oblivious of the provisions of Standing Orders 30 (1) and 30 (2). We shall pursue that. In the meantime, we also need to remind ourselves that, whenever the President attends a function and enters, in particular when it is a closed door affair, it would be most irregular to allow people to enter once he has taken his seat.
Mr Speaker, relating to compart- mentalising the debate into activity areas -- I think we all agreed on that -- Except to say that, when we come to any particular activity, it may only serve a good purpose.
If for instance, we decide that, yes, we would deal with specific activities, let us do so. For instance, with agriculture, health or education in a single defined day, the debate would concentrate on that.
Mr Speaker, while reminding ourselves that the debate offers us the opportunity to deliberate on issues, we must also remind ourselves that, the function of the House is information transition, and information must be factual. Concocting figures all in the bid to support your arguments when we know that we are not factual, would not help the cause of the House.
Let us be factual. The people listening to us, perhaps, may be, make choices from the debates that we conduct in this House. Deliberations must be premised and predicated on factual figures and statements.
Mr Speaker, with the Hon Members entering the House and responding to nature's call and so on -- we are not saying that we are so regimented that Hon Members may be prevented even from responding to nature's call. I mean, we are
all human and the arrangement we are putting in place is for human beings.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Keta has raised an issue about an Urgent Question that he has filed.
Mr Speaker, I guess the Hon Member is aware of the provisions of Standing Order 66. Mr Speaker, Standing Order 66 (1) provides that, with your permission, I beg to read:
“Mr Speaker shall be the sole judge of the admissibility of a Question.”
So, Mr Speaker, you may have to clear it first before it comes to the Business Committee for programming. No such Question has come before the Business Committee.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member may also inform himself that Standing Order 66 (2) provides, and with your permission, I beg to read:
“When a Question is admitted by Mr Speaker, the Clerk shall at once communicate the text to the Minister or Member to whom the Question is addressed.”
Mr Speaker, these provisions may have to be ensured. When they have been ensured, then Standing Order 60 (3) would then kick in. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to read:
“A Minister shall not take more than three weeks to respond to a Question from the House.”
That can only happen if Standing Order 66 (1) and 66 (2) have been triggered. I guess my Hon Colleague is aware of that.
Mr Speaker, he goes further to talk about the fact that, his Question is an Urgent one. I believe as a House, we must look at the rules that govern Urgent
Questions. Mr Speaker, they are not clearly defined, except to say that Standing Order 64 (1) provides, with your permission, I beg to read:
“A Question may not be asked without notice unless it is of an urgent character relating either to a matter of public importance or the arrangement of business, and by prior leave of Mr. Speaker.”
Mr Speaker, that is the form and character of an Urgent Question. Strictly speaking, it requires no notice. So, when the Standing Orders provide that the Hon Minister shall not take more than three weeks to respond to a Question from the House, an Urgent Question normally should not take three weeks. Perhaps, we should give it greater clarity by saying that, maybe, an Urgent Question should not take more than one week for a Minister to respond to.
Mr Speaker, that was why I said that, the House has not given it clarity. I believe we should be aware of this.
Mr Speaker, Standing Order 69 (1) provides some illumination, and with your permission, I beg to read:
“As soon as a Question is answered in the House, any Member be- ginning with the Member who asked the Question may, without notice, ask a supplementary Question from the further eluci- dation of any matter of fact regarding which the answer has been given…”
Mr Speaker, this should buttress the fact that an Urgent Question requires no notice. But I say that we have not defined it well, which explains why certain times,
Urgent Questions take more than one year to be responded to, by which time, it would have lost its relevance. I believe that it should be one of the critical issues that we should attend to in the review of our Standing Orders.
Mr Speaker, the car park business is not part of the Business Committee's Report. But, I believe because it relates to an activity penciled down for Tuesday, which may cause further congestion, it is important that the Hon Member has raised it at this time.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee has raised an issue. Indeed, we are attending to that -- the State Departments. We are in serious consultation with --
Mr Speaker, the park fronting the Job 600 Office Complex, we believe we should bring sanity into its use. I have parked my vehicle there on two occasions and it has been scratched; dented by Hon Members who use the place.
What we are having some agreement on is that, the place should be reserved for Leadership and some committees. This is because, the compartments are twelve (12) on either side. It is intended that we firm it up. But the six (6) Leaders on either side: that is the Hon Majority Leader and Hon Deputy Majority Leader, the Chief Whip and his two Deputies and the Deputy Speakers would be there.