MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 20, subclause (1), line 2, delete “maybe permitted subject to” and insert “issubject to the grant of”.
Mr Speaker, the renditionreads: “The dumping of waste or othermatter listed in the Third Schedulemay be permitted subject to a permitissued by the Authority”. Mr Speaker, Hon Members of theCommittee are of the view that instead ofsaying “may be permitted subject to apermit issued”, it should be “may bepermitted subject to the grant of a permitissued by the Authority” to make it more--
HonDominic Ayine, what is the purpose?
Mr Speaker, I believe it wasprobably meant to bring clarity to theprovision but I do not think substan-tively it makes any difference in terms ofthe powers of the granting authority. Theamendment is meant to bring clarity.
Whenyou say “may”, it is permissible. I believethe Hon Deputy Minister is a lawyer.
Mr Speaker, we had a lot oflawyers on our Committee but once the --
The HonDeputy Minister agrees with me that it isnot necessary.
We support the oldrendition.
Are youabandoning it?
Yes. We are abandoningthis and taking the old one. It is totallywithdrawn.
Theapplication of the Hon Chairman of theCommittee has been granted. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.] Clause 20 ordered to stand part of theBill.
I can seethe Hon Minority Leader is up on his feet.
Mr Speaker,clause 20 (2), we still have what weencountered earlier. 1. 10 p. m.
I cannothear you.
Clause 20(2), what we encountered earlier, that is,“at sea” construction is still met there.
Clause 20(2). Maybe, we have to look at it, becauseit appears at so many places in the Bill. Mr Speaker, we encountered someproblems with what is meant by thatconstruction, “at sea. I am just remindingthat, it appears there as well.”
So, howdo we resolve the phrase “at sea”? Whatis your suggestion, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker,the Hon Acting Chairman proposed anamendment and added that, it should becontextualised, depending on where itappears, it may read -- He proposed anamendment. So, I am just reminding him:What do we do for clause 20 (2)? This is because it should not begeneric; It should not have universalapplication. But in this case, what do wedo?
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve we should just go with the earlierrendition. He should indicate, “at sea inareas within Ghana's jurisdiction”. It should be within our internal waters aswe defined in this Bill. It will read, “at sea,in areas within which Ghana exercisesjurisdiction”. Going forward, Mr Speaker, we wouldadopt this rendition. This is because wehave actually defined “sea” to bothinclude and exclude internal waters. Wehave all of that covered.
Mr Speaker,I am just asking that, maybe, we look atthe Long Title. How do we factor that inthis definition? Maybe, we can considerit and move on.
HonMembers, you are aware of the MaritimeZones Delimitation Act 1986, (PNDC Law159). Having regard to that, why shouldthere be any problem with the phrase “atsea”? I just heard the Hon Minority Leadersay that, the phrase, “at sea”, you ran intosome problems with it early on. If I amcorrect, I heard the Hon Deputy Ministerrise and try to define “at sea”. “Mr Speaker, “at sea' has beendefined in another Act. Whatamounts to the territories of Ghana,“the sea”, is in another Act.” When you say, in an Act, “or on land”,-- Of course, on the land of Ghana. wecannot exercise jurisdiction in anotherterritory. We exercise jurisdiction withinour territory. What falls within ourterritory has been defined under theMaritime Zones Delimitation Act (1986,PNDC Law 159). So, why should “at sea”pose a problem? The “at sea” means “atsea within the jurisdiction of Ghana”. Yes, Hon Deputy Attorney-Generaland Deputy Minister for Justice?
Mr Speaker, I think part ofthe problem may be -- To be honest withyou, I have not read the entire Bill. So, Iwill not be able to say whether this is theintent of the proponents of the Bill. I think we are also contemplating asituation where we can fulfil ourobligations under International Law. Thisis because if you look at the definition ofsea in this Bill, not in the Maritime ZonesDelimitation Act, it says that, the sea,means: “All marine waters other than theinternal waters of Ghana as well asthe sea bed and the subsoil of thesea other than sea bed, repositoriesaccess only from land.”
Whereare you reading from?
I am reading from the Bill atpage 159, I think the Interpretation section.
That is clause 250, all marinewaters.
If it isdefined, then “at sea” should not --
I think in the provision thatwe looked at, that is, clause 16, therewas an issue whether the intention wasto punish certain activities in certain areasof the sea or the maritime jurisdiction ofGhana. The Hon Chairman of theCommittee said that, the intention was topunish those activities within the maritimejurisdiction of Ghana.
This isbecause you cannot punish activitiesoutside the jurisdiction of Ghana; youcannot.
Yes. I donot see how the phrase, “at sea” poses aproblem.
In that case, I agree with theHon Minority Leader that, in certaincontexts, it may be the case that, we arenot looking only at the maritime waters ofGhana, if I got the point he made. Whathe is saying is that, we need tosynchronise in such a way that, in eachof the provisions, there should not beconfusion about the legislative intent.
Thankyou. So, it means that, the “at sea” here, weshould leave it as it is? So, can I put theQuestion. Hon Akoto Osei, can I put theQuestion?
Mr Speaker, already, wehave done the amendment for “at sea' toread, “areas within Ghana's maritimejurisdiction”. That amendment is what wehave done in clause 16. So, we cannotleave it as you have suggested, unlesswe reverse it.
Please,assist me again. Please, say it again.
We had just finishedbefore you came and took the Chair. TheHon Chairman proposed an amendmentin clause 16 (1) (a) which said, “remove the sea and insert areaswithin Ghana's maritimejurisdiction”. There were other issues in (c) and (d)for example, and Mr Speaker directed that,we may try to ensure exactly what wemeant at the Second Consideration Stage. What you all said, if it is definedsomewhere and it is different from this,then, we may be running into problems. Ithink that is what the Hon Minority Leadersaid.
I am notsuggesting that it is different. The Actitself defines what it means by sea inclause 159, that is, the Interpretationclause. In my view, we can only havejurisdiction over the territory of Ghana. There is another Act, the MaritimeZones (Delimitations) Act, which tells uswhat amounts to the territories of Ghanaas far as the sea is concerned. In my view,we cannot exercise jurisdiction outsidethat. This is because that law was madefurther to the United Nations (UN)Convention on the Law of the Sea. It wasmade to bring the obligations and ourrights under the Law of the Sea, to bring itunder Ghanaian law, in accordance withthe duality of international law in our laws. So, if there is a law that defines whatthe sea is. I do not understand theproblem, but maybe, I would understandas we go on.
Mr Speaker, I think thathaving regard to what you have alreadyindicated, since our laws are not extraterritorial, we can only be referring to thesea that we have jurisdiction over. So, theearlier amendment that was made “thesea”, which redefined it to be “areas withinGhana's maritime jurisdiction”, we shouldabandon that. At the Consideration Stage,sometimes, we are flexible enough not towait until the Second Consideration Stage. So, if we abandon that, once the seahas been defined and we know what it means, our laws cannot go and extendbeyond our territorial boundaries. So, weshould first abandon it and not be quickto change the words. This is because thedefinitions help us to reduce all the thingsthat we do. Once there is a definition inthe Bill, unless we are not satisfied with it,in which case, we could add anythingwe want to. As it is now, we should not have madethat other arrangement. So, if flexibilitycould come in as far as the ConsiderationStage is concerned, we should revisitwhere we defined “the sea” as “areaswithin Ghana's maritime jurisdiction”.
MrChairman, what is your advice? What isthe way forward?
Mr Speaker, I am referringto clause 16; the amendment that wesought was to delete “the sea” and insert“areas within Ghana's maritimejurisdiction”. The words there were “thesea”, so, the whole thing read; “this partapplies to areas within Ghana's maritimejurisdiction and the internal waters ofGhana”. “The internal waters of Ghana” has alsobeen defined, meaning the watersprovided by section 3 of the MaritimeZones (Delimitation) Act. So, that waswhat we sought to do.
So, youmade an amendment and referred to theMaritime Zones (Delimitation) Act? Is itnecessary? If the Constitution, forexample, tells us what the land space ofGhana is, should we in an Act refer to it asstated in the Constitution, a particulararticle? Hon Ayine, is that the manner ofdrafting? Hon Patrick Boamah, share yourviews with us. I see you are sharing yourviews --
So, all ofthis is defined under the Convention onthe Law of the Sea which has been madepart of our laws? So, we should not seekto define it. When we say the sea, weknow what we are talking about; when wesay internal waters, we know what we aretalking about. It has been defined, so, whyare we seeking to define it in this law again?Is it for reinforcement or re-emphasis?What is it for? It has been defined.
There are two issueshere. There is “this sea” and there is “atsea” and we are making sure that the twoare not the same. So, what we ought to dois, as the Hon Deputy Ministersuggested, do we have any internationalobligations beyond this sea? If we do not,then we do not have a problem. But the“at sea” in the Headnote could go beyondour maritime jurisdiction. The words used like “if you go to sea”,or “incinerated at sea”, it is not this seathat has been defined. So, what is it thatwe want this Part 3 to capture? “At sea”or “this sea”? If we know that, then what you aresaying is correct. But I am confused aboutthe “at sea” and “this sea”; the two arenot the same.
Mr Speaker, he should notbe confused. What we are saying is that,the laws we make could only be applied inthe areas that we control as a country. So, whether it is “the sea” or “at sea”, the lawlimits us to enforcing the law when it iswithin our boundaries. So, the word “sea”should be common. If you make a law and make a statementabout a word, that word --That is whywe have the definition. In the definition,before you put the definition, the firstsentence is that “except as otherwiseprovided” in another context. So, whenyou have “the sea”, unless the contextsays that you should not read thedefinition, then you would know that youare talking about ordinary sea anywhere.But once we are making it in a law, the lawcan only be enforced within our sea limits.
Mr Speaker,there are various phrases being usedperhaps interchangeably but we also needto be very cautious. This is becausewhereas “sea” has been defined,occasionally, we are using the phrase“marine environment” which is not evendefined. I do not know whether we havedefined “marine environment”. Is itdefined? [Pause.] Mr Speaker, I am trying to look for it. Itdoes not appear “marine environment” isdefined but “marine environment” hasbeen used, for instance, in clause 3,where we are talking about notification ofimminent or actual damage. We are using“marine environment” and not “sea”. When you come to clause 17, we arealso using the same construction, “marineenvironment”. Is it to be construed as“sea”? That is the difficulty. So, we aresaying that we need to be very cautiousabout some terminologies that we areusing.
The lawof the sea is a technical area that a lot oflawyers are not too familiar with. It has itsown terminologies; marine environment may be defined under Law of the SeaConvention, et cetera. So, we cannot be seen to be givingdefinitions to things other than what theinternational definitions are. So, I do not know whether HonMembers would want us to defer this. Andmaybe, have the Convention of the Lawof the Sea by you so that as soon as theymention marine environment or anything,you look at the Convention and give usthe definition. Hon Chairman of the Committee, a lotof lawyers are not even aware of this areaof the law. It is a very specialised area. Ithink one of the places they do it is Malta.So, if we have the Conventions available,we can proceed with speed and purpose.This is because I am sure these red herringswould be appearing every other minute.
Mr Speaker,there we go. From the very onset, I advisedthe pro term Leader of the Majority that,this is a very big Bill; it involves a lot. Buthe assured me that, there was nocontention at all about it and we couldfinish in no time. But you have put thewords more succinctly than I did. Mr Speaker, I entirely agree with you. Ihave nothing useful to add.
The proterm Leader of the Majority is Hon PapaOwusu-Ankomah's class mate -- HonAgbesi, a very dear Friend. Hon Agbesi, would you want torespond to this?
Mr Speaker, this is not theBusiness before the House. So far as weare concerned, we have done some workon this Bill and at this stage, we couldstop and continue tomorrow. Other areasare also waiting to be tackled. Mr Speaker, if we could go to theProcurement Bill, so that we can continuewith the Maritime Pollution Bill tomorrow.
HonDeputy Majority Leader, I thank you verymuch. There is this saying that; he whoknows not and knows that he knows not,can be taught. I admit without any fear or favour, mylack of detailed expertise in this area ofthe law. I do not know. Maybe, the DeputyAttorney-General and Minister for Justiceis an expert in maritime law. I know HonPapa Owusu-Ankomah's areas ofexpertise is like mine. I do not thinkmaritime law was one of his areas. Hon Member of Parliament for Sekondi,with respect, are you an expert in maritimelaw?
Mr Speaker, Iam certainly not. But I hear that, it is avery interesting area of the law. We haveonly a few experts in it and the otherrewards are quite substantial.
The HonDeputy Minister is an expert.
Mr Speaker, I thinkI am quite an expert. I would like to saythat, I tend to agree with you. Thesedefinitions are actually as we derive themfrom the Convention. We have actuallytaken the definitions as they are definedin that particular Convention.
HonMembers, let us do something. Let us goto another item. Let us make few copies ofthe Conventions available -- we wouldsuspend Sitting; not immediately, but fora while and when we come back later inthe afternoon, we shall proceed. So, the minute you mention somethingyou refer us, and as you are moving youramendment, you would even refer us tothe Convention. Make sure the Hon Minority Leader,Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Hon DrPrempeh, Hon Patrick Boamah, Hon W. O.Boafo, Hon Dr Akoto Osei and HonMember for Takoradi all have copies.Bring about 50 copies for both sides. So,bring 100 copies. And make sure that, Ialso have a copy.
And the Clerks-at-the-Table too.
Yes. Andthe Clerks-at-the-Table too. I do not knowwhether Hon Prempeh today, is a specialassistant to the Speaker. This is because
Mr Speaker, he isthe “Third Deputy Speaker.”
ThirdDeputy Speaker? It is not in our StandingOrders. So, for the time being, this brings us tothe end of the Consideration Stage of theMaritime Pollution Bill, 2015. We shall continue after suspension thisafternoon, if we are ready by 3.00 o'clock. Hon Deputy Majority Leader, shouldwe suspend Sitting now and come backby 2.30 p.m.? [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, we would wantto take item 18.
Which isitem 8?
Mr Speaker, it is item 18 --Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill,2015.
Item 18 --Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill,2015. Who is the Chief Executive of thePublic Procurement Authority?
Mr Speaker, I am told heis Hon Sallas-Mensah.
Is he thesame man who used to be the HonChairman of the Public AccountsCommittee?
Yes, he was. And he is inthe House.
Iremember I had an encounter with him --[Laughter.]
He used to be very shortbut now, he has increased in height.
Mr Speaker, I am a bitconfused. You have just given a directivethat, you wanted to suspend Sitting andwhen we come back, we would look at theMaritime Pollution Bill, 2015. His request however, was to go to item18. So, I do not know what it is that isgoing to prevail.
HonMembers, I must confess that I havealways had a soft spot for Hon Sallas-Mensah. So, having regard to the fact thatI have seen him in the House, I think it isa short amendment, so, we would do itfor him. Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill,2015 -- at the Consideration Stage --[Pause.] There is a lively conversation goingon at the back benches. Mr Kofi Frimpong -- rose --
Is thatHon Kofi Frimpong?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
I thoughtyour chair was somewhere here --[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker,we are starting, but the amendment wehave is only to the Schedules.
And sowe are starting from the beginning?
All right. Hon Members, let us take item 17 first.Is the Hon Deputy Minister for Financehere? Hon Members, let us suspend theConsideration Stage and do item 17 —Minister for Finance.
Mr Speaker, you arecalling the Hon Minister for Finance andthe Hon Deputy Minister for Finance getsup — No request for — He has not yetasked permission — I have been here, hehas not.
HonDeputy Majority Leader, act accordingly.
Mr Speaker, permission isbeing asked accordingly — [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, he askedpermission in the morning and so why ishe asking again? [Laughter.]
Hon DrA. A. Osei, do not draw rings around yourHon Colleagues? [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I second theMotion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
HonMembers, item 18 — Public Procurement(Amendment) Bill, 2015 at theConsideration Stage. BILLS — CONSIDERATION STAGE Public Procurement (Amendment)Bill, 2015
HonMembers, clause 1. Clauses 1 to 3 ordered to stand part ofthe Bill.
HonMembers, clauses, 4, 5 and 6. Clauses 4 to 6 ordered to stand part ofthe Bill. Hon Members, clause 7 — [Pause] Hon Members, clause 14 — Clause 14 ordered to stand part of theBill — [Pause.]
HonChairman, we are trying very hard to gowith speed and purpose but there is a problem. The problem is that, the Bill mustbe sequentially numbered. If we look atpage 5 of the Bill, after clause 6 — PartTwo, the next thing should have beenclause 7. As far as this Bill is concerned, itshould be clause 7, even if it is amendingsection 14. Am I wrong? We want to make sure that we are doingthe right thing. If that is the situation, thenwe could direct that they makeconsequential amendments. But the pointis that, when you are — [Pause.] Hon Members, it is the paging that iswrong. So, clause 7 is on page 13. So,why do we all not go to page 13. It is thepaging that is wrong. Hon Deputy Attorney-General andDeputy Miniser for Justice, I saw youshake your head. Was it a friendly shakeor you disagree with me?
Mr Speaker, I think clause 6of the Bill is supposed to amend Part Twoand the Part Two has several provisionsthat have been tabled for amendment. Mr Speaker, so, they run all the wayto page 13 before clause 7 of the Billcontinues. That is the structure. This isbecause if we look at it, Part Two is onProcurement Structures and all theamendments under Part Two relate toProcurement Structures. Mr Speaker, so, it runs all the way topage 13 and then clause 7 takes over —[Pause.]
There isno problem with the content. So, I willput the Question and describe the clausewe are talking about in a little more detailand the draftsperson would make surethat the numbering is consistent. So, I am putting the Question on theamendment that may be found on page 6,advertised as clause 15 of the Bill. I would be grateful if the Table-Officecould read this one. Clause 15 ordered to stand part of theBill.
HonMembers, I will put the Question on theprovision advertised as clause 16 that maybe found on page 7 of the Bill. Clause 16 ordered to stand part of theBill.
HonMembers, we now move to the provisionadvertised as clause 17. Clause 17 -- Head of procuremententity Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 17 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clauses 18 to 20 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clauses 20 (A) to 20 (G) ordered tostand part of the Bill.
I now goto clause 7; which is the title of clause 7. Clauses 7 to 12 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Mr Speaker, you aregoing too fast, please. If you can slowdown so that we can flow with you. Bythe time I flip through the clauses, MrSpeaker is far gone. So, if you couldmoderate in pace, Mr Speaker. They donot even follow what you say because bythe time you put the Question, you havealready gone to the next clause. I am pleading so that we can refer. Ican understand that the FinanceCommittee and the Ministry of Financeand for that matter, the Public ProcurementAgency have done a lot of work on thisBill. But it is only them that are followingnow. And I am not saying it is bad but it isprobably not the right thing. Mr Speaker, so, if you slow down, wecould go because a lot of deals come andwe still see things. I am just pleading thatwe slow down the pace and not the work.
Mr Speaker, Ihope the Hon Prempeh is speaking forhimself and not for other Hon Members.
HonMember for Takoradi?
Mr Speaker, it istoo fast and you need to slow down aswe all need to understand it. These days,even the people on television also wantto follow. So, it is too fast.
HonMembers, I need to make this point forthe avoidance of doubt. Generally, also,because you made the point that peopleare following. First of all, the presumption is that HonMembers have read the Bill. In fact, whenHon Members want to contribute onlyfrom the floor, sometimes, theircontributions, with the greatest of respect,take us back rather than forward. And Ihave seen that on this Public Procurement(Amendment) Bill, 2015, there are noadvertised amendments to all theseclauses. There are several Bills that have comebefore this House that not only theCommittee but also Hon Members haveadvertised amendments. I am sure that if Ishould look through some of the Billspresent, I will see some advertisedamendments. And if my memory servesme right, Hon Prempeh has someadvertised amendments for one of theBills. Is it the Chartered Institute ofTaxation Bill?
Yes. Youhad advertised amendments. What itmeans when you have an advertisedamendment is that, you have read it andseen a problem and you have put forwardyour problem. Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Excuseme, let me finish. [Interruption.] No! You do not have that right againstthe Speaker. It is a right that you holdagainst other Hon Members. Mr Speakercan mention your name a hundred timesand you do not have the right to respond.[Laughter.] Hon Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensahis also someone who is very meticulous. Iremember that with the PetroleumRevenue Management Bill, you hadvarious amendments. Am I right? [Pause.]I want the Hon Member to answer for therecord. Hon Darko-Mensah, am I right?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
So, youand Hon Prempeh who got up to speakbelong to that unique club of Members ofParliament who pay close attention to Billsthat when there is a problem, theyadvertise amendments? So, when I seeyou sitting there and I do not see anyamendment advertised in your name, itgives me confidence. Hon W. O. Boafo ishere, another man of note and distinctionwhen it comes to Bills. Hon Dr A. A. Osei is another personwho also proposes amendments. HonAvedzi is also a man of great distinctionand Chairman of the Committee andthere are so many amendments that he hasproposed. Even with this Bill, when youcome to the Schedules, you would see thathe has about four or five amendments advertised in his name. He is also a manof great distinction in terms of thesematters. So, what is happening is that, when Ihave such people around me and theyhave not, as it were, advertised anyamendment, then I come to the conclusionthat I am doing the right thing. So, Iwould continue in that light. Hon Members, having regard to thestate of affairs, I direct that in accordancewith Standing Order 40 (3), we Sit beyondthe prescribed period. Hon Prempeh, I am recognising you notbecause you have a right of response.
No! No! Mr Speaker, I thank you for yourelucidation on that. Mr Speaker, the problem I had whenyou were going that fast --
During the SecondReading, I am drawing your attention tosomething because it seems you were notin the Chair by then, the Majority Leaderand the Minority Leader all commentedon some substantial things that we shoulddo at the Schedules and things like thatbecause of the different Arms ofGovernment. [Interruption.] But I am saying that if we go so fast, asthe Majority Leader is not even here, wewould finish too early for thoseamendments to be available to your good-self. Mr Speaker, so, poco a poco, to wit,little by little; we will get there.
So, I ambeing advised that I should go slowly. So, after I take one amendment, I willwait for five minutes while we -- [Pause]-- Hon Akoto Osei?
Mr Speaker, on the issuebeing raised, we are not there yet. That isin the Schedule. So, if he could wait till weget there, then, we can deal with thatmatter. The Hon Speaker talked about it. Iagree but the fact that he was not in theChair does not mean he does not know. He should not say you were not in theChair, so, you do not know --[Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, so, youknow it.
HonAkoto Osei, I have always beenwondering what I would do without you.[Laughter.] This is because when thegoing gets tough, then, you come to myrescue. What will I do in this Housewithout you -- Facing attacks from allangles. Right now, they have evencombined forces and are sitting together.
Mr Speaker, eventhough, yesterday you ruled against me,I still protect you.
HonAkoto Osei, it is true I ruled against youyesterday and I apologise but it is thestate of the law. Can you not see I read itvery slowly and in a soft voice because Iwas very sad?
Mr Speaker, I disagreedbut I accepted your ruling.
Mr Speaker, amendmentto clause 13?
No! Iwould want to put the Question on clause13. Clause 13 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 14 -- Section 32 (A) of Act 663inserted.
Mr Speaker, this iswhere I need your guidance. If you look on page 21, we have clause14, but we have already dealt with clause14 on page 5. [Interruption.] Hold on!Hold on! [Interruption.] They have numbered it clause 14 andthe way he is reading, it should not havebeen so. Yes, I think there is a problem.
That wasthe point you made early on and we gavethe directive. This is because thenumbering is a little confusing but we arenot quarrelling with the substance. So, Ihave directed and I will direct again thatthe draftsperson should take note of thenumbering and make sure that it isconsequential, sequential and alsoharmonised.
Mr Speaker, I think thatwhen it gets to the last week, people areunder pressure. These are meaty things.There might be draftsperson clause 14 butwe do not have a mechanism in whichwhen we have finished all the drafts, wecheck as the Hon Minority Leader saidyesterday. So, when we are doing thesethings, sometimes, we have to beobservant.
HonMember, I could not have agreed with youmore.
When the Acts finallycome and clause 14 has not been done asit should be -- Mr Speaker, it is reallydifficult.
I couldnot have agreed with you more. In fact, Inoticed this. I was a little confused withthe numbering, so, I sought advice fromthe Clerks-at-the-Table. They advisedthat, yes, the numbering is here and therebut since we are not arguing aboutsubstance, then, perhaps, when I amputting the Question, I should put it withmore particularity; mention the title moreand then make that direction. Hon Chairman, what your HonColleague is saying is very important.Once it goes out of this House then, itcan only be amended again by anotherAct. Whether the draftsperson can dothe sections and supply it to us tomorrowor maybe Thursday, so that if it is correct,we just go with the Third Reading andpass it before we rise.
Mr Speaker, the Bill isamending Part II of the principalenactment. The Part II has a number ofsections which in the Bill here isnumbered; Act 14: Scope and application,Act 15: Declaration of procurement entity,and it continues in that order. So, the clause in this Bill is clause 6. Inclause 6, the principal enactment isamended by the substitution for Part II.So, the clause 6 now carries the entire PartII which is itemised 14, 15 up to 20G. Then, after amending clause 6, we goto clause 7. So, the first 14 that we see onpage 5 followed by clause 15 on page 6and the rest are all part of the Part II whichare being amended by the clause 6 wehave in the Bill. That is why if you see the first 14 onpage 5, there is no title that says that asection of Act 663 is amended. No! It didnot say anything like that. But if you seeclause 6, it says Part Two of Act 663amended. Then you have the Part Twoand all the procurement structures underit.
The problem is that, inthe normal way, when he calls a clause, itshould be unique. We agree that thereshould be a lot of rearrangement andrenumbering. So, we should accept whatthe Hon Speaker says. He is going to givehis directives. I should not be hearingclause 14 and another clause 14.[Interruption] -- It does not matter.
Mr Speaker, I think thatclause 6 of the Bill is actually dealing withPart Two and the whole of Part Two of theAct has been removed and you justsubstitute this one. But if you look at thenumbering in the Act, Part Two starts fromsection 14, that is why the section 14 isthere. If you see the Act itself now, Part Twoshould be starting with section 14. So, thiswhole clause 6 is just like when one is saying that it is amended, but it is becauseit is not a section which is being amendedbut rather a part, that it says, “Part Two ofAct 663 amended”. [Interruption] -- It isnot serious. So, there should not be any conflictabout the section 14 and the clause 14.Clause 14 of this Bill but section 14 of theAct. This is how it should be interpreted.[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, if he has theAct now, he should look at section 14, thestart of it is Part Two. So, that is the onethat we are doing.
HonYieleh Chireh, I agree with you. It is alsoperhaps -- If they had used a differentfont or something, it would havedistinguished this because what you aresaying is that, from page 5 of the heading,Part Two, right up to the top of Page 6 --Just before the heading of clause 7 -- Allof that is an insertion. This Part Two substitutes the previousPart Two of the Act and the previous PartTwo of the Act has a section 14 and this isa new section 14. But when you come to14; it is not section 14 but rather clause14. It is rather section 32A. So, I think that the draftspersonswould understand. Let us continue. What clause are we on, please? Havewe put the Question on clause 14? Allright. Let me put the Question on clause14 again for the avoidance of doubt. Clauses 14 to 18 ordered to stand partof the Bill.
HonMembers, there are no advertisedamendments. So, putting the Question oneby one becomes mechanical and tedious. I would therefore, do it five at a timeand then I would pause. If any HonMember has an amendment, that HonMember could do so. Clauses 19 to 25 ordered to stand partof the Bill.
Mr Speaker,if I heard you well, you said you were goingto band five clauses together. Now, youstarted from clause 19 to 25; that is sevenclauses. I do not know whether you havechanged your mind on that. [Laughter.]
HonMinority Leader, I wanted to get to clause25 and then from there, I would get toclauses 30, 35, 40, et cetera. I had two options; either to stop atclause 20 or -- I want to make it a seriesof fives. Hon Minority Leader, go for lunch; Ithink that you are tired. [Laughter.] Clauses 26 to 30 ordered to stand partof the Bill.
HonMembers, we have reached half way; HonChairman of the Committee, should wecontinue or go for a break and come back?
Mr Speaker, I plead that wecontinue.
So, wewould finish the clauses, which have noproposed amendments. After the break,we would deal with the Schedules. We want Hon Sellas Mensah to spendthe day with us.
Mr Speaker, I agree withyou. Let us finish those clauses withoutproposed amendments. When we comeback, we would take the Schedules.
HonMembers, there is no advertisedamendments for these clauses but, all thesame, under our rules, we can makeamendments on the floor of the House. Clauses 31 to 35 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clauses 36 to 40 ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonChairman of the Committee, is the headingfor clause 44 “…Act 662” or …”Act 663"?
Mr Speaker, it is atypographical error. It should be “…Act663”.
MrSpeaker, even though it seems we arepositioned as if we are asleep, we are allvery alert. We are noting typographicalerrors and any mistakes. It is important that we make thosepoints so that people do not think we arenot attaching the importance we aresupposed to attach to the Bill. We are all aware that the PublicProcurement (Amendment) Act, 2015 isvery important. Clauses 41 to 45 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clauses 46 to 50 ordered to stand partof the Bill.
HonChairman of the Committee, is it not onthe Schedules that the amendments areproposed? So, we would have to leave that oneout.
Mr Speaker, we could endat clause 57.
Yes, wewould end at clause 57. So, I would put the Question onclauses 51 to 57. [Pause.] Hon Chairman of the Committee, thereare no amendments from the floor? Hon Ranking Member, no amendment? Hon Okyere Darko-Mensah, noamendment? Hon Yieleh Chireh, no amendment? I would not ask the Hon MinorityLeader. If he had an amendment, he wouldrise because I would recognise him. TheHon Minority Leader has been studyingthe Bill and making notes. I have beenwatching him and I know that he agreeswith what is happening. So, he has notspoken yet. Clauses 51 to 57 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Hon Members, that brings us to theend of the Consideration Stage of thePublic Procurement (Amendment) Bill,2015 for the time being. Hon Members, we are suspending theConsideration Stage because clause 58deals with the Schedules. With regard tothe Schedules, there are quite a numberof proposed amendments and so, wewould come back to that one and wewould proceed very slowly.
Mr Speaker, we wouldresume at 3.30 p.m.
So, HonMembers, Sitting is suspended and wewould reconvene at 3.30 p.m. Thank you very much. 2.23 p.m. -- Sitting suspended. 6.00 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
HonMembers, order! Hon Majority Leader? Hon Members,Order! Order! The Hon Member isspeaking on his phone and he is on hisfeet? And he is still speaking on the phone.[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, Iwould like to take this opportunity tothank Hon Members for a good job done.I think that today a lot of work has beendone and it is proper that we commendHon Members for the hard work and urgethem to keep on like that tomorrow andthe day after tomorrow, too, so that wecan finish quite a good number of theitems on the Order Paper. I think that now, with your kindpermission, I beg to move, that this Housedo adjourn till tomorrow, where we shallmeet at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon tocontinue with the business of the House. I so move.
MrSpeaker, you may adjourn the House, butwe could also move an adjournmentMotion,which has been moved by theHon Majority Leader. If a Motion foradjournment has been moved, I can onlysecond it. Except to observe that, MrSpeaker, in the Standing Orders that isunder review, I believe that we shouldhave a place not to entertain mobilephones in Plenary Sitting. Mr Speaker, they are so disruptive andI believe that we should begin to considerthat in the Standing Orders that we arereviewing. We should not allow it. In anyserious Parliament, these things are notallowed. They are so disruptive. Mr Speaker, having said that, I beg tosecond the Motion moved by the HonMajority Leader for adjournment tilltomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.[Pause.]
HonMembers, two interesting matters havebeen raised, the first about the mobilephones. I would just like to remind all ofus that Standing Order 88 -- and whenthese Standing Orders were made, I thinkmobile phones were not an issue; but itsays “Members shall not readnewspapers or periodicals andbooks in the Chamber of theHouse.” When it comes to mobile phones, whatwe have noticed over past Sittings is thatpeople have used them as sources ofreference. They are not only phones, theyare virtual computers in our hands. Hon Members refer to them, google things andthen use them for information, so, I donot know. I think we would think about all that.If, for example, what we had in front of uswas properly online then we could dothat. We would keep our phones outsideand when we come in we would relyentirely on our tablets in the Chamber. I am sure that the Standing OrdersCommittee would discuss all of these andcome out with the appropriate guidelines. Also, before we adjourn, on thequestion of the Motion that was moved, Iam not giving a ruling, but I would justmake my observation, that now it is after2.00 p.m., and Standing Order 40 (3) saysthat, “Notwithstanding paragraph (2) ofthis Order, Mr Speaker may, havingregard to the state of business ofthe House direct that Sittings beheld outside the prescribed period”. That was done. The question is, whenthe Speaker so directs, is it the HonMembers from the Majority side and theMinority side who move that the Housebe adjourned, or it is the Speaker who thendirects that the House be adjourned? We have seen both styles in this House.Sometimes, we are told that “Mr Speaker,the House is in your hands, because it isafter 2.00 p.m”. Today, the little powerthat they have given to me, they havetaken it back from me. But I will resist. Please, let us look at Order 41 (4). Itsays, “Where there has not been anextension of the Sitting, a Membermay at any time after the time statedfor closing move for theadjournment of the House”. So, where there has been an extensionof the Sitting, what happens? The Speaker may move? Or the Speakertakes over? I do not know whether wewould like to debate this thing at 5.30 p.m.,but I am ready to stay here till 10.00 p.m. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, StandingOrder 41(3), “Where the Sitting is extended to adefinite time under paragraph (1) (b)of this Order, Mr Speaker shall, atthat time, adjourn the House.” That is when it is extended to a time --[Interruptions.] No! There was noextension. I did not hear Mr Speakerextend the Sitting -- [Interruption] --Was it before we adjourned? I was nothere.
HonMembers, we would all do some researchand hopefully be able to give a rulingtomorrow, so, I would defer the ruling tilltomorrow.
Mr Speaker,just to help you to rule and rule welltomorrow, I would just like to agitate yourmind on this. “Where the Sitting is extended to adefinite time under paragraph (1) (b)of this Order, Mr Speaker shall, atthat time, adjourn the House.” Mr Speaker, you extended the time forus to meet at a particular time. We did notadjourn for a closure at a particular time,in which case, if we got there, you wouldadjourn the House. So, Mr Speaker, this rule does notapply.
So, inyour view, the power is still in your hands?
Mr Speaker,I resist the temptation of saying that thepower is not in our hands. [Laughter.]
This isparliamentary language; double negatives. We will all look at it tomorrow. We aretrying to develop the rules. All HonMembers who are interested, before I rule,I will give them opportunity to contribute.We will do it very early, when we are nottired. Thank you all very much for attendingupon the House. They have moved and seconded theMotion, so, let me put the Question. I donot know what will happen tomorrow. The Motion has been moved andseconded, it is for the consideration ofthe House pending tomorrow's ruling.[Laughter.] No! I said that because I have not ruledtoday, but the Hon Majority Leader hasmoved and the Hon Minority Leader hasseconded, I will put the Question so thatafter I have ruled tomorrow and thedecision goes the other way, then I willadjourn without putting the Question. Ifthe decision goes your way, however, wewill continue this practice. Question put and Motion agreed to.