 (c). But the Chief Labour Officer should find space on the Board as a technical person.
    Mr Speaker, there is lack of continuity of political appointees on these Boards and you need a technical person to be there to have at least, retentive memory, the experience and the current data on some of these matters to be able to bring it on board, the discussions and debates of the Board. And so, I think that, the Chief Labour Officer should find space in the Board of the Agency.
    It is very important. If we want to increase the number to eleven, I have no problem with it. As of now, it is nine and so if you add the Chief Labour Officer, it will be ten. But we want an odd number, eleven. So, we can add somebody to make it eleven. But it is relevant the Chief Labour Officer should be there.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amenowode 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think it was for the same reason that we accepted the amendment. So, we still maintain that he be included. The amendment is accepted.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    In that case, would somebody, probably, the Chairman come out with another form of amendment since the earlier amendment has been withdrawn? Another form of amendment, which will bring the figure to eleven -- [Interruption] -
    I was given the impression that it had been withdrawn and I directed as such.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not withdraw it. The plea was that we should maintain the original clause (1) (c) and I said that subsequent to that, we still should find a place for the Chief Labour Officer, which the Hon Minister agrees to and which has been supported by the Hon Majority Leader. So, originally, it was supposed to take the place of clause (1) (c). Now, with the new vigour that the (c) be maintained, I then proposed that further to that, we have a place for the Chief Labour Officer. How we construct it, it can be done by the draftsperson.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    We are on the same wavelength. What I am saying is that, it means that we are no longer deleting clause (1) (c) as it stands but we are going to add on by way of a further amendment. That is what I am saying.
    Mr Amenowode 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, when we come to (h) we will make that amendment to (iii).
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Very well. So, shall we move on?
    Clause 4 again. This time by the Chairman of the Committee.
    Mr Amenowode 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (d) delete and insert “a person with qualification and experience in human resource or administration nominated by the Minister”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Amenowode 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (g), line 1 to 3, delete “or a representative of the Coordinator of the National Youth Authority”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Can you give us the rendition with the amendment?
    Mr Amenowode 4:25 p.m.
    So, we now have “the Coordinator of the National Youth Authority.” Just that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, but we end at “Authority” so that we do not have the representative of the Coordinator taking his place. It should be he and he alone.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, what do you say? He says we should delete the word “and” at the end of that subclause.
    Mr Amenowode 4:25 p.m.
    No objection, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Manhyia South?
    Dr Mathew O. Prempeh 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we cannot delete the word “and”. The word “and” affects the (h). It was “either…” or then “and” for the (h). So, we cannot delete the “and”. It should stay.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    In other words, the “and” tells us that we are now concluding; “and” then follow; in that clause (h), you could introduce what we agreed upon early on, so that the Chief Labour Officer could come into it.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with respect, but nobody has made that proposal that the “and” should be deleted - [Interruption] -
    All right, Sorry.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    The “and”will stand.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Amenowode 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4 (1) (h) we change “two persons” to “three persons”, to make it an odd number, so that two will be women --
    “three persons, one of whom shall be the Chief Labour Officer and two women will be nominated from the private sector by the Minister.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Are we all with it? I think it is a bit clumsy.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, because of this new addition, if we increase it to three, yes, we will have the odd number. But I would propose that we had rather have one. Why three? The reason being that, Mr Speaker, in clause (1) (d), we now have the Minister already, nominating somebody the person with qualification and experience in human resource and administration nominated by the Minister. If we come here and we are giving him three nominees again -- I think it is So, if you bring it down to one, Mr Speaker, it satisfies the original intent.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Let us look at the total number. What will it work out to? We need an odd number.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:25 p.m.
    If we scale it down to one, we maintain the eleven.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, when we were looking at the Chief Labour Officer, the composition was nine. We have maintained the Chief Labour Officer and so, if we count, we should get an odd
    number and if we make the (h) to be three, it gives us a total of eleven. If out of a total of eleven, if only one woman will be there, it is not good for gender purposes. So, two women as the Chairman of the Committee has suggested. That is the purpose of -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, I do not think this should drag on; we just want to compute and see what the total figure will be and then we can make some progress.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the original number was nine. Now, we increase it by one and we scale this one down by one and we have the original number, nine. That is the original nine.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee, what do you say?
    Mr Amenowode 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that will be alright with us. A nine member Board will be alright.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    So, I will want you to go over the new rendition of (h).
    Mr Amenowode 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it will now read:
    “one person from the private sector nominated by the Minister, who shall be a woman.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    But have we taken into account the Chief Labour Officer?
    Has it already been done?
    Very well. So, we can move on.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Hon
    Members, let me put the Question with regard to clause 4 as variously amended.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Sorry. Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is another amendment to clause 4, subclause 2, line one.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, respectfully, it is in my name.
    I beg to move, clause 4 - subclause (2), line 1, after “appoint” insert “the chairperson and the other”
    So, that it reads,
    “The President shall appoint the chairperson and the other members of the Board in accordance with article 70 of the Constitution.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    I think there is an error. There is supposed to be a proposal for the deletion of clause 4 (4). There is no clause 4 (4). I think it really should refer to clause 4 (3) which is a function and therefore, should be deleted and brought down to the functions of the Board. I think that is what was the intendment, so -
    Mr Amenowode 4:35 p.m.
    Exactly so. We are -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amenowode 4:35 p.m.
    Clause 4 (3) is being repositioned under the “Functions of the Board.”
    Mr Chireh 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we will delete clause 4 (3) altogether. We are deleting subclause (3) because it is talking about functions of the Board. So, that one should be the first when we come to the functions of the Board --
    “The Board shall ensure the proper and effective performance and function of the Agency.”
    That will be the first statement before you list the other things out. So, under clause 4, delete -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Let me get it clearly. You are talking about clause 4 (3) to be deleted completely?
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 4 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 5 - Functions of the Board.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    this was the original construction. I think we came to some agreement that it should not be for the Board to be advising the Agency, but the Board should be issuing directives on policy to the Agency. That is the construction. But before then, we said we should relocate clause 4 (3) to clause 5, so that we see how to tie that one in the with clause 5 (a). That was what was proposed. Maybe, it should read:
    The Board shall --
    (1) ensure the proper and effective performance of the Agency;
    (2) ensure the implementation of the objects of the Act;
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Can we
    deal with them one after the other?
    Mr Amenowode 4:35 p.m.
    Rightly so, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Chireh 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 5, after (a), we should have,
    “ensure the proper and effective performance of the functions of the Agency”.
    I am adding a paragraph. Many of
    the things we are talking about, if you add a paragraph now, the draftspersons will know where it should be. But as we discuss, we want it to be the (a). But “The Board shall” is already there, so, we cannot take the whole of clause 4 (3) and put it like that. So, you will eliminate “shall” and then just insert,
    “ensure the proper and effective performance of the functions of the Agency”.
    That will be clause 5 (a).
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    So, what used to be clause 4 (3) will now become clause 5 (a)?
    Mr Chireh 4:35 p.m.
    Yes, clause 5 (a).
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the original clause 5 (a) then will become clause 5 (b) which then will be,
    “ensure the implementation of the objects of this Act”.
    Mr Amenowode 4:35 p.m.
    That is alright with us.
    Mr Chireh 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Chairman, the advertised amendment that I have seen is saying that paragraph (a), line 1, after “advice” insert “The Agency”. Is that what we are considering?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that one is not going to be moved; it has been abandoned - [Interruption.] The one advertised here - At the winnowing, we decided to abandon that one because it will not be for the Board to advise the Agency. So, that one as captured here, is abandoned. In its place, we rather begin the original clause 5 (a) -
    “ensure the implementation of the objects of this Act”.
    That then will become the new clause 5 (b).
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, for the original (a) which will now become (c) for whatever reason, does not appear here. But it now, delete “maintenance” and insert “sustenance” so that it will read;
    “approve plans for the development and maintenance of youth employ- ment”
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 p.m.
    That is alright.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
    Any further amendment to clause 5?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is a new formulation, which will now precede the original (c), which now has become (d). But there is a new formulation which will then become (d).
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 5, new clause “The Board shall;
    (d) formulate policies for the disbursement of the funds of the Agency”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 5 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 6 - Tenure of office of members
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 6 Headnote, delete “members” and insert “members of the Board”.
    So, it will read:
    “Tenure of the office of members of the Board” as the Headnote.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in subclause (1), line 2, originally, I called for the deletion of “four years” to “two years”, but at the winnowing, we agreed to still allow four years. So the additional two years will be abandoned.
    But at the end of subclause 6 (1), I beg to move, we will now add “or be re-appointed where that member ceases to be a member as a result of misconduct or removal”.
    So, the entire rendition will read;
    “A member of the Board shall hold office for a period of not more than four years and is eligible for re-appointment but a member shall

    not be appointed for more than two terms, or be re-appointed where that member ceases to be a member as a result of misconduct or removal”.
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we agreed on the four years and accepted the Minority Leader's addition to the amendment.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, Hon Member for Wa West.
    Mr Chireh 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if somebody is removed for misconduct, it implies that you cannot deprive that person of his right to be re-appointed. What misconduct will bar somebody completely? I am saying that, this one, it is implied that if the person misconducted himself, there are so many people to appoint that you do not need to put it in the law. But since the Minority Leader insists that it should be there, it is redundant, we can put it there.
    Mr Agbesi 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if somebody is removed from a Board, the person is no more eligible. Why do you have to say; “unless that member ceases to be a member as a result of misconduct or removal?”
    Once you are removed, you are no more eligible. This amendment is not necessary; it is uncalled for. There is a reason for removal but most of the time, we are not given the reason for removal. So, why do you have to say you are removed because of misconduct? It is not necessary.
    Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is probably in this country that you can misbehave and be removed from one Board and find yourself on another Board.
    In good democracies, once you are removed from a Board because of
    misconduct or something against you, you cannot serve on any other Board in that country for some number of years. I can give you examples, of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and Pensions Alliance Trust. But that is not the way I want to go. We have to state it, that once you have especially been removed from a Board, you should not go on another Board.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, you proposed the amendment. What is your response?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is important for the avoidance of doubt -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, can we have some order?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe for the avoidance of doubt, it is important that we maintain it. A lot of things do happen in the system. So, I think that for the avoidance of doubt, we should leave it.
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, since the Minority Leader wants to stick to the emphasis, we do not have any objection; it does not add or subtract from the import of it.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, for sub-clause (2) line 2, there are two amendments and the Chairman of the Committee's amendment is almost the same as the amendment of the Minority Leader. But he has added “the Chief Labour Officer.” But we will accept his amendment to subclause (2), line 2 and abort ours.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 p.m.
    All right.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 6, subclause (2), line 2, after “Agency”
    insert “the Chief Labour Officer and the coordinator of the National Youth Authority”.
    Mr Speaker, as you said, because we have now included “The Chief Labour Officer” - the Chairman's own goes with “the Coordinators of the National Youth Authority; that is in clause (2) 2 - we would say that subsection 1 does not apply to the Chief Executive of the Agency, the Chief Labour Officer and the Coordinators of the National Youth Authority; that is the full effect of it.
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 p.m.
    No objection, Mr Speaker.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 6, subclause (3), line 2, delete “Minister” and insert “chairman”
    The full rendition will be:
    A member of the Board may, by letter addressed to the President through the Chairman, resign at any time from office”.
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 p.m.
    No objection.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 6, subclause (4), line 2, after “Agency” insert “the Chief Labour Officer and the coordinator of the National Youth Authority”.
    The full rendition will be:
    “A member of the Board, other than the Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, the Chief Labour Officer and the Coordinators of the National Youth Authority, who is absent from three consecutive meetings without sufficient cause ceases to be a member of the Board”.
    Mr Speaker, that is the full complement
    of the amendment.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, are you alright with this proposed amendment?
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have dealt with that; it is consequential to the earlier amendment.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 6 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Clause 7.
    Clause 7. . . .
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, on clause 7, there is a first amendment in respect of clause 7(3). Unfortunately, it does not appear on the Order Paper, and even on the Adendum Order Paper.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 7(3), delete all the words after “Board” in line 2, which then will make it read: “ The quorum at a meeting of the Board is five members or a greater number determined by the Board…” and the words; “in respect of an important matter”, will be deleted.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, no objection.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    No further amendment to clause 7?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 7, subclause (6), line 1, after “meeting” insert “in an advisory capacity” and in line 2, delete “that” and insert “the” and at the end, add “and the presence of that person shall not count in the constitution of a quorum.”
    Mr Speaker, so, the full complement then will read 4:45 a.m.
    “the Board may co-opt a person to attend a Board meeting, in an advisory capacity but the person shall not vote on a matter for decision at the meeting, and the presence of that person, shall not count in the constitution of a quorum”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, are you alright with it?
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, no objection.
    Question put, and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    I will put the Question with regard to the whole of Clause 7.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr Prempeh 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the clause 7 (3), there was a further amendment to the reason “important” matters -
    Mr Speaker, in the Interpretation Act, things to do with financial matters, the quorate for calling that Board meeting, and it is higher than the normal Board meeting in the Interpretation Act. So, in clause 7(3), I was proposing that, for financial matters, we need a higher quorate and the Board will determine on that one alone.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 7 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    There are no advertised amendments to clauses 8, 9, 10 and 11.
    Clause 9 - 11 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 12 - Appointment of Chief Executive.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (1), line 2, after “Executive” insert “Officer”,
    So that it will be in consonance with clause 4(1) b. The position is the “Chief Executive Office.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Hon Chairman, no objection?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Clause 12 again.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in subclause 2, line 1, let the same principle apply. Mr Speaker, may I also say that it should also affect the Headnote?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    It should also affect what?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Headnotes; “Appointment, Chief Executive Officer”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Very well. Let us take them one after the other.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, line 1, after “Executive,” insert “Officer”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader, the Headnotes now?
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?
    Mr Chireh 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, since we have changed the name there, if you can direct that since it is consequential, wherever it is written “Chief Executive”, it should be “Chief Executive Officer”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    I appreciate your point, but let us take this one, after that, I will give the direction.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Headnotes.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that Headnotes insert “Officer”, after “Chief Executive”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    I direct that the draftpersons take note that wherever the expression; “Chief Executive” appears, it should be taken that it should be “Chief Executive Officer,” throughout the process.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, throughout, including clause 13 (3), which was also not captured.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Very well. I so direct.
    Yes, Hon O. B. Amoah?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (1), line 2, after “Agency” insert “who possesses the relevant professional competence and experience”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Yes,
    Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, no objection.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Yes, Hon O. B. Amoah?
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12 add the following new subclause 4:45 a.m.
    “(3) The Chief Executive is responsible for the day to day administration of the affairs of the Agency and is answerable to the Board in the performance of functions under this Act.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, no objection.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 12 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 13 - Functions of the Chief Executive.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that was what we just did, clause
    13.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    I think I have given the directives. So, it goes with it.
    Very well.
    So, Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amenowode 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are deleting subclause 2, because we have

    already had provision for “Secretary to the Board” somewhere else.

    Question put and amendment agreed to.

    Any further amendment to clause 13?

    Hon Chairman of the Committee and Minority Leader, there is a further amendment to clause 13, proposed by you on page 5, by the deletion and insertion of the following: --

    Are you with me?

    Yes, Hon O. B. Amoah?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 5:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 13, delete and insert the following:
    “Deputy Chief Executives of the Youth Employment Agency
    (1) The Agency shall have two Deputy Chief Executive Officers responsible for
    (a) Finance and Administration
    (b) Operations.
    (2) The Deputy Chief Executive Officers shall hold office on the terms and conditions specified in their letters of appointment.
    (3) The Deputy Chief Executive Officers shall perform other functions assigned to them by the Chief Executive Officer.
    (4) One of the Deputy Chief Executive Officers shall, in accordance with guidelines determined by the Board, act as the Chief Executive Officer
    whenever the Chief Executive Officer is absent.”
    Mr H. Iddrisu 5:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we do support the creation of the Office of the Deputy Chief Executive, one to be responsible for Finance and Administration and the other for Operations as moved by the Hon Osei-Bonsu Amoah.
    Mr Speaker, in respect of subclause (4), if he has no objection, I will further amend it to read; “One of the Deputy Chief Executive Officers shall act as the Chief Executive Officer in the absence of the CEO”. It ends there. It is more elegant than saying that “guidelines determined by the Board”. We support the principle of the creation of the two Deputy Chief Executive positions.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
    Any objection?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 5:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have no objection.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have an objection.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, first of all, we are dealing with the deletion of clause 13, subclause (3). I think that is the purpose of it - [Interruption] -- No! The intent of this is to seek to delete subclause (3) of clause 13 and in its place, we substitute this. This is because he did not state that at the outset, I thought that may amount to some confusion.
    It is clause 13, subclause 3 that he seeks to delete.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
    Yes. He
    seeks to delete clause 13, subclause (3) and to substitute it with what he said.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:05 p.m.
    Yes, that is number one.
    Mr Speaker, number two. I think that whoever should be in the place of the CEO should be determined by the guidelines. Otherwise, they have a situation where there may be some squabbles within the ranks of the two officers -- who could take over in the absence of the CEO.
    If we say that the guidelines should determine this, Mr Speaker, it is just for the avoidance of doubt. So, I think that we should go with original formulation of Hon O. B. Amoah.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
    Since the Hon Minister is alright with the proposed retention of the amendment earlier proposed by the Hon O. B. Amoah, we will let it stand as such.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Alhaji Ibrahim Dey Abubakari 5:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have an amendment to make on clause 13, subclause (1). It reads,
    “The Agency shall have two Deputy Chief Executive Officers responsible for (a) Finance and Administration and (b) Operations”.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to amend clause 15, the new clause, which gives the Board the opportunity to create new directorates. I suggest that they should create four directorates.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
    Are you talking about clause 15?
    Alhaji Abubakari 5:05 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    It will affect clause 13.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
    We are not there yet. So, wait till we get there. Unless you want to say that -
    Alhaji Abubakari 5:05 p.m.
    I would want to add that if the four directorates are created, it will affect clause 13, subclause (1). In other words, we shall have four directorates: Finance and Administration, Operations, Monitoring and Evaluation and Research - [Interruption] - Yes, he will be responsible for two of them; either finance and administration and monitoring and evaluation, or research and operations.
    So, we need to add research and monitoring and evaluation, if clause 15 is accepted - [Pause] - If we create the four directorates, each Deputy Chief Executive will be responsible for two of them.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Mr H. Iddrisu 5:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to persuade my Hon Colleague, that we will come forward to create directorates. There is a proposal standing in the name of the Hon Chairman of the Committee and Hon Osei Bonsu Amoah, which will deal with his concern. This is specifically on Deputy Chief Executive Officers -- two to be created.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you in agreement?
    Very well.
    I will put the Question with regard to clause 13, subclause (3).
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 5:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have seen the amendment standing in clause 13, subclause (4), in which if it is left in the current form, it will not be very useful. This is because when officers are appointed administratively, and one is said to be deputy, it is implied that after the Chief Executive Officer, the

    order of precedence is the deputy. So, there is no need for guidelines for them to act.

    But when it is thought that because they are two in the appointment, there will always be deputy (1) and deputy (2), they will know it; it is administrative. So, in the absence of one, the other one acts automatically.

    If it is specified and the guidelines say that it must be “this” who must act, and that person too is absent, what happens in that situation? This is because, it has now been provided for expressly in law, and if the law intended that the deputy that the guidelines will bring up to act, in his absence, the guideline should request another, and it is not expressly provided. There will be a problem.

    So, let us follow the time tested one, that there will be the two deputies and then in the absence of the CEO, one of them will act, and leave it as that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, you argued in favour of the retention of that portion of the proposed amendment.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the original mover of the Motion was minded to abandon it. Until I came in to his rescue, and then he stood firm again. So, now that there is another Hon Member trying to torpedo it - well - I think that, once we have the principle established, I will not press it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
    Very well.
    Dr Kunbuor 5:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we are in agreement, we can just take it as it is. Thus, in the absence of the CEO, one of the deputies will act.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon
    Member for Wa West?
    Mr Chireh 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the mover of the Motion earlier agreed not to have the guidelines, and that it would just be automatic. It was the Hon Minister who raised it.
    My issue is about the whole of clause 13. What the amendment seeks to do, is to have two deputies appointed. But it said, delete and insert the following, we are deleting the whole of clause 13 - [Interruption] - I am reading from the advertised -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    It is clause 13, subclause (3).
    Mr Chireh 5:15 p.m.
    Yes. If it is subclause (3), I have no problem, but you are deleting the whole of clause 13.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    I understand you. We better be on the side of caution.
    Clause 13, subclause (3) - Hon
    Members, I think we have to go back to the new clause 13, subclause (4). Have we taken the Question with regard to that one? I do not think so. We will let it remain without the guidelines. We are deleting the guidelines.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, so, it will read as follows: -
    “One o f the Depu ty Ch ie f Executives shall act as the Chief Executive Officer whenever the Chief Executive Officer is absent.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 13 as amended ordered to stand
    part of the Bill.
    Clause 14 - Appointment of other staff.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, c,lause 14, subclause (1) (10, delete and insert the afollowing:
    “Subject to article 195, the Board may employ on terms and by the Board, persons required for the purpose of the performance of the functions of the Agency.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, I will put the Question -
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, the rationale behind this amendment is not known; we have not been given room to debate the matter. If you look at article 195(1) of the Constitution, it says and with our permission, I beg to quote:
    “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the power to appoint persons to hold or to act in an office in the public services shall vest in the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the governing council…”
    “(2)The President may, subject to such conditions as he may think fit, delegate some of his functions under this article by directions in writing to the governing council concerned or to a committee of the council or to any member of that governing council or to any public officer.”
    Mr Speaker, you will realise that, in practice, the President's appointment to such offices are reserved to senior positions and the others are by the Board. So, I think this amendment is rather superfluous. That is why I wanted the Hon Minority Leader to explain the rationale behind this amendment.
    If he says it is subject to article 195, then why the need to even propose the amendment that it is the Board that may
    make such appointment? If there are other weightier reasons or if the Hon Minority Leader thinks that there are problems with the existing clause and he intends to enrich it, then let him advance the argument in support therefore.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, the Hon Member wants you to substantiate the need for this amendment that you have proposed.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the reason I did it is that, yes, the President in accord with article 195 may have to make some appointments to the Agency. But I said that there are some petty officers of the Agency that the President may not have to descend that low to recruit. Those ones will be left to the Board, which is why I said “subject to article 195”.
    The President may have his own level of operation, but then the Board may also have their own level of operation. So, the Board could, maybe, recruit those very junior staff to work in the Agency.
    Mr Speaker, that is the intent of this proposed amendment.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if that is the intention behind his proposed amendment, then I think that amendment is superfluous. This is because article 195(2) adequately provides for that, and that is the practice in the Public Service. It is not the President who appoints a driver of an agency. It is not the President who does the appointment; it is the Board on behalf of the President. This is because every public officer or every member of the Public Service, by virtue of article 195(1) of the Constitution, is appointed by the President. That is it.
    So, I urge the Hon Minority Leader to reconsider his proposed amendment in the light of the argument that I have advanced, which on this occasion, I believe to be extremely weighty and not to positively influence his consideration.
    Mr Chireh 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, article 195 is sub-divided into subclauses and in one of the subclauses that is, the second subclause, says that this function of the President can be delegated. So, the way it is rendered here, does not mean that the President will physically appoint people.
    What has been practised in this country is that, the President is only concerned about the Chief Executive Officer; the rest of the people - But what the Hon Minority Leader is rather amending, he is offending the Constitution, because the Boards are not the ones which employ the people; they just execute delegated functions; it is still the President. One cannot go to the court and say a Board appointed him or her, therefore - The Board does not appoint; it is a delegated function. Therefore, we should leave it as it is captured in the original Bill.
    I do not think we should introduce a procedural issue of how people are appointed because every person, messenger, driver or any other person is presumed to have been appointed by the President. But he cannot do that; we all know. So, we do not need to tamper with it.
    Once we say “subject to the Con- stitution”, we cannot say the Board should do those things. It means we are amending the Constitution, which is not right.
    Dr Kunbuor 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is a lot of good sense in which constitutional draftspersons are advised, that if we want to repeat a constitutional provision in a statute or a subsidiary legislation, we must make sure we do it verbatim. In fact, it is discouraged because if a comma is missing, there is a conflict between it and the Constitution. So, if we are not reproducing that article -- which I do not advise we should reproduce -- let us not introduce this. This is because it is a basic law that delegates non delegare. But what we are doing now is that, we are asking the President's delegated power to further be
    delegated and that is why this is one of the delegated powers of the President, which they insist must be in writing.
    If you read all the clauses, you will
    see that they have chosen them very, very carefully. So, even if a Minister purports, because he is appointed by the President, to constitute this article 195, it will not work.
    There are challenges that have been put to such Boards that have been constituted, they have gone into contract, only for people to find out that the Boards were not properly constituted in accordance with the Constitution and they said all they did was nullity. That is the type of situation we are getting into.
    Anyway, if we all swear to always abide by the Constitution and the Constitution has provided a procedure, why do we need to try and introduce things that are not anticipated by the Constitution?
    I can understand from a practical Public Administration view, that people just want to be able to give the direction in which this power must be delegated. But I think it is not safe constitutionally.
    I would add my voice to that of the Hon Member from Sekondi and humbly plead with the Hon Minority Leader, who is sponsoring this amendment, that “we should let sleeping dogs lie and let lying dogs sleep”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Yes Hon Minister, before I come to the Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr H. Iddrisu 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I clearly agree with the Hon Member who last spoke. Indeed, this morning, at winnowing, we drew attention to the fact that we cannot use an Act of Parliament to amend the Constitution; indeed, when you read article 195 (2), Mr Speaker, with your indulgence and permission, I beg to quote. that:
    “(2) The President may, subject to such conditions as he may think fit,
    delegate some of his functions under this article by directions in writing to the governing council...”
    So, for our purposes, I think that we can maintain the original rendition in the Bill as was presented. I do not think we are right in subjecting the President in exercising this particular power conferred on him by article 195 (2). So, I would persuade the Hon Minority Leader to abandon this, so that we will make progress.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Manhyia South?
    Dr Prempeh 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like the directions clearly. Is it that what the Hon Minority Leader is trying to suggest goes contrary to the Constitution or it is superfluous?
    We have done a lot of laws in this House, where we have added these superfluous clauses. Mr Speaker, so, I would like the Hon Minister, who formerly worked in the Attorney-General's Department, to say if it is contrary to the Constitution.
    I am happy to support his call that the Hon Minority Leader should drop it, but if we have two former Attorney-Generals, and they cannot even agree -- one says it is superfluous, the other says it is unconstitutional. So, which is which? Let us agree; if it is superfluous, Mr Speaker, we know it does not matter because it is for emphasis, as we say in this House. But if it is contrary to the Constitution, then I agree that the Hon Minority Leader should be persuaded to abasndon it.
    Dr Kunbuor 5:25 p.m.
    The net effect of the amendment is that, it is both superfluous and unconstitutional. So, if somebody has mentioned that it is superfluous and another has said it is unconstitutional, it is both superfluous and unconstitutional.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, for the benefit of the House, this is a debate. We may agree with an argument proffered by an Hon Member, or we may disagree. Indeed, we even need have no reason at all, to agree or disagree.
    So, for purposes of this debate, I do not think the Hon Member for Manhyia South's question is necessary. After all, even in the Supreme Court, it is not always that Justices agree.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader, having heard these contributions, what do you say?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you will see that the operative phrase is “subject to”.
    Mr Speaker, “subject to” is completely different from “notwithstanding”, “in spite of”, “despite” - Mr Speaker, there is a world of difference. So, when I use “subject to”, for anyone to say that “I am not subjecting the conduct of the President to the Constitution”, I do not see where that person is coming from.
    And I would suggest, if people are saying that it is unconstitutional Mr Speaker, they should go and look at many of the laws that we have fashioned in this House. This construction exists in those laws.
    So, perhaps if we are being told that they are unconstitutional and super-fluous, we must now begin to migrate towards those phraces to clean those Acts.
    But Mr Speaker, I am not fixated on this. I wanted to give room for the appointment of the sweepers and so on, who may be there. That is why I subjected the conduct of the Board to the Constitution. I do not think that it is an infringement of the Constitution in any way.
    Notwithstanding, as I said, because I
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:25 p.m.


    am not fixated, I may want to withdraw it.
    Dr Kunbuor 5:25 p.m.
    In fact ,Mr Speaker, the reason I am not taking this topic serious is that, for those of us who have practised this at the Ministerial level -- and I am sure, particularly, when you were with me in the Attorney-General's Department -- we continued with this provision, doing a lot of unconstitutional Acts, until it was challenged. That is my worry about it, because sometimes we do not even receive the letter, and we do not receive the directive.
    People were swearing in Boards left and right. I saw it in the Ministry of Health; I saw it in the Ministry of the Interior; and I saw it in the Attorney- General's Department, particularly when the term of some Boards had passed and the period had not ended.
    So, we are saying that practice has cured the unconstitutional conduct, and so, subsequent legislation must take note of that. That is actually my worry.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, did I hear you indicate that you are abandoning it?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is the import of what I said.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Very well. Thank you very much.

    Clause 13 ordered to stand part Bill.

    Hon Members. We move on to the amendment proposed to clause 14 by the Chairman of the Committee.

    Clause 14 -- Appointment of other staff.
    Mr Amenowode 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg
    to move, clause 14, subclause (2), line 2, delete”Fund” and insert “Agency”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    What is the
    rationale behind it?
    Mr Amenowode 5:25 p.m.
    So, the rendition will be -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    The rationale -- I will like to find out the rationale behind this proposed amendment. Do you follow me? What is the reasoning?
    Mr Amenowode 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the original Bill talks of a Fund, but we have abandoned that idea and have established an Agency. So, it is no more a Fund but an Agency.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr Prempeh 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like further and better particulars to this statement. There are subsequent clauses which talked about Funds. Other clauses talked about Agency. This might be talking about the secretariat for the Fund, which is different from the Agency. The Fund belongs to the Agency, but they might have a secretariat to manage the funds, and they might have a secretariat for the Agency.
    So, please, the Hon Chairman should come again, and let us know the rationale why we are changing the secretariat of the Fund to become the Agency. It is not just saying that it is the same thing. It is not the same thing; it means two different things.
    Mr Amenowode 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are talking about the secretariat of an Agency. If we look at clause 14(1), it talks of appointing staff for the Agency. So, the clause 14 (2) -- there are other public officers for the Agency and not the Fund.
    Dr Prempeh 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the reason I would like him to be clear is when we go to the Interpretation, which is clause 32, even though we have not got there, “Fund means the Youth Employment
    Fund established under this Agency.”
    Mr Speaker, so, this whole subclause talks about the secretariat of the National Youth Employment Fund. This Bill envisages that, we will create a Fund. We have not got there now, but I guess when the Hon Minister comes back after his consultation with the Presidency, the Fund will be established.
    So, he has to explain; the Fund is not just an ordinary word. The “Fund” means something in particular in this Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, I believe the import of what the Chairman of the Committee is trying to do is to show that we are talking about the Agency -
    Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh?
    Mr Chireh 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the explanation he wants is simply like this: If we look at the Headnotes, it talks about appointment of staff for the secretariat. Therefore, once we say we do not need to change the secretariat because if one is seconded to the Agency - and that is why he has specified the Agency. There is a Fund that has been created there.
    The staff of the Agency will also be treated as the staff of the Fund. And the staff of the Fund will be treated as the staff of the Agency as well. Under this, the legal implication is that, we cannot talk about the secretariat and suddenly introduce “Fund.” If we want the appointment of the staff for the Fund, it should come under the Fund and not under the secretariat. That is why it should be the Agency and not the Fund.
    Dr Prempeh 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why the Headnotes should be “Appointment
    of other staff of the Secretariat.” The Headnotes should clearly state that, then we can effect this change. So if the Hon Member could amend the Headnotes, it will remove all doubts.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Yes, I think so.
    Mr Chireh 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, look at subclause (1), it specifies “Agency”. So, we have to read it as a whole. Subclause (1) of the same clause 14 specifies “Agency.” So, one cannot come to subclause (1) and be talking about the Fund. That is where one will be wrong.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee, if you are in favour of the - [Interruption] -
    Mr Amenowode 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, when you look at the Long Title, it talks about an Agency, it does not talk about Youth Employment Fund. We are employing staff for the Agency.So, we are replacing “Fund” with “Agency” and it stands like that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Very well. Let us go along with this one and after that we will look at the sub-title, so that we satisfy the request that you have put in place.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Now, Chairman of the Committee, let us look at the sub-title, “Appointment of other staff”.
    Mr Amenowode 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have been dealing with “Appointment of Staff” throughout and there is no need to even say “Appointment of Staff for the Agency” as a sub-title. If we have appointed the Chief Executive Officer and other staff before appointing the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, we never
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Hon Member for Manhyia South, do you follow his argument?
    Dr Prempeh 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we will not go to further clauses down to meet Fund, and it is going to be Agency, then we will revisit it. If not, we are still at clause 14, we could continue. We could always have a second Consideration.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, are there any further amendments to clause 14? No?
    Clause 14 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 15 - Regional and District Offices of the Agency.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15, subclause (1), line 1, delete “may” and insert “shall”.
    Mr Speaker, for the Agency to be able to perform its function very well, they should have regional and district offices. So, it is imperative that the Board establishes these offices. So, instead of the word “may”, it should rather be “shall”, so that the Board will be mandated to establish those offices. If we say “may”, it means it is at their discretion and the Agency will be run from the national level and it is when they decide that they should have regional and district offices that they will have these offices. But once it is mandatory under “shall”, then obviously, they will be compelled to establish these
    offices.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Chireh 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the reason for using “may” is that we have 216 District Assemblies or districts. Sometimes, if we say “shall”, it means they must establish for every district. When we say “may”, it will take some time. Sometimes, they have to look at the possibility of doing so. So, this window does not prevent anybody from having a coordinator; but to say “shall”, he may be the same person who will file a Question to find out why the Akwapim South does not have one. That is the problem about it. But “may” is sometimes interpreted as “shall”. If he says “shall”, what is the meaning? This is a poor organisation we are going to set up to look for jobs for people. Must we at the beginning say every district should have it? Sometimes, there needs to be coordinators for a number of new districts that still have secretariat problems.
    So, once the Hon Chairman has no objection -- I am told that the reason he has given is not sufficient. It should be “may”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Yes, Hon O. B. Amoah?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you read the clause very well, it says:
    “The Board may establish regional and district offices of the Agency in places determined by the Board.”
    In the first place, it does not say, “in all districts”. It has not said so. But I am saying that if we leave that discretion to the Board, then for two years after the
    operation of the Agency, if no district office or regional office has been set up, then the Board will say that it is at their discretion -- because it is “may”.
    I am saying that this Agency cannot be operated without regional and district offices. So, definitely, they must be set up. And the Board is mandated to set them up. It does not say it should set them up in all the 216 districts. After all, if they have not sent the Agency there, why will they set up an office there?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?
    Mr Chireh 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is because the Board is to determine. That is why the “may” is appropriate. If they just establish secretariat or offices, fine. But the Board is to determine. So, they “may”. They determine, that is why “may” is so appropriate; it should not be “shall” because if we say “shall”, they will have no determination in the matter.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Hon Member for Effutu?
    Mr Alexander Kwamina Afenyo- Markin 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, to enable us appreciate the amendment, being proposed, I have gone to the memorandum. If you come to the memorandum of this Bill, it says the Agency:
    “… is to develop, coordinate, supervise and facilitate the creation of jobs for the youth in the country”.
    Mr Speaker, what is the rationale behind the establishment of regional and district offices? It is to enable the
    Agency to do its work better. If we allow discretion, then the very purpose for which this Bill is being put into force will not be achieved.
    What the Hon Member is trying to say by proposing this amendment is to make it mandatory. We should not give room for ambiguities where people will want to, in their own comfort, decide whether there is supposed to be an office in Wa or Winneba.
    But if we make it mandatory, then they are compelled by law to then say that the Bill intends to ensure that jobs are created. If that is so, then offices must be available for people to be able to have access to these offices.
    And it is the responsibility of the Board to ensure that such offices are established, whether at the regional or district levels by making it mandatory. Mr Speaker, it is not out of place. That is my humble submission.
    I am grateful.
    Alhaj i Moammed-Mubarak Muntaka: Mr Speaker, I believe that all these arguments, with the greatest respect to my Hon Colleagues, are not necessary. This is because as we have now, they already have the offices all across the country and I do not foresee the Board closing down any of them. But let me even say, for drafting purposes, “shall”, in modern drafting terms, is no longer used. It is either “will” or “may”.
    Mr Speaker, most importantly, once we say “a Board will determine” and we say “shall” - I do not see the argument. So I would want to plead with my Hon Colleague, Hon O. B. Amoah, that the rendition that he has proposed is good, the use of the words “may” and “shall” should not hold us for all this time. In my humble opinion, whether it is “may” or “shall” the districts are already there. So we can make progress.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Let me

    hear from Hon O. B. Amoah, then I will like the Hon Minister to respond to the issues raised.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have in my hand the National Health Insurance Act, Act 852 and at section 17 of the Act, it says and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “Regional and District Offices of the Authority.
    17 (1) The Authority shall have regional and district offices as determined by the Board.”
    This is not the first time that we are using such phrases. And if we are minded to have regional and district offices for the National Health Insurance Authority, why not the Employment Agency? Why are we giving discretion to the Board -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon O. B. Amoah, your point is well made.
    Yes, Hon Minister, do you have any objection?
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is no policy objection to the use of the word “shall”, particularly so because in many regions and districts, there already exists offices of the erstwhile Ghana Youth Employment Agency. We started off as National Employment Agency. Therefore, Mr Speaker, we may want us to proceed further.
    The intention is that we will have regional and district offices because that is where the unemployment will be tackled from - bottom-up.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Well, Hon Members, I will go back to put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, we are still at clause 15, I
    believe. No! There is a new clause proposed by Hon O. B. Amoah. So, let me put the Question on clause 15 as amended.
    Clause 15 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    New clause.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, new clause, add the following new clause after clause 15:
    “Directorates and Units of the Agency:
    (1) The Board shall establish directorates that the Board considers necessary for the performance of the functions of the Agency.
    (2) A director is responsible for each directorate subject to the direction of the Chief Executive Officer.
    (3) The staff strength and the detailed functions of each directorate shall be determined by the Board.
    (4) A directorate of the Agency shall have units that the Board considers necessary for the effective performance of the functions of the Agency”.
    Mr Speaker, this is to create directories and units of the Agency. Mr Speaker, I believe this is not controversial. Indeed, it is important that such an Agency should have directorates and units. As the Hon Member for Salaga said, we need to have various directorates manned by directors - be it legal, research and monitoring or finance - All those things. I believe this clause will cater for such a body under the Agency.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee -
    Mr Amenowode 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as it appears, it is a joint amendment but with a few corrections, that is, in subclause (1) -
    “The Board shall establish directo- rates as the Board considers necessary”.
    “As” instead of “that”.
    And then subclause (2) -
    “Each directorate shall be headed by a director”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon O. B. Amoah, he is proposing further amendments to your proposed amend- ment. What is your response?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 5:45 p.m.
    Well, Mr Speaker, that is semantics. Probably, we should find out the right rendition, whether it is “as” or “that”. But it does not change the substance. So, I do not have any objection to it.
    Alhaji Ibrahim D. Abubakari 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to suggest a further amendment to subclause (1). Instead of “The Board shall establish directorates as it considers necessary”, I believe we should create the directorates here for the Board. I suggest that we should create four (4) directorates. So -
    “The Board shall establish four (4) directorates as follows:
    Finance and Administration, Opera- tion, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation”.
    The reason I am saying this is that,
    giving them the discretion, knowing what has happened in the past, nobody knows, which of the directorates they will create. So, I think in the amendment, we should create the directorates for them, so that these four directorates will be able to work and then the units will be under them.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    What is the import of the use of the word “Board” in front of the directorates?
    Alhaji Abubakari 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am creating the four directorates.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    “Board directorate” - What does that mean?
    Alhaji Abubakari 5:45 p.m.
    Well, I am creating the four directorates. And the four directorates are - Finance and Admini- stration, Monitoring and Evaluation, Operations, and Research. That should be created by the Board for the discharge of its functions. [Interruption.]
    Instead of allowing the Board a discretion to create unlimited directorates any time they want, I think in the Act, we should limit them to the four directorates for them to operate with.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I find it difficult to follow my Hon Friend. He should move a specific amendment to what is before us, so that we can follow him. This is because I am not following all the discussions. A specific amendment has been moved; if he wants to do a further amendment, then let us follow him and then he follows it with his argument. But he is arguing and at the same time, amending - We do not know which way -
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do support that there is established by this, the directorate and units of the Agency for employment. But I do have a difficulty,
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr Prempeh 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, normally, what should have accompanied -- when it came to the Committee, was the organogram of the Agency. If there was an organogram of the Agency as envisaged, their minds could be traced to see what directorates we need, and the four directorates suggested by the Hon Alhaji Abubakari, the Hon Member for Salaga South, are very important.
    Mr Speaker, those four directorates should exist as a matter of Actually,
    we should establish those directorates before we give the discretion to the Board to establish other directorates. If we should look into the National Health Insurance Act, we did precisely so. To help an employment agency without a legal directorate, is absurd. To have an Employment Agency without a directorate for monitoring and an evaluation, is absurd.
    Mr Speaker, those four directorates, as mentioned, should be the minimum, as the Hon Member for Old Tafo suggested. So, we should state that these four directorates will be established in addition to other directorates, as it is necessary, so that we can move - It is a very good suggestion, that the Hon Member has made.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Muntaka 5:55 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    With the greatest respect, we do not put fine details of what we do in the law, unless there is some established controversy that we know of.
    Mr Speaker, as we speak, they have a directorate and there is no controversy whether there is some conflict that is - Mr Speaker, rationally, if one should ask a Board to establish a directorate, they will create, as and when it is necessary, the directorate that would help them to carry out their mandate. If we decide to put in the law, certain names of directorates, what we will be doing is, we will be tying the hands of the Board.
    I think the way the rendition is couched by Hon O. B. Amoah is sufficient. It will be enough to enable the Board to carry out its mandate without necessarily putting fine details in the law.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, under normal circumstances, I would have agreed with the Hon Majority Chief Whip, but what we are doing is not normal. There are reasons we must put a legal structure to it. If one goes to check the Health Bill, which he helped moved forward, we put specific committees as a minimum. What Hon Abubakari suggested is prudent. He called for a minimum number of committees, and the Board can expand.
    Mr Speaker, one of the most crucial things that he mentioned is monitoring and evaluation, and I think we should pay heed to what he said, give them a minimum of four, and let them add any that they would want. In that way, we will be comfortable, that given what has happened, we are protected.
    You will agree that this is not a normal Bill; we are trying to correct certain deficiencies. So when there is room, as we did to the National Health Insurance Bill, that is what he is trying to do, and I think we should allow him to do that; it will help all of us.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    Very well. Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Amenowde 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think in any law that we leave room or give discretion to people, it results in unnecessary bureaucracy. That is why we have this House to create laws. I do not see why we cannot put there that - [Interruption] - Yes, we would move it, bring the rendition.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    Hon
    Members, let me make a proposal. I get the concept Hon Members are putting across. We should have these bodies put in place. If I should direct that the draftsperson captures this, so that we avoid any doubt, will you be alright with it?
    Alhahi Abubakari: Mr Speaker, I have written it.
    Dr Prempeh 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the appropriate thing will be to let the Hon Member bring it under a second Consideration Stage, so that the wording and everything is agreed on, and the Hansard will capture it. If we just leave it that way - We will go through a second Consideration Stage, so, that we can consult.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    When we get to a second Consideration Stage, this directive would have been complied with, and you will see it.
    Dr Prempeh 5:55 p.m.
    We will have to see it and agree on it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    So, if you will agree with it or want to make further amendment to it, it could be done. I believe that those directorates must be in place; a minimum of them must be in place. The rest can be added on at the discretion of the Board. Is that alright?
    Very well.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    The new clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    C lause 16 - Deve lopment o f Programmes
    Mr Amenowode 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 16, line 1, delete “on a yearly basis”
    We should delete “on a yearly basis”, and
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    So, how will the final rendition be?
    Mr Amenowode 5:55 p.m.
    It will read:
    “The Agency shal l develop programmes and modules for career development which shall be reviewed every two years”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    Very well.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    Hon Members, do you have any further amendments to clause 16?
    Yes?
    Mr Darko-Mensah 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 16, add the following subclause:
    “(2) Thirty per cent (30%) of the module shall be self-sustaining”.
    Mr Speaker, the whole idea is to enable the Youth Employment Agency generate their own money, and since it is an entrepreneurial development agency, I believe they will need to show example.
    Secondly, we also know that, there are a lot of the modules that can be easily commercialised to generate money. The auxiliary nursing for instance, if we take the Cuban Medical Brigade too for instance, they are able to generate money for their mother organisation, and I believe the National Youth Employment Agency moving forward after eight years as a new paradigm, should be able to generate 30
    per cent of their own money and add up.
    This is because even the private sector organisations that provide service to the Youth Employment Agency are able to make so much profit, and therefore, I feel they can even assist them to create modules that can generate a lot of money for the Youth Employment Agency.
    More so, when Government revenues with time turn to lax, and therefore, I believe that for the sustainability of the Agency as a starter, at least, 30 per cent of their modules should be self-sustaining, especially in information technology. I believe this clause should be supported.
    Very well.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amenowode 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we do not support this amendment. The objective of the Agency is not for profit, it is a training Agency and its objective is to train the youth for future careers. So, they are not income generating programmes. So, it cannot be self-sustaining. We do not support the amendment.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Muntaka 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we should vehemently oppose this amendment. The reason is that, as the Chairperson of the Committee rightly mentioned, how do you make a module under GYEEDA self-sustaining? It will be too difficult, especially to even say 30 per cent. Even if he was suggesting that as much as possible some of the modules should be self-sustaining, it would have been even better.
    But to say 30 per cent, meaning that all the modules that they have currently, will have to collapse or we have to make sure that 30 per cent of it is not sustaining. If you do not have part of it being self- sustaining, then you cannot progress.
    I think this is to help create jobs and
    to do such activity, especially, with the youth, is not something that one can easily make it self-sustaining. Therefore, we should leave it to the Board. I believe anytime it is necessary to create or to have a self-sustaining module, they will create it. But to put it in the law, I do not think it is right and, therefore, I will urge my Hon Colleague to respectfully withdraw it so that we do not waste much time on this.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Effutu?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I differ strongly with what the Hon Majority Chief Whip is proposing. I was rather looking at amending it further to read “at least 30 per cent”. In fact, that was what I had in mind.
    But let me argue on the substance of what is before us. Is there anything wrong in putting in this law, the need for modules which has just been proposed because it is the Chairman who just proposed the modules to be included here? Is there anything wrong in saying that, yes, it is a platform for career development? But if we have modules that are unsustainable, it becomes questionable.

    Mr Speaker, if the Hon Majority Chief Whip will minimise his heckling -

    I will address the Chair but I am

    also urging the Chair to take note of his heckling.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Are you not through with your submission?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Chief Whip was overly heckling and he was urging me to address
    the Chair and I felt it was important to draw the attention of the Chair to the heckling, so that I can safely navigate.
    Mr Speaker, I do not think that saying at least, 30 per cent should be self-sustaining, is wrong. I do not think so because the modules that are to be introduced are themselves supposed to be modules that all of us - Mr Speaker, it should also not be a drain. Whatever modules that are supposed to be introduced, should not be a drain on the public purse.
    So, if he proposes that it should be self- sustaining, my view is that there is nothing wrong with it.
    I am grateful.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Yes, Hon
    Deputy Minister?
    Baba Jamal M. Ahmed: Mr Speaker, I think even though our Hon Colleague may have good intentions in introducing this amendment, practically, it may be difficult to work with this on the ground, especially when we put it in the law. It means that if we bring out the modules and we do not get 30 per cent being self-sustaining, it means that they cannot work.
    What we should all understand is that this is supposed to train people and so, we do not expect that it will generate much to be self-sustaining. So, this particular amendment, even though with good intentions, it will not be good to put it in a law here, to limit the Agency and say that by all means, they must have 30 per cent of it as self-sustaining and for that matter, it should not be allowed to stand.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Takoradi?
    Hon Member, you proposed the amendment and I want you to respond to the issues that have been raised. I want to listen to you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the intention of the proposer of the amendment is to make sure that we do not turn these modules into waste pipes. The difficulty here is that he is proposing that 70 per cent be unsustainable but 30 per cent be sustainable. Definitely, we cannot be legislating that way. We cannot. 70 per cent unsustainable and 30 per cent sustainable; you cannot legislate that way.
    I am looking at the proposed
    amendment; clause 16 (2) - “Thirty per cent (30%) of the modules shall be self-
    sustaining”.
    Definitely, this should be rejected. I am looking forward to modules that will be sustainable. That is what we should be looking at, so that we do not throw money into programmes that are just leakages of the scarce taxpayers money. We should not be investing only in the career, competencies and skills of the youth. But they should engage in activities that can generate enough revenue to sustain the modules. That is what I will prefer and so, I would urge all to reject this proposal.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Yes, may I hear from the Hon Minister?
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to oppose the amendment and to state that part of the recommendations of the investigative committee rightly per its intention, was to ensure value for money and to subject the procurement of the modules to competitive legal processes which should be done.
    Mr Speaker, if you take for instance, the Youth in Health Assistance, how is that going to sustain itself by 30 per cent? Or Youth in policing, who are helping us with traffic management and other issues, how is that going to be self-sustaining?
    Therefore, we cannot have a law where we will limit it to some modules and we may not be able to apply it to other modules. What I can assure my Hon Colleague of, is that, we will review the existing contract and indeed, air intent with the Attorney-General, that when the review is done and it is necessary to abrogate some of those contracts that will be done without prejudice to occasioning unnecessary judgment debts for the State.
    So, I think we will take care of his
    concern, but I do not think we should encourage a legislation that any module that is coming, should be 30 per cent sustaining.
    I could substitute his word “shall be self-sustaining” to “self-financing”, which is part of his intention and that is what makes his amendment even more problematic.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A.Osei 6:15 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I think that we should get

    Mr Speaker, that is why you need at least, three. That way, the Minister does not limit himself to a specific module. But the essence of it is that, part of the programme must be commercial.

    Throwing money at 100 per cent of the modules will not work. That is why with the point he is making, initially, he cannot make all of them 100 per cent free but some proportion that could cover the rest. I think 30 per cent, at least, is a good figure that will encourage the Board to be more commercial oriented. That is what we will want to do.

    The Hon Minister for Employment and

    Labour Relations is getting the import. The principle is what we are looking at.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe if we will accept the principle, we should then not limit ourselves to a percentage. We could then say that the modules progressively should become “self-sustaining”. So, we are not saying that it may be 10 per cent now, but we may give ourselves a period; it may be within 10 years or so. Progressively, it should be self-sustaining.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?
    Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    If you look at the amendment the Hon Member has proposed, he says 30 per cent of the module shall be self-sustaining. [Interruption] - There is no “s” in mine. If you want to add it, you can. But what he is saying is that we should take every module and decide that 30 per cent of it is self-sustaining. On the other hand, if he is talking about all the modules, the problem is that we will need to define “self- sustainability” in this context. Otherwise, it will be impossible.
    Mr Speaker, in any case, modules are determined on the basis of need and the possibility of creating opportunities for the youth to be engaged in. It will be difficult before we even start a module to determine its self-sustainability. And I believe that the whole idea of sustainability needs to be properly defined for it to be in the law. If not, it will be difficult to determine which of the modules could be self-sustaining.
    Mr Speaker, in any case, how are we going to measure that self-sustainability? If it is self-financing, ideally, the modules are not supposed to be Government created jobs where you employ people.
    They are supposed to be turning out people who would be self-employed and generating their own resources. So, if the whole concept of these modules is to be training them for the Government to support them with money, then they have defeated the purpose.
    So, the whole idea should not be “self-sustaining” in terms of - If they are not “self-sustaining”, is it that somebody would have to be providing money to sustain them, and in what sense? If it is a training programme, you train the people and they have to engage and support themselves to find jobs within the training they have received.
    So, I would plead with the Hon Member to drop this amendment and then introduce something that would say, “the selection procedure for modules” - But I do not see how he could even determine that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, I will like to listen to the proposer of the amendment and then I will put the Question.
    Hon Member for Takoradi?
    Mr Darko-Mensah 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the principle has been accepted by everybody and the Hon Minority Leader has made a proposal, which the Hon Minister has also accepted. We could go with that; gradually it should be made sustainable financially. So, I will leave that for the second Consideration Stage when they will come up with the text, that I believe would be agreeable to all parties.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    So, do you want to withdraw this amendment?
    Mr Darko-Mensah 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, for now -- for the second Consideration Stage.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Very Well.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, let us make some
    progress with regard to clause 16 as amended.
    Question put and amendment negative.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi? [Interruption.]
    Order! Order!
    Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, from the seeming ruffles that we are sensing in this House, it is obvious that the spirit is willing but the flesh and the mind are weak. It is so obvious.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, let me go over what we have done so far -
    Some Hon Members 6:25 p.m.
    No!
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Let me go over what we have done so far -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    There was an earlier amendment to clause 16 by the Chairman of the Committee, which was accepted when I put the Question. Then we came to the second proposed amendment
    by the Hon Member for Takoradi, which has been withdrawn. So, what is left is the earlier amendment which was accepted by this House. So, I am putting the Question whether clause 16 as amended -
    Some Hon Members 6:25 p.m.
    No! No!
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Clause 16 as amended -
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon
    Minority Leader, - let us have some order, please.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you boldly announced after the various attempts to adopt the amendment proposed by the Hon Member for Takoradi. Eventually, he bowed to pressure and withdrew it. [Interruption.] How can you say no? Mr Speaker announced it - [Interruption] you were not listening.
    Mr Speaker, you announced it; Mr Speaker announced it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Indeed, I announced that he had withdrawn his proposed amendment.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, subsequently put the Question and it was in respect of clause 16 as variously amended. Mr Speaker, that was what you said and as many as -
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, it was not as variously amended; as amended because there was only one amendment that had been taken.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:25 p.m.
    And then the vote registered [Laughter.] The vote registered a big “NO”. So, Mr Speaker, where we are now, unless there is a Motion
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minister for Defence?
    Dr Kunbuor 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think there was so much noise at the background on this matter and I am saying that to get a clarification from what you yourself have indicated -- Mr Speaker has not ruled on the matter for us to get to the point in which an application for rescission should take place. So, I think the easiest thing for us to move forward is for Mr Speaker to put the Question again. [Interruption.]
    If Mr Speaker had put the Question and he says the “Noes” or the “Ayes” have it, then that is when you come by way of rescission but Mr Speaker has not reached that point yet. So, in the light of clarity, Mr Speaker should put the Question and then rule on it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, let us be fair to ourselves. I put the Question and the majority of Members said “no.” So, that is what the state of affairs is, unless there is a Motion for rescission or possibly, the Hon Chairman can bring it up at second Consideration Stage. Otherwise, I think it is settled. It is settled.
    Dr Kunbuor 6:25 p.m.
    Respectfully, Mr Speaker - [Interruption] what I am indicating is that, you are perfectly right but at the point where we stand now, no decision has been taken on the matter because there is a vote but the vote has
    to be confirmed by the Chair. The Chair thought he would explain the context in which that Question was put.
    Whether it was variously amended or as amended, so that we will get a clearer idea. So, I am saying that once we have not crossed that and you have not confirmed the voice vote, it is now easier for us, Mr Speaker, for you to put it again and if they indeed, want to say “no”, it would be “no” and Mr Speaker will rule on it, then we are all saved.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, I appreciate all these points that are being made but I think that the voice vote was clear, the Noes had it. So, if there is a need for a Motion for rescission, fine. Otherwise, the Chairman can repeat the application at second Consideration Stage. I think it is only fair.
    The only advice I will give is that, as much as possible, Hon Members should pay attention to the proceedings.
    Mr Chireh 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that we rescind the decision to reject clause 16 as amended.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, why do you not file a Motion to that effect? [Pause.] I know it can be moved without notice but I will prefer that you file a Motion to that effect.
    Mr Chireh 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, at the Consideration Stage, the rules do not go strictly. I have just moved for the rescission of this decision that we made.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, I am directing that you file a formal Motion.
    Mr Chireh 6:25 p.m.
    All right - I am going to
    file a Motion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, we move on to clause 17.
    Clause 17 - Engagement of Private Sector Partner Service Provider
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 17 - subclause (1), line 2, delete “specific modules of” and insert “modules and”.
    So that it will read:
    ‘The Agency may collaborate with a private sector partner service provider in preparing proposals in respect of modules and programmes'
    Dr Prempeh 6:35 p.m.
    At the winnowing stage, clause 17 (1) was deleted because we had already approved the Board to appoint experts, as and when, for the development of programmes. So, we said “delete subclause 1” - that was what was agreed and then “subclause 2,” we make an amendment where “shall” becomes “may”. [Interruption] 17(1), we agreed at the Consideration Stage to delete the subclause 1, and then subclause 2, we change “shall” to “may” and then remove “partner services”. That was what was agreed.
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we rather deleted subclause 2 and brought a new clause. But this one, we just deleted the “specific modules of” and inserted, “modules and,” so that it will read as I have read earlier that -
    “The Agency may collaborate with a private sector partner service provider in preparing proposals in respect of modules and programmes”.
    That one, we have accepted but we have deleted the second one.
    Dr Prempeh 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, to my understanding, I have written it in the notes here. When we got to subclause (1), we made reference to the Agency having the power to appoint consultants and whoever, to develop programmes for it. We have agreed at the functions there.
    The Agency may engage the services of advisers and consultants as determined by the Board. We agreed, and so, we said delete it from clause 17 (1), then in clause 17 (2), we said, “the Agency may grant approval for the engagement of the private sector service provider in accordance with the Financial Administration Act”. Those are the two things; if not, maybe, I have to come under second Consideration Stage but that is what we agreed.
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    I think in clause 17
    (1), we were talking of proposals and that clause 17 (1) is dealing with proposals. It is clause 17 (2) that we deleted the original one and we have brought a new insertion. So, we are maintaining clause 17 (1).
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    You are maintaining clause 17 (1)?
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    The amendment in clause 17 (1) stands as advertised.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    All right.
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wish the Chairman will - Unless I am holding a wrong - Today is Monday and I am on page 7 of the Order Paper Addendum. Is that right? Clause 17 - subclause (1), line 2, delete “specific modules of” and insert “modules and”.
    Is that the one we are talking about?
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    Yes.
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    I am moving the amendment and I am moving clause 17
    (1).
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:35 p.m.
    All right.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    Very well.
    Question put and amendment agreed
    to.
    Dr Prempeh 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member said I should move this one.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    All right.
    Dr Prempeh 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 17, subclause (2), delete and insert the following:
    “The Agency may engage a private sector service provider in accordance with financial and admini-strative enactments for the implementation of modules and programmes”.
    That was what we agreed -- the subclause (1) was supposed to be totally deleted. That was not what we agreed.
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    No objection.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 17 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would want at this point to defer clause 18 to 27.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    Very well.
    So, we move on to clause 27 or 28?
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    We can take from clause 27.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    So, we can take from clause 27?
    Clause 27 - Establishment of Regional Committees
    Dr Prempeh 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman can only defer amendment to clauses he or the Committee has proposed. He cannot defer amendment to clauses somebody else has proposed. He has not sought leave of those persons whose names have been listed. We do not do it that way. [Interruption.]
    There are other Hon Members who have made amendments to those clauses. So, if he wants to defer them for discussions later, he should seek the approval of those Hon Members. He cannot defer an amendment standing in my name on my behalf.
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is perfectly right but I have the advice of the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations that we defer those clauses dealing with funding.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, do I understand you to be proposing that you will have winnowing with respect to those amendments?
    Mr Amenowode 6:35 p.m.
    Exactly so. We will want to have another winnowing for those clauses.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    Very well.
    Dr Prempeh 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman has indicated that he wants to have winnowing. It is at your discretion to approve it, so that we can go forward. But Mr Speaker, in that case, this is the meat of the whole Bill. Clause 18 to 26 are the meat of the whole Bill; they go to policy matters, Cabinet decisions and a host of other issues.
    Mr Speaker, at this juncture, if I may propose, since the Appropriation Bill is around, let us then defer, come back and do it, then we continue from there. This is because Mr Speaker, where we are going, has a direct effect on some of the - We can try one and two and when I rise, you will understand my point. It is not that disjointed. If we are here and we want to seek further winnowing, Mr Speaker, grant it but let us move to other business of the House, so that we can finish with our - Appropiation and then come back.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, precisely, because of the pol icy considerations, there are a number of new clauses that have been suggested and while we wait for the Report of the Finance Committee on the Appropriation, we may take those ones. But at any time that the Finance Committee Report is ready, we will yield to the Appropriation Bill to be - [Interruption.] It is now coming in. Have you seen the Report Mr Speaker?
    So, if we can take the new clause, for instance, Mr Speaker, there is a new clause to create an Internal Audit Agency, which is part of improving the governance structure and a more important clause on savings and provisional clause like transfer of assets and liabilities. So, we can take those ones while we wait for the Finance Committee to finalise.
    So, Mr Speaker, if we can take the new clauses as suggested by the Chairman and
    others, we could make some progress.
    Dr Prempeh 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not have any problem with what the Hon Minister has suggested. But one thing we also agreed that has not found expression in what we have done, that I may have to come in -- These modules that we are envisaging to develop, Mr Speaker, nobody should stay on the module for more than two years. That is what has been agreed. But so far, it has not appeared anywhere. This is not only a policy matter; it is key to this programme and we do not have to allow people to jump from one module to another; one day, doing bead making, the next day, doing bread making, another day, doing galamsey, the next day doing pot-holes.
    These clauses are vital for the Agency to stand and if we have defined the age of it, we should see the expressions.
    Mr Speaker, there are more policy issues that have not been decided for this Bill but have come in this Bill. And probably, we should step it down, do further winnowing and then come and come appropriately Mr Speaker. So that even the clause that you called, we can find expression and come back and come back appropriately.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am a bit confused and I need your guidance.
    My Minority Leader has a proposed amendment. He has not been invited to move it and the Chairman is asking us to defer the amendments. The Minority Leader has not said he wants to defer his amendment and the Chairman is requesting this House to go to something that is not his and that is my confusion of the procedure
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    That is
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I will be more comfortable if the Minority Leader conforms to that, then when we are deferring But as it is, it is a blind statement that he is making and my Leader has not confirmed -- and so, if you could invite him to confirm it, then we can follow the procedure. But as it is, it is like we should take his word.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, you will remember that this Consideration was started early on and then deferred for winnowing to take place. I do not think I can say that, they asked, every single Hon Member who had a proposed amendment for his or her consent before the winnowing was granted by the Rt Hon Speaker. So, let us go the same way.

    Papa Owusu-Ankomah rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was just urging Leadership to let us deal with a very urgent matter; the laying of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Appropriation Bill and then we debate it. There are other matters Speeches have to be delivered by Leadership, et cetera and so, it is important that we go back to it It is rather late. The time is 6: 48 p.m. Today is the 22nd day of December and we need
    to travel to our constituencies.
    Time is far spent and so I am appealing to Leadership to let us deal with the Appropriation Bill and thereafter, we can I think that there is a limit. After all, we have all been witnesses to it.
    Mr Speaker, respectfully, I am requesting that you direct the Majority Leader to let us suspend the Cons- ideration Stage and let us go to the laying of the Reports and we debate them. Then probably, the Speaker resumes the Chair to take the speeches by the Leadership. Of course, we have to travel tomorrow. We cannot travel on the 24th
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, the indications are that the Appropriation Bill will be taken by Mr Speaker himself. This was the arrange- ment put in place this morning, and so, I want to hear from the Deputy Majority Leader
    Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on the main Order Paper, at page 2, the Report on the Appropriation Bill, 2015 item 5 (d).
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, the Consideration Stage is suspended for the meantime [Pause.]
    Hon Members, we will go to the original Order Paper, item 5 (d), by the Chairman of the Committee.
    PAPERS 6:45 p.m.

    Dr A. A. Osei 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought you said that Speaker was going to come but This is a procedural Motion and
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon
    Members, Report laid; it is for distribution to Hon Members.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, i tem
    12 Motions -- Suspension of Standing Order 80 (1), for the reading of the Appropriation Report at page 18 of the Order Paper.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Very well item 12 on the original Order Paper
    Motion by Minister for Finance.
    MOTIONS 6:45 p.m.

    Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkper) 6:45 p.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 Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill, 2014 may be moved today.
    Mr Avedzi 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item 13 [Pause.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, Motion numbered 13 on the original Order Paper
    Minister for Finance. Hon Members, in the meantime, Mr
    Speaker will take the Chair.
    MR SPEAKER
    BILLS SECOND READING 6:54 p.m.

    Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkper) 6:54 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the Appropriation Bill, 2014 be now read the Second time, and in so doing, I wish to express gratitude to Hon Members of the House for the lengthy debates through the policy stages as well as the appropriation phase of the 2015 Budget.
    Mr Speaker, a number of issues have come up in the course of the debate. I do not wish to re-emphasise all of them, except in one particular instance, where concern was expressed by Hon Members of this House with respect to remaining within the Appropriation that is approved by Parliament.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to state that, in this particular year 2014, we envisaged that by the end of the year, we are going to remain within the Appropriation that Parliament approved.
    Mr Speaker, similarly, we will follow other procedures such as the processes for bringing supplementary estimates and the revisions as we have done in order to maintain the integrity of the budget process.
    Mr Speaker, I also wish to state my second point, that in recent times, there has been a publication suggesting that for some reason, the Government of Ghana appropriates most of its grants to pay compensation.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make two points as this Appropriation, which has just been approved by the House, clearly demonstrates. In the first place, Government has a policy and it is a long standing policy, not just to this Government not to use grants to pay compensation.
    Secondly, a critical examination of the figures that have gone through the appropriation stages, clearly suggest that, in relation to both revenue and
    5123Youth Employment Agency 22 December, 2014 Bill, 2014 -- Cons. Stage 5124 5125 22 December, 2014
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 6:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion to approve the sum of GH¢44,021,266,921 for the 2015 financial year.
    Mr Speaker, I present your Committees' Report.
    Introduction
    The Appropriation Bill for the 2015 financial year was presented to Parliament by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper and read for the First time on Monday, 22nd December, 2014 and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 179 (2) of the Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the House.
    This follows the presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2015 financial year by the Hon Minister for Finance. The Committee was also to determine whether the Bill was of an urgent nature.
    Pursuant to the referral, the Committee met and discussed the Bill with the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper, his deputy, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson and the technical team from the Ministry of Finance and reports to the House in accordance with article 106 (5) of the Constitution.
    The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and his deputy and the technical team for their assistance.
    References
    In examining the Bill, the Committee referred to the following additional documents:
    The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
    The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana;
    The Budge t S ta tement and Economic Policy of the Government of the Republic of Ghana for the 2014 financial year.
    The Budge t S ta tement and Economic Policy of the Government of the Republic of Ghana for the 2015 financial year; and
    Report of parliamentary committees on the 2015 annual estimates of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
    Background Information
    Pursuant to art icle 179 of the Constitution, the Minister for Finance acting on the authority of His Excellency, the President has requested the House to approve and authorise the withdrawal of monies from the Consolidated Fund and for the withdrawal from other funds for the running of the State for the 2015 financial year.
    To this end, the Minister for Finance, acting on the authority of the President, presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2015 financial year to Parliament. Parliament accordingly debated and adopted the polices outlined
    in the budget and the annual estimates of Ministries, Departments and Agencies were accordingly approved to allow the MDAs implement the programmes outlined in the budget. In accordance with article 179 (7), the Minister for Finance has further presented an Appropriation Bill seeking parliamentary approval for funds to be issued from the consolidated fund to support the implementation of the 2015 Budget.
    Object of the Bill
    The Appropriation Bill for the 2015 financial year is seeking parliamentary approval to enable the sums of moneys not exceeding forty-four billion, twenty- one million, two hundred and sixty-six thousand, nine hundred and twenty-one Ghana cedis (Gh¢44,021,266,921) to be issued from the Consolidated Fund during the 2015 financial year for the purpose of meeting government expenditure.
    The purposes for which the sums shall be appropriated have been specified in the four (4) Schedules to the Bill.
    Clauses of the Bill
    The Bill is divided into 5 clauses and 4 Schedules. Clause 1 provides for the sum of money to be issued from the Consolidated Fund for the 2015 financial year. Clause 2 deals with internally generated funds, which MDAs will be permitted to retain while clause 3 indicates the payment of money on authorisation of the Minister for Finance. Clause 4 spells out the commencement date of the Act, and clause 5 repeals the 2014 Appropriation Act, (Act 868).
    Schedule 1 provides for the total appropriation expenditure by items while Schedule 2 gives a summary of expendi- ture by programme, economic item and
    funding. A summary of expenditure by MDAs, economic item and funding is outlined in Schedule 3, whereas a total IGFs retention breakdown for 2015 is in Schedule 4.
    Summary of expenditure covered in the Bill and detail breakdown of internally generated funds, which MDAs will be permitted to retain are attached as Appendices A and B.
    Observations
    Urgency
    The Committee has determined that the Bill is of an urgent nature and should be taken through all the stages of passage in one day. The Committee argues Parliament will be rising for recess till probably, the third week of January, 2015.
    The government's financial year on the other hand, commences on 1st January, 2015 and since by article 178 (2), moneys cannot be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament, there is the need for the Bill to be passed under a certificate of urgency and taken through all the stages in one day in accordance with Order 119.
    Constitutional Requirement
    The Committee remarks that the Bill is in accordance with the constitutional requirement under article 179 (2), which among others, stipulates that “the estimates of the expenditure of all public offices and public corporations other than those set up as commercial ventures shall be classified under programmes or activities which shall be included in a Bill to be known as Appropriation Bill and which shall be introduced into Parliament to provide for the issue from the Consolidated Fund or such other appropriate Fund of the sums of
    Mr Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    Hon Members, the background noise in the Chamber is getting out of control. The noise is too much.
    Dr Anthony A. Osei (NPP Old Tafo) 6:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to contribute to the debate that the Appropriation Bill, 2015 - I just saw the Motion; “Appropriation Bill, 2015”. The year 2015 is next year.
    An Hon Member 6:55 p.m.
    He corrected it.
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:55 p.m.
    I did not hear him.
    Mr Speaker, the Minister has talked about one of the issues, that Government is using grants to pay wages. He being my good Friend, I would say “who cause am”? If you would recall, all year, we have been talking about -- “and the wage bill consumes 80, 77, and 55 per cent.” So, he brought everybody's mind to the fact that all moneys are going to the wage bill and it was not really true.
    So, am glad that he is relieving us of that pain, because we did not believe that. But since the mindset has been polluted with those suggestions, it is natural for people to have come to that conclusion. But now that at the end of the year, he has resolved this conundrum for us, we appreciate that.
    Mr Speaker, let me go on to page 4 of the Bill. I am told and here, the Hon Minister must confirm, that when he was reading the Budget Statement, inadver- tently, he may have set a figure of GH¢41 billion as the Appropriation and that is what I have been told.
    Mr Speaker, if you go to page 41 of the Budget Statement, that Statement is not equivalent to Appropriation, and with your permission, I would want to read:
    “… total expenditure, including provision made for the clearance of arrears and outstanding commit- ments in 2015 is estimated at GH¢41,422.0 million…”
    I am told that when he was reading the Bill, somehow, it came across as if the GH¢41 billion was the total Appropriation but that is not the case.
    Mr Speaker, the fundamental change on page 4 is the GH¢20 million addition, which was on one page correct, and another page incorrect. So, you see that if you go to page 165 of the Budget Statement, the amount there is GH¢8 million for domestic interest, -- GH¢8 billion and 34 million; that is correct. But if you go to page 168, you notice that under interest payment, the amount is GH¢8,014,000. That is where the GH¢20 million addition is coming from.
    But Mr Speaker, if you look at page 168 and you want to see the change -
    Mr Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    Hon Ranking Member, I thought the Committee had reported on this matter, at page 4, and they have explained where the problem had come from?
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:55 p.m.
    I am bringing your attention to it -
    Mr Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    Is it a different matter or what the Committee has reported on?
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:55 p.m.
    I am bringing the House's attention to where he can locate the difference in the Budget Statement, for your information.
    Mr Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    But it is reported here at pages 168 and 175 of the Budget Statement. In the Committee, you are the Hon Ranking Member, is it on the Committee's Report -- 168 and 175?
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:55 p.m.
    Do you see where it is? Mr Speaker, it is not obvious that unless you have a trained mind, you will not see where it is.
    Mr Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    So, you have done well by seeing it and reporting on it?
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:55 p.m.
    Because Mr Speaker, it is my Friend, that I wanted to make sure -
    Mr Speaker, but that notwithstanding,
    you see that there are certain attachments here and I think Hon Members should take their minds to the First and the Fourth Schedules; that is what is attached. There are Schedules II and III, which I think would come at a later time. But all in all, I think that the Committee's Report reflects what you are recommending, that this House appropriates, and that is
    GH¢44,021,266,921.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I urge Hon Members to adopt the Motion, that the Appropriation Bill, 2014, be now read a Second time.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    Let me hear from you and then I will put the Question.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Hon Members, what we have to do during the Appropriation Bill is a summation of all that we have done for the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and the constitutional bodies, unless somebody can point to a figure which is wrong. I mean, Hon Members, we will be repeating the
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP- Sekondi) 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have risen to contribute due to certain matters that have arisen during the course of the debate, as to the release of funds and purposes for which the funds should be released.
    At this stage Mr Speaker, I would just refer the House to clause 1 of the Bill, at the Consideration Stage and I am sure that Members would advert their minds to it. With your permission, I would read the last four lines:
    “Pursuant to article 179 (2) (a) of the Constitution a sum of money not exceeding forty-four billion, twenty-one million, two hundred and sixty-six thousand, nine hundred and twenty-one Ghana cedis (GH¢44,021,266,921) shall be appropriated for the purposes specified in the First Schedule. This translates into the Second and Third Schedules herein, representing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Other Government Obligations with their programmes.”
    So Mr Speaker, the sum appropriated is a specific sum. However, in monitoring expenditure for the coming year, I would want to draw the attention of the House to the fact that it relates to appropriations for purposes specified in the First Schedule, translating to the Second and Third
    Schedules herein, representing Ministries, Departments and Agencies and other Government Obligations with their programmes, and monitoring the use of the funds that you have appropriated.
    I am urging the House, particularly the Committees, to look at this and monitor expenditures accordingly.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your indulgence.
    Mr Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    The Appropriation Bill, 2014 was accordingly read a Second time.
    MOTIONS 7:05 p.m.

    Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkper) 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 128 (1) which require that when a Bill has been read a Second time, it shall pass through a Consideration Stage, which shall not be taken until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed, the Con-sideration Stage of the Appropriation Bill, 2014 may be taken today.
    Mr James K. Avedzi 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    BILLS CONSIDERATION 7:05 p.m.

    STAGE 7:05 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for
    Bekwai?
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    it appears that the Bill has been incurably, selectively distributed by people who may have been possessed by demons, such that some Hon Members of the House have the Bill while others do not have them. [Interruption.] They may have been influenced by myopic considerations and possessed by demons.
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think you may find out from the Clerk, if the entire House has got the Bill. Some of my Colleagues do not appear to have copies of the Bill itself but Committee members do. People have the Reports and they think they have the Bill; there is a big difference. So, to those shouting that they have the Bill, it is the Report, not the Bill.
    Mr Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Clerks-at-the-Table, ensure that Members get the Bill. We have to make progress. So, ensure that all Members get copies of the Bill.
    Hon Members, clause 1.
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the man is showing the Report; we are talking about the Bills.
    Mr Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, please, take your seat.
    Clauses 1 to 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 5 - Repeal
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 5, delete “2014” and insert
    “2013”.
    The Act which we are repealing, was passed in 2013 and not in 2014. So, that is the amendment the Committee is proposing.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 5 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, I will put the Question on the Schedules. We have four Schedules and there is no amendment.
    Chairman of the Committee, we know we are at a lawmaking stage and making amendments. Why do you have the 1.2, 1.1, 1.3 Appropriation and all those things and you have not filed an amendment to have them deleted? We already have the First Schedule and that is the practice. So, we have 1.1, 1.2, 1.4 and it is not normally -
    Mr Avedzi 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that it is the system that is being used to generate the figures.The Ghana Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS) budget model. This is the first time we are using this system and as soon as you join the figures and you print them, you have -
    Mr Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    So, the question is, whether they should remain with the Bill or they should be deleted. That is the question I am asking.
    Mr Avedzi 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that it should be part of it because if you look at the Fourth Schedule, it gives you the internally generated funds (IGFs) retention. If you look at the rest of the Schedules, it also indicates the description for all of them -
    Mr Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Very well, if the Committee thinks that it should be there, then let it be there.
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Report only has First and Fourth. So, they should take note and make sure that Second and Third are also added. It is just to bring it to attention because all four -
    Mr Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    That is why I ordered that Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 -
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:15 p.m.
    They are not attached; only two are attached. So, just go through the note.
    Mr Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Very well. But what I have here, all are attached.
    Hon Member for Subin, Long Titlle. We are on the Long Title. I have called the Long Title and the Clerks-at-the-Table have read the Long Title. I am going to put the Question on it.
    Mr Isaac Osei 7:15 p.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker. I would want to ask a simple -- but now that we have repealed the 2013 Act, if Government is required to spend any money between now and December, 31st
    Mr Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Member, look at clause 4. Clause 4 states:
    “This Act shall come into force on the 1st day of January, 2015”.
    So, this law will not come into effect until the 1st day of January, 2015. Clause 4 of the Bill answers your question.