We should begin to ask ourselves how we treat the Committee system here, in order that we would be able to exercise oversight over those Ministries. That is also very important.
Mr Speaker, my second comment is on the powers of the Committee. May I, with respect, refer to article 103(3) of the Constitution. Parliament should -- there has been an ongoing debate whether Parliament is a rubber stamp to the Executive or not. By the mere architecture of the 1992 Constitution, we borrowed the hybrid system of the combination of the Executive and Parliamentary System. It is through this House that we can make ourselves strong in the exercise of oversight responsibilities.
Mr Speaker, for instance, if we have the Appointments Committee and Hon nominees under oath come to give evidence that are untrue, insincere or not forthright, by all standards, in any serious democracy or parliamentary system, those Hon Members would be perjured witnesses and must be dealt with in accordance with the law. Therefore, the powers of the Committees must be used and used well, especially when we are exacting evidence, whether oral or written from nominees.
Mr Speaker, the other is for the Committees to work with each other and many of us would expect your good
guidance on it. For instance, a credit facility comes to this House in respect of the building of a regional hospital either in the Western or Eastern regions.
Mr Speaker, based on the Select and Standing Committees system, your referral is to the Finance Committee, but it is important that, it be to a joint Committee on Finance and Health, so that, in their Report, we have a better appreciation of what they would do reporting. Many instances, when they come, we are told that the Finance Committee has mandate over finance matters. I believe it should be your new attitude which you would outdoor, that many of these referrals, must be to the joint Committees.
I could give several other examples. Another one is, a loan facility on education comes to this House, the Committee on Education is not used -- that is why change is good, functional and dysfunctional. [Laughter]. That would also be important.
Mr Speaker, my other comment is on -- thankfully, you again chaired the Committee which I understand for some years, that I worked with Hons Yieleh Chireh and Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu. We must bring to closure, if we are reviewing and adopting new Standing Orders, let us do so. This Parliament should not finish the four-year mandate without an improved Standing Orders to govern the activities of this House.
Indeed, now we have had groups or institutions attempting to evaluate the performance of Hon Members. Do they understand what Hon Members do? They do not. I am one of the strong advocates that every sitting of a Committee of Parliament must be public and not only the Appointments or the Public Accounts Committees.
Mr Speaker, if the public is to appreciate what we do as Hon Members of Parliament, they must know what we do.
Even with improved technology, we would bring that to guide. It should be possible, as I understand, that as we move to terrestrial digital television, that Parliament has a dedicated coverage of its own activities. Thankfully, I have seen the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) move towards that direction. We need to support and encourage them but I believe a public hearing of every action in Parliament through its Committee system --
Mr Speaker, this is because, a particular Hon Member may be very good and supportive at Committee level but because he does not catch your attention or get the opportunity to speak -- this leads to my final point.
We should also, in approving this, strengthen the deliberative role of Parliament when matters come here -- State of the Nation Address, Budget Statements and so on. Yes, we would want to limit numbers, but to deepen the deliberative function, we must open it up. This idea where Leadership would consult and come with six or seven people, no. We must open up the process of debate.
Mr Speaker, Parliament's deliberative function must be utilised to its fullest. [Interruption] -- What time constraints? That is what we are paid to do, to come and talk. [Hear! Hear!] Therefore, we must be supported to strengthen the deliberative function.
Overall, a particular leg, which has not helped the reputation of Parliament is in the exercise of oversight.
When budgets come here, we have very experienced hands -- Report on Budget Estimates. Sometimes, as Hon Colleagues, we are not interested in that work and not many of us want to pay attention to details. When it comes to Consideration Stage of Bills, we must urge our Hon Colleagues to take interest in the work of Parliament, that is my concluding remarks.
Mr Speaker, the scrutiny of Bills -- I would give one practical example. Except where we have people with very good knowledge on finance, and I know the Hon Ministers-designate for Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, they were very good at it. We have a Bill which comes to this House and because we are not diligent in the scrutiny function, a particular percentage maybe earmarked, for environment fund, disaster fund, et cetera -- It has implications on the Ministry of Finance, but Parliament in its scrutiny, may just be interested but in getting the Bill and its clauses passed.
Mr Speaker, indeed, there have been instances where this House has passed Bills which offend the Constitution. And the particular offence has been instances where its approval would be a charge on the Consolidated Fund. I am not sure in many instances, we have shown respect to it.
So, I associate with it, particularly the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation. We have very good legal minds, so, at all times, attention must be paid to the pre-Bills scrutiny. When it comes to matters of Subsidiary Legislation, because of the new Supreme Court ruling and the work they do, when anything comes here, it would not be subjected to any correction or observation and that may render the particular Bill redundant.
Mr Speaker, with respect to quorum, there have been instances when your Committees meet and there is the struggle to have quorum. Leadership must be guided. Mr Speaker, we should make sure that when we meet, we should have the requisite quorum to conduct the business of the House.
But as I said earlier, it is possible that this particular engineering may have in itself created discontent -- a particular Hon Member may desire or wish to serve on a particular Committee but may not have the opportunity. I trust that with time, we would be able to make room for that.
Mr Speaker, with this, I second the Motion for the adoption of the Report on the selection on the composition of other Standing and Select Committees of the House.