MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
HonChairman, you were on clause 27. Haveyou moved the proposed amendmentalready?
Mr Speaker, what I wassaying was that, unless somebody elseis to do the activity in clause 27 (2), weneed to know that, that is his duty. So ifany member or anybody sees that he isnot performing that duty, you can take himto task.
HonChairman, can you assist us again? Whydo you want it deleted?
Mr Speaker, we felt that itwas not the duty of the Act to enumeratethe functions of the Registrar. That waswhy we felt that it should be part of theconditions in his or her appointment letterbut we are open to suggestions and viewsfrom the House. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I humblypropose that --
HonAdwoa Safo, give me one minute. I wouldwant complete order before we continue.As for the Hon Majority Chief Whip, hecan walk around because he is whippingpeople. He has the licence to kill.
Mr Speaker, I humblypropose that clause 27, which spells outthe functions of the Registrar should stay.I do not see the argument that it wouldappear in his letter of appointment sopressing enough. This is going to give itthat legal mandate to operate. I am sure that once you create an officein the Bill, you should be able to definethe parameters within which the personholding that office should operate. So, ifyou take it out and put it in his appointment letter, or is part of thisemployment contract or whatever it is, itdoes not have the same legal effect ascompared to having inserted it into theBill. The rendition and how it stands inthe original Bill should be allowed to stay.
Mr Speaker, upon readingthe whole clause, I tend to agree with theCommittee's amendment. This is because,when you look at clause 27 (1), it says: “The Registrar is responsible for theday to day administration of theaffairs of the Institute and isanswerable to the Council …” There are many activities that can beincorporated with regard to the description“is responsible for the day to dayadministration of the Institute”. When youlook at the specific provisions ofsubclause 2, it stipulates: “Organise annually a continuousprofessional development coursefor members of the Institute” When you look at the functions of theInstitute as a whole, it is the organisationof continuous professional developmentfor the members of the Institute. Is it suchan important activity that it must be astand-alone clause within the Act or canit be part of the functions of the Registrarwhich the Council is going to assign andspecifically determine for him? All of thatcan be contained in his letter ofappointment. When you look at clause 27 (2) (b),“perform any other functions determinedby the Council”, that is superfluous. Thisis because subclause (1) already indicatesthat he is responsible for the day to dayadministration and is answerable toCouncil. Therefore by extension, Councilhas the prerogative to tell him what to doin the performance of those functions.
Mr Speaker, I do not knowwhat the decision or consensus has been.Whether it is staying or it is beingdeleted. If it is being deleted, I do notagree, more especially where clause 27 (3)gives the Registrar a delegated power todelegate his function to a third person. A delegated power cannot be part of aletter appointing the Registrar. A delegatedpower can only be inserted in a writtenlaw. So, if it is the submission of someHon Members that this whole sectionshould be deleted, I differ completely.
HonMember for Dome/Kwabenya, are you theacting Leader of the House? 12. 25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have beenasked by my Leader to sit in his steadtemporarily.
That isgood. Congratulations. Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh?
Mr Speaker, I did not getthe contribution of the Hon Member. Ishe talking about subclause (3) or he istalking about the subclause (2) that weare now on? In fact, it is subclause (2) In many Bills that have passed throughthis House, we have always put it there.So, there should not be any problemabout that. I am persuaded by some ofthe arguments advanced by the HonMinister for Foreign Affairs and RegionalIntegration about this. And I also knowthat, some of these duties should not begiven to one individual. It should be the decision of the Councilto decide how often they should do theircontinuing education. As you said, it is because they are thereto make sure that, there is continuingeducation for all the people who registerwith them. So, I agree that, it should notbe the responsibility of the Registrar alone.I have hanged my position so we shouldgo along --
l will putthe Question -- If somebody speaksagainst the proposed amendment buthas not voted against it, has the personchanged his or her mind? Are you boundby what you say or now you havechanged your mind? Anyway -- Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 27 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Clause28? Clause 28 -- Appointment of otherstaff.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 28, subclause (1), line 1, after “shall” insert “in accordance with article 195 ofthe Constitution”.
“The Council shall in accordancewith article 195 of the Constitutionappoint other staff of the Institutethat are necessary for the proper andeffective performance of itsfunctions”.
Thankyou. I believe it is straightforward. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 28 as amended, ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Clause29? Clause 29 -- Funds of the Institute.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 29, subclause (1), paragraph (d),delete. We suggest that we delete subclause(d), that is “any other moneys that areapproved by the Minister res-ponsible for Finance”. Mr Speaker, it is already stated therethat, the funds of the Institute includemoneys approved by Parliament. Since theHon Minister for Finance cannot approvemoney for any other thing, withoutpassing it through Parliament, we feel that,it is not proper.
Mr Speaker, I would liketo go along with this amendment but theissue has always been that, this Houseneeds to look at whether this provision is proper. First, can the Hon Minister forFinance not have access to a grant andthese other things which may notnecessarily come to Parliament forappropriation, but which he can use hisdiscretion, so long as it is within theprogramme of activities of an institution? Mr Speaker, this is something thatwe should not be talking about removing.If it is the wish of the Committee, wewill go along with it. The Hon Minister for Finance hasother sources of income which do notnecessarily come through Parliament forus to approve --[Interruption]-- Theexample I was giving is that, if someAgency has a meeting with the HonMinister for Finance and decides that,they are going to give grants to supportthe activities of the Institute, he can dothat. He can then allocate it to them, he doesnot have to bring it to Parliament, for usto approve before he does so. That is my argument. But since we donot want it in the Bill, I would go alongwith them.
That isvery interesting -- Hon Minister forForeign Affairs and Regional Integration,what do you think? It is very interesting.The Constitution gives us the impressionthat, Parliament is responsible fordisbursement of funds and so on. It isbeing suggested that, we are deleting thisbecause it says that, “approved by theMinister responsible for Finance”. It is being suggested by the Committeethat, the Minister for Finance cannotapprove money. Hon Minister for ForeignAffairs and Regional Integration, what doyou think?
Mr Speaker, I would preferto err on the side of caution. Therefore,I would support the deletion. This isbecause, we would have an issue asParliament, if the Hon Minister forFinance vied funds from the budget ofanother institution to support thisinstitution, without necessarily providingParliament with the appropriate rationale,by way of budgetary review. He wouldnot just be picking funds to move fromone institution to another. I think to save ourselves thecontroversy, we may as well delete it. Thisis because, in any event, provision ismade in this section of the Bill, for fundsto be provided for the Institute, either bymonies approved by Parliament, which isin their budget, fees charged in theperformance of the Institute, which is theirIternally Generated Funds (IGF),donations, grants and gifts. Mr Speaker, a reasonable area ofpossible source of fund is coveredwithout necessarily having subclause(d)added on to it as well. So, I am inclined tosupport the amendment proposed by theHon Chairman of the Committee.
HonBoamah, what is your view on the matter?
Thank youMr Speaker. I want your views on this.This is because, the clause is talking aboutany other monies that are approved bythe Minister responsible for Finance. Itpresupposes that, those funds wouldhave to emanate from a certain source, andwould have to go through a certainappropriation procedure for which theHon Minister for Finance would have toapprove of. But the discussion going on heremakes us think or suggest that, the Hon Minister for Finance would have taken thatsole authority to approve of those funds.
No,Combine it with clause 29 (1) (a). It saysthat, ‘monies approved by Parliament',but the argument being made is that, ifyou are erring on the side of caution, theMinistry of Finance does not have powerto approve any funds on its own. Theprocedure we are talking about is that, theMinister for Finance comes to Parliamentto tell Parliament how monies would bedisbursed. Even the Minister for Finance does notcome on his own strength, he comes as aservant or a representative or a messengerof the President. This is because, it isthe President who proposes to Parliamenthow he is going to disburse funds andthen Parliament approves. But it is donevia the Minister for Finance. It is being suggested that, we err onthe side of caution and keep it that way,rather than expand the territories of theMinister and perhaps, veer intounconstitutional territory. That is what weare being advised to do. I see that manyHon Members have a strong view on thismatter. This is not my view, I am just tryingto encapsulate what has been said. HonMember, have you finished? Then I wouldtake the Hon Minister.
A lot of legislations thatthis House has approved, sometimes givethe Hon Minister responsible for thatsector, the ability to pass or propose somelegislative Instrument to guide certainprovisions within an Act of Parliament. Ihave not gone through the entire Bill,whether the Minister responsible for thisinstitution would have the power to makecertain legislations to guide some of theseapprovals that we are talking about. Iwould hold on and wait for --
I am gladthat you have decided to move on becausewhat we are talking about is slightlydifferent from this, as regards theConstitutional Provision. Yes, HonMinister of State?
MrSpeaker, I think deleting the clause wouldserve a lot of purpose because itcomplicates matters when you talk aboutthe Minister for Finance approvingsources of funds or any funding. The reason being that, as youobserved yourself earlier -- I do not knowunder what circumstances Ministers forFinance approve funds, without recourseto Parliament, so it creates more problems.Besides that, there is adequacy in all theareas of sources of funds that are capturedearlier in the clauses. I suppose that, it is not a necessitybut superfluous when you think about it.This is because, the Hon Minister forFinance works within the funds alreadyapproved by Parliament, and those werethe ones also captured in subclause (c).Again, to err on the side of caution, weneed to remove it if it is the other wayround --
HonAkoto Osei was monitoring us.
Yes, Mr Speaker, I wasmonitoring and I heard my good Friendsay that the Hon Minister has somemoney somewhere that -- How possible?The only Act that I know of, theConstitution lets us Hon Members ofParliament to give him the power throughthe Appropriations Act, after that, period.That is the wrong impression and that iswhy people think that the Minister forFinance has power, no. If we approve through the Appro-priations Act, that is the only time that --He is just a channel of distributing whatwe have approved. He cannot, if he were to discover gold, he can touch it until wehave asked him to go and spend it. So, donot give powers which do not exist to theHon Minister. That is why I wasmonitoring and wanted to correct my goodFriend. He has been here longer, so, heshould know better, otherwise, he wouldmake the Minister for Finance get a bighead and it is not good.
The wayHon Akoto Osei dashed onto the floor, Iknew he was monitoring from his office. Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh?
In the first statement Imade, I said that, I would go along withthe amendment but I said we should allthink about it. This is because, this haspassed through a number of Bills we haveapproved here and the argument hasalways been the way people put it. ButI am saying that, the Ministry of Finance,even when we approve the Budget, hascontingency approved for him. There are grants and people come tothe Ministry and say they are providingyou with this. Supposing that an Agencycomes to the Ministry of Finance and saysthat they want to support the Institute ofTaxation with some money, would hecome here to get approval again? This isbecause, all that would have beenindicated in the Budget that we haveapproved. So, that power has been delegated tohim and he would decide to support thepeople. I am not saying that he canappropriate money by himself; it is notpossible. But when we have given himthat mandate, within that mandate, he can.My Hon Colleague was asking aboutwhether they could vary expenditure fromone institution to the other.
Mr Speaker, that is thewhole point. In the Appropriations Act, itis what he can spend up to -- As longas the Ministry does not exceed that, butthat power is derived from us. Nobodycan go to the Hon Minister and say thatthis is two billion Ghana cedis, go andspend it. It would be illegal. That is what Iam trying to tell the Hon Member. Can we imagine an incumbentMinister for Finance getting this money?Can we imagine what would happen inGhana? So, it does not exist and that iswhy I am bringing his attention to that. Ifthat were to happen, he would have tocome here to receive approval. If we donot give it, he cannot spend it. That iswhy he has to come for SupplementaryAppropriation, if he happens to get themoney. We have the power and once we givehim that power -- You say contingencyand we have given it to him that if there isan emergency, he should spend it. He isnot approving it, we have to approve it.The only other Committee that I know of,is the Finance Committee, that hasauthority over the Contingency Fundswhich is allowed in the Constitution. Butno Minister for Finance has that power. Mr Speaker, with that one, they areright and that is why they have taken itout, but maybe, in the past, it was putthere but I think that these days, it isalways taken out, otherwise, we wouldbe doing something that is unheard of.
MrSpeaker, I rise to support the proposal andto also add that, Hon Yieleh Chireh'sconcerns could be taken care of insubclause (c). The Institute can receivedonations, grants and gifts, so, if anybodyhas some donation or grant, they do notneed to go to the Minister for Finance forhim to use his discretion for the CharteredInstitute of Taxation. You can just send it directly to theInstitute and the Bill that we are workingon, gives room for donations, grants andgifts. Mr Speaker, we should proceed theway the Chairman of the Committee hasrecommended and delete that. This isbecause we are also concerned -- Wewould come back to this House with theChartered Institute of Bankers. If we openthe floodgates and all these CharteredInstitutes out there get the impression thatthe Minister for Finance, or any Ministerhas some funds that they could rely on,or approach them for, it would beproblematic. Let us err on the side of caution andeven if we are erring, which I do not thinkwe are, and delete that, it is this Housethat approves Appropriation. If there isany fund in any Ministry, let it beapproved by this House so that all theother Chartered Institutes that are ontheir way here, could be guided by thedecisions that we make.
Mr Speaker, Ithink that, the line of argument by HonDr Akoto Osei is very sound in the sensethat, it is in our own interest as Parliamentand it strengthens our supervisory role on the Ministry of Finance. If we allowthis to go through, it would be verydifficult for us to effectively perform oursupervisory role. So, the proposedamendment should be accepted.
Mr Speaker, Parliamentmust always guard against giving powerto Ministers to appropriate money. Parliament must be the only authorityto appropriate money. Why should we saythe Minister for Finance? This is theHouse and we must get that power. Weshould not give it to anybody.
I knewyou would finalise this matter and thatwas why I recognised you. After the Hon Leader has spoken, mygood Friend, the Hon Member for Nantonalso wants to speak. Should I allow him tospeak?
Mr Speaker, in fact Irose earlier but I did not catch your eye. IfI am given the opportunity to and insupporting the amendment, I would alsowant to add that experience should guideus. Having served on the FinanceCommittee, I remember that, every year,expenditure returns are presented and wehad problems with even Ministries andAgencies spending beyond what wasappropriated to them. If indeed, the Hon Minister for Financecannot say that a particular Ministry orAgency could not spend a, b, c, d,therefore, it is an opportunity for us touse it to address certain issues, I believethere is more they can do. But experienceshould also guide us that it is rare forMinistries and Agencies to say that they could not spend. In instances whereadministration or the monies that are givento them are woefully inadequate, it wouldbe extremely difficult for them to even dothat. Mr Speaker, I believe we shouldleave it as it is. We can, of course, look atcertain ways by which we can give HonMinisters some authority to spend as andwhen the need arises, and I do not thinkthe law would have any problem with that.But as it stands, it is extremely rare thatAgencies would even say they have notspent or have some monies left. I am yetto see that.
HonMembers, there is an overwhelmingsupport for the amendment. I am eventempted not to put the Question, but forthe purposes of record, I would put it. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 29 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Yes,clause 30. Mr William O. Boafo --rose --
Yes, HonW. O. Boafo?
Mr Speaker, the clause 30which empowers the Financial adminis-tration provisions of the country; underthe Financial Administration Act, is itthe Controller and Accountant-Generalwho opens the account?
HonChairman of the Committee, what do yousay?
Mr Speaker, could he makehimself clearer? We did not get what hesaid.
Underthe laws of Ghana; Financial Adminis-tration Act, it is the Controller andAccountant-General who has the powerto open accounts for such corperatebodies who are public in nature, and arereceiving public funds. It is not anybodyelse. So, he is saying that it flouts ourfinancial laws.
Mr Speaker, I rise tosupport my Senior Colleague. In fact lately,some Bills have even been putting thename of the Ministry of Finance which isillegal. It is only the Accountant-Generalthat can permit that. So, we should amendit to say; “with the approval of theController and Accountant-General”.
Is it theController and Accountant-General whoopens the account?
No! Mr Speaker, it iswith the approval of the Controller andAccountant-General.
Let usread the provision. Hon W. O. Boafo, could you help uswith the exact provision?
Mr Speaker, I would evensay that it is not necessary for us to makesuch a provision. We should allow it tobe taken care of under the financialarrangement of the Public Service. Thereis already an existing law covering how itshould work, so we do not have tolegislate for it in this particular Bill. Clause 30 -- Bank account of theinstitute.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 30, the Council shall open bankaccount for the Institute in reputablebanks -- The new rendition shall read: “The Council shall open bankaccounts for the institute inreputable banks with the approvalof the Controller and Accountant-General. In line with what Hon W. O. Boafosaid and what Dr Akoto Osei saidearlier, we should amend it to read: “the Council shall open bankaccounts for the Institute in areputable bank with the approvalof theController and Account-ant-General”.
Hon W.O. Boafo said that it should not even bethere. This is because, there are laws thattake care of that. The FinancialAdministration of the public sector isprovided for by specific laws, includingthe Financial Administrative Act.
Mr Speaker, this is not atypical Civil Service institution. For aninstitute like this, it is better for usbecause, we are talking about thesecretariat and the Council which wouldperform this function. In respect of thelaws, we have also gone ahead to specifythat “with the approval”. If we look at the accounting sections,we always say; “with the approval of theController and Accountant-General”. It does not detract from what the HonMember said, but if we leave it withoutlegislation and somebody decides that hewas not aware of what is obtained in thePublic Service, we would really have noleg to stand on.
Mr Speaker, I supportmy Hon Colleague. For the avoidance ofdoubt, the opening of accounts is a verytricky area. Even though it is in theFinancial Administration Regulation (FAR), for the avoidance of doubt, weshould put it in so that, there is noconfusion. Otherwise, we would haveseveral organisations say that, they donot know the law, so, they have gone toopen an account. There are several caseswhere people have opened accountsabroad and it has created big trouble forthe State. So, even though it is in the FAR, weshould state it directly so that there is nodoubt and it can allow the Auditor-General to have access to audit it. As it is,when it is not there, people will give theexcuse that they did not know. If I tell youthe number of billions and millions of cedisthat only few people have access to, wewould be surprised. Mr Speaker, to be prudent andproper to protect public monies, we needto put it in there.
HonMembers, we should be persuaded by theamendment proposed by Hon YielehChireh. We pass laws all the time and thesethings keep recurring. So, we should havesome form of document or something thattalks about what we should do in suchcases. Hon Yieleh Chireh, we are taking youramendment which says that; “with theapproval of the Controller andAccountant-General”. The proposed amendment is; “The Council shall open bankaccounts for the Institute inreputable banks with the approvalof the Controller and Accountant-General”. For the record, is that your proposedamendment?
Yes, Mr Speaker, that ismy amendment.
HonYieleh Chireh, would you be persuadedby this slight change; “The Council shall, with theapproval of the Controller andAccountant-General, open BankAccounts” — it is neater. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 30 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 31 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 32 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 33 — Offences.
Mr Speaker, we may kindlycorrect the clause 23 as itemised on theOrder Paper. It is rather clause 33.
So, thefirst clause advertised as (x) on page 53 ofthe Order Paper is corrected from clause23 to read clause 33.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 23, subclause (1), paragraph (b),line 1, delete “wilfully and falsely” andinsert “intentionally”. Mr Speaker, the Committee felt that,“wilfully and falsely” was being tooverbose and so, “intentionally” is moreappropriate — [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, I do not think itis necessary to insert “intentionally”.This is because, under the Constitution,the innocent is presumed. So, the mensrea is an element which must be proved, Ido not think it is necessary to mention“intentionally” here. It is embedded in the“offences”.
Mr Speaker, not at all. Wedo not — [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, I think thatwe should be guided by the directives ofMr Speaker on this matter. If I recall, thiswas a troublesome area because most ofus who were at the meeting were notlawyers. We thought that the“intentionally” was necessary. So, wewould be guided by the comments of MrSpeaker.
HonChairman, please; move a newamendment.
Mr Speaker, I think it isonly fair to drop our proposed amendment.So, we delete “wilfully and falsely”
HonChairman, please, read it for the records. Your proposed amendment is that,subclause (1), paragraph (b), line 1,delete “wilfully and falsely”.
Mr Speaker, we are of theview that, clause 33, we delete “wilfullyand falsely” from the text to read asfollows, “33 (1) A person who b) uses a name or title implying aqualification to practise as achartered tax practitioner or taxpractitioner,”
It is anoffence — commits an offence. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Hon DrA. A. Osei, you said it was a strong debatewhether you should —
Mr Speaker, it was adebate among the persons in theInstitute and some of us.
HonMember, do you agree that it would notmake a difference if we delete?
Mr Speaker, I have seensubclause (1), paragraph (d) — I do notknow if you are going to put the Questionto the whole clause. I have seen in subclause (1), paragraph(d); and I beg to quote: “A person who: d) wilfully destroys or damages aregister kept under this Act..” Mr Speaker, it is the same. Once onedestroys —
You havedestroyed. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I disagree. Mr Speaker, we have wilful destructionof property or negligently causingdestruction to a property under theCriminal Code. The property may bedestroyed alright, but probably it is notthe intention of the person to destroy it.So in this particular case —
But if onedestroys a property and it was notintentional, for example, the property is inthe custody of the person, it rains inAccra, the office of the person is floodedand the property is destroyed — Theperson did not do it wilfully.
Mr Speaker, if we remove,“wilfully”, it presupposes that anydestruction that is occasioned, whetherthrough the fault of the person or not, theblame would be put at his or her doorstep.But in this particular case, we are sayingthat, if the person intentionally — Wilfullyalso means, intentionally. If the personintentionally destroys or causes theproperty to be destroyed, in this particularcase, he or she can reasonably be fixedwith a guilty knowledge. But I perfectly agree with the earlierrendition. This is because, the use of thewords, “wilfully and falsely” wereirrelevant. This is because, if a person uses a title which he or she knows he/shedoes not have the mandate or authorityto use — the person already knows thathe or she does not have the authority touse the title. Mr Speaker, in this particular case, weare talking about destruction of a propertywhich may be done either intentionally orunintentionally. Mr Speaker, with respect to thedestruction of property, the person canonly be liable if same is occasioned eitherby him or her or through a differentperson, but with the intention of causingsame to be destroyed. Mr Speaker, I would like to propose thatthe current rendition of the provisionshould stay. It would mean somethingdifferent altogether, the moment we takeaway the “wilfully”.
Mr Speaker, I think it is amatter of evidence that if you “wilfully” -- from what my Hon Colleague Abdallahis saying. If you are able to prove to anycourt of competent jurisdiction that theregister you damaged or destroyed wasnot done wilfully, it is for you to leadevidence to establish that fact. So,keeping it there, I do not think it servesthe purpose. This is because if you are able toestablish by evidence that by destroyinga register or a property, your conduct wasnot done wilfully, you would be set freeby the law. So, why must we insert“wilfully” as if we are trying to go into themind of the person before the act is done?
What Iintend to do is to resolve this matter byway of votes. So, Hon Patrick Boamah will
Mr Speaker, I propose thatwe delete the word “wilfully” and thenthe new rendition must read that: “A person who destroys ordamages a register kept under thisAct commits an offence and he isliable on summary conviction to afine of not more than five thousandpenalty units or to a term ofimprisonment of not more than oneyear or both”.
Chairmanof the Committee, do you want to commenton it or I should take the Votes? The Chairman would not need tocomment on it, he can just wait and vote.But if the Chairman thinks he has a view,he is welcome and I would want to hearhim.
Mr Speaker, we would goby his suggestion.
Mr Speaker, I think HonBoamah's proposed amendment should beaccepted. This is because if we insert“wilfully” only, it means that, if the damageor destruction is caused by negligence,then the person is free. If we leave it as“destroys or damages”, depending onthe evidence, the person can either beprosecuted for “wilful destructoin” or“negligently destroying” the property.
So, yousupport Hon Patrick Boamah?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, what I amsaying here is that, if we leave it as theyare proposing -- “destroys or damages”,without qualifying it with “wilfully”, thatwould be leaving the provision too vague. Mr Speaker, we know that in theCriminal Code, there is a provision for‘negligently causing” or “wilfullycausing”. Which one is the intendmentof this provision? We should make it quiteclear. If it is the intendment of thisprovision that we are using “wilfully” or“negligently” or both, then we wouldhave to be very clear on this. Otherwise, Iwould propose that we should let the“wilfully” stay, to qualify “destroy” or“damage”. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, if we leave theword “wilfully”, it does not cause anyharm. If we remove it too and somebodyis charged with destroying property, theevidence would show that his act waswilfully done. It is a matter of evidence.So, whether we remove it or not, the importis the same. Mr Speaker, to make it easy for us. Imay be tempted to agree with the HonBoamah that, we should remove the“wilfully” and simply say that “A personwho destroys ...” In the course of the trial,evidence would show that his act waswilfully done or otherwise. So, I agree tothe amendment that we should remove theword “wilfully” and go with what is there. Thank you.
HonMembers, I think that we have heard fromthe man who used to exercise judicialpower years ago and I think we should beguided by -- Question put and amendment agreedto. Sorry, there is another proposedamendment to clause 33 which isadvertised as item xi. So, let us take thatone.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 33, add the following newsubclause: “(3) A person who commits anoffence under the First Scheduleshall be liable to a fine notexceeding two thousand penaltyunits.” We have mentioned the offenceswithout giving any charge to it and that iswhy we need to interpret that.
I will putthe Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Yes, Hon W. O. Boafo?
Mr Speaker, I was just goingto find out whether the arrangement isconvenient. That is, with this omission,should the proposed amendment be hereor find its way under the First Schedule?
So, theHon Boafo is not against the amendment. Let me put the Question then we lookat that. That is consequential. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 33 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Hon W. O. Boafo was asked whetherit should find space here or rather be aspart of the Schedule. Hon Boafo, you say the ‘offences'should be in the Schedule. Why do yousay so?
Mr Speaker, under the FirstSchedule under clause 4 (2) and clause 4(5); the offences are created there withoutsanctions. I was just trying to find outwhether it would be more convenient tohave this particular proposed new clauseinserted under the First Schedule ratherthan in the main Bill. Mr Speaker, just for the convenienceof arrangement, it would be more elegantto do that --
Mr Speaker, we have noproblem with the suggestion.
You haveno problem with --
We have no problem withmoving it to the First Schedule. In fact,somewhere in my notes, it is even statedthat we should shift it to --
Thankyou. I think we would direct thedraftsperson to appropriately locate theproposed amendment. Yes, clause 34? Clause 34 -- Regulations Hon W. O. Boafo?
Mr Speaker, the clause 34(1) (d) seeks to give the Hon Minister thepower to amend the Schedules in the Act.
Thankyou, Hon W. O. Boafo. [Pause.] Hon Atta Akyea, what is your view onclause 34 (1) (d)?
Mr Speaker, Itried to come to terms with what mylearned senior and Hon Colleague tried toarticulate. I would need to internalise itbefore I can make any meaningfulcontribution.
I have myview on the matter and it is that, Icompletely agree with Hon W. O. Boafo.This is because, clause 34 (1) (d) statesthat: “The Minister may, on the adviceof the Council, by LegislativeInstrument, make Regulations to: (d) amend Schedules to thisAct”; Can one, by a Legislative Instrument(L.I.) amend an Act? I asked this becausethe Schedule to the Act is part of the Act.Is it not only another Act if all that is inthe Schedule is in the Regulation itself? Ifit is in an L.I., then one L.I. can amendanother, but I cannot see my way clearlyin sitting here and presiding over thisHouse, where the House says that theyintend to amend an Act by way of an L.I. This is because, the Schedules to anAct are part of the Act. There is nodifference in weight between theSchedules and the Provisions itself, all ofthem make up the Act. So, I do not see my way clearbecause, in effect, that is what you aresaying, that the Minister can by an L.I.amend provisions of an Act of Parliament.A Schedule is part of the Act. This is totallywrong in my view.
Mr Speaker, if clause 34(1) (d) would make the Hon Minister toopowerful, then, let us delete it. The powersthat he or she should not - [Pause.] Hon Akoto Osei?
Mr Speaker, apart fromagreeing with Hon W. O. Boafo, I have adifficulty even with the opening sentence.I read it to mean that without the advice ofthe Council, the Minister cannot do theL.I. I find that objectionable. [Interruption]On the advice -- [Interruption.] Yes. Whether it is in consultation or not,we should not constrain the Minister. Weknow he would consult them, but the wayit is put here, I read it to mean that withoutthe advice, he is unable to do it and I thinkthat should not be the case.
HonMembers, let me defer this section. Wewould consult further. Let us consult with the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice becauseI find it very difficult to accept that onecan by way of an L.I. amend an Act. I findit very difficult to also accept that in someway the Schedules to Acts are of lesserimportance in the hierarchy, so we cantouch them. When you look at the laws of Ghana, itis clear; Enactments made by or under theauthority of Parliament established bythis Constitution. That is this whole Actplus its Schedules. So, for you to say thatbecause that one deals with discipline offees -- I am advised that all the matters dealingwith fees are in the Schedule; usually, thatis what you do. It is wrong in my view.One cannot through an L.I., subsidiarylegislation, amend an Act. You must comeback to Parliament. I appreciate that, there are things likefees and others that are changed all thetime. So, I do not know whether we coulddraft it and say that apart from the fees --I do not know how you can do it. Maybe,there is a terminology that you can usewhich allows you to put the currentprocedures in the current Act andsubsequently change it by an L.I. But the way it is, especially, thewording, “The Minister shall amend” --As Members of Parliament, are givingpowers to some other person to amend anAct of Parliament? No, I am sorry. Let usthink about it. Yes, Hon Boamah?
Mr Speaker, this is just toadd to what you said. The fees andfines amendment goes before theSubsidiary Legislation Committee everyyear through a Legislative Instrument(L.I.). We are always given copies of finesthat State institutions are to charge fromthe Lands Commission to the courts. So, if such Legislations are alwaysbrought before a Committee of Parliamentto go through every year to prescribe fees, Mr Speaker, that is by way ofclarification.
Thankyou. I will want to defer this so that we havefurther consultation on the matter. I have been advised by the HonMember for Ashaiman, the pro tem HonMajority Leader in the House, that weshould hold our horses on this clause;we should not start clause 35. We willcontinue on Tuesday. Hon Members, that brings us to theend of the Consideration Stage of theChartered Institute of Taxation Bill, 2014for today. Thank you very much, Hon Members. Any indication from the Hon DeputyMajority Leader?
Mr Speaker, yes.Today being Friday and most of ourColleagues having left for the Mosque,we would want at this stage beg to move,for adjournment of the House tillTuesday, 14th June, 2016 at 10.00 o'clockin the forenoon.
Thankyou. Hon Nana Ato Arthur, do you opposethe Motion?
MrSpeaker, I second the Motion.
WhichMotion is that?
Mr Speaker, that theHouse stands adjourned till Tuesday at10.00 a.m. Question put and Motion negatived.
Mr Speaker, when Ilook round, we do not have enough HonMembers to take a decision on a Motion.We do not even form a quorum. So, I do not see how this group of HonMembers can take such a weightydecision to adjourn. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, that is why I oppose theMotion.
I takeyour advice, but we have 10 minutes todecide whether we have a quorum. I intendto put the Question now while we waitfor the 10 minutes to come. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I rise to arrestyour ruling and ask that you do aheadcount whether we satisfy the Rules of this House for an adjournment or for aMotion to be carried.
HonMember, what happened a few minutesago was that I gave a ruling. If I hadannounced the results and you disagreedwith them, that was when you could haveasked for a headcount; but I gave a ruling. The only way you can overturn myruling is by a Motion. I have not seen aMotion that you have filed. The Motionmust be discussed with me and I mustadmit it; but you have not even filed anyMotion. So, you are out of order. Question put and Motion agreed to.