MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
HonMembers, Correction of Votes andProceedings. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Thursday, 7th July,2016.]
HonMembers, we would take the BusinessStatement.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Yes, HonMember, please, use the microphone.
Thank you,Mr Speaker. On several occasions, I have had causeto ask your Committee their reasons fornot bringing on board the Plant BreedersBill. There have been several answers andassurances. Mr Speaker assured me thatit would be discussed at the Committeelevel, and yet, today, as the BusinessCommittee has presented its Statement,the Plant Breeders Bill is nowhere to befound. Mr Speaker, I do not know the anxietyof your Committee. The Plant BreedersBill --
HonMember, you have made your point. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the PlantBreeders Bill was before the Committeeon Constitutional, Legal and ParliamentaryAffairs, of which I am a member. Wedeliberated to some point. The Committeereceived several petitions, and so, we hadto invite those petitioners to appear. Asand when we go for the Committeemeetings, sometimes, at the meetings,fresh petitions are received. Mr Speaker, that is why the PlantBreeders Bill is not moving as expected. Itis due to the numerous petitions that arepending. When we finish with thepetitioners, the Plant Breeders Bill wouldbe brought back for continuation.
Hon DeputyMajority Leader, actually, the concern isthe time line. It looks like it is on and on.So, can you not expedite the process atthe Committee level so that it would seethe light of day?
Mr Speaker, we wouldinform the Committee accordingly andexpedite action on it.
Very well. Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker,over six months ago, I filed two Questions:one was intended for the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice relatingto the Ivory Coast-Ghana MaritimeBoundary Dispute, which was outside thecountry. I wanted to know progress andfinancial commitments. The second onewas on how petroleum revenue was beingapplied in terms of capacity building. Mr Speaker, I do not know why theseQuestions have not been made part of thebusiness for the day. Six months is toolong a time. I do not know the challengesthat they are facing so that I would havethe benefit of the answers.
Mr Speaker, as and whenthe Questions are admitted by Mr Speaker,they are brought to the Committee forprogramming. I believe if his Question hadbeen brought to the notice of theCommittee, we would have programmedit. Having said so, we would follow upwith the Clerks-at-the-Table to see thestate of the Hon Member's Question andprogramme it, possibly in the comingweeks.
Mr Speaker, aboutfour months ago, I filed a Question whichwas duly admitted by Mr Speaker andadvertised. It relates to a self-helpelectrification programme (SHEP-4) thathas been ongoing for the past sevenyears. Unfortunately, anytime the Questionwas advertised, the Business of theHouse does not allow for the Hon Ministerto respond and I expected that it wouldbe re-programmed for the Minister toappear to answer. I have just lookedthrough the Business Statement and I amnot seeing anything about that. It has todo with --
HonMember, I am reliably informed that MrSpeaker has admitted that Question. It isa question of getting the BusinessCommittee to schedule it. So, I woulddirect the Clerk to the Business Committeeto ensure that it is scheduled.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. presentation of that Paper may beplaced on the Order Paper, and assoon as Mr Speaker announces“Papers for Presentation”, the Papershall be deemed to have been laidon the Table.”
ElectronicCommunication Regulations, 2016 (ICHService); Electronic CommunicationsRegulations, 2016 (Electronic CommunicationsTribunal); and Dam Safety Regulations, 2016.
Excise Stamp Regulations, 2016;Excise Duty Regulations, 2016; ValueAdded Tax Regulations, 2016 and IncomeTax Regulations. Mr Speaker, as we Sit now, none ofthese Papers is anywhere in any HonMember's pigeonhole. These Papers aregoing to mature before we rise. [Pause.] Mr Speaker, some of them are probablyvery simple and straightforward. When Iparticipated in the Subsidiary Legislationas a friend, I observed that it includedcertain clauses we wanted them to takeaway. This is because the Act did notsay so and they were trying to bring themin the regulations. Mr Speaker, so if it has been laid andHon Members cannot get copies to makesure that it sits right with the ElectronicCommunications Act -- we, through themiddle of the night and Rt Hon Speakerpresided. I think on this particular note, itis very worrying and I do not know howup to date it has not even been gazettedin the Assembly Press and the clock isstill ticking.
HonMember, I am reliably informed that assoon as that is done, the very next day orsame day, it is sent to the Assembly
MrSpeaker, I thank you for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, I still mourn the lives of 21Ghanaians who died on the Volta Lake.Mr Speaker, if you recall, respectfully, thismatter had been raised and I am seekingthe sector Minister, the Minister forTransport notwithstanding the fact thatthe Member of Parliament had made aStatement, to come to this House and briefus on preparations to ensure thatstandards certainly compromised, wouldbe improved. Mr Speaker, I recall that you were inthe Chair and had given some directives.I cannot remember exactly the directivesyou gave. But if the Business Committeeconsiders this prudent to invite theMinister for Transport to brief this Houseon preparations which are underway toensure that standards that arecompromised on the Volta Lake areimproved and beyond that to improvegeneral safety on the Volta Lake.
HonMember, there was a directive that sometwo Committees were to submit a reportto this House at plenary concerning theissue that you have just raised, but I donot think there is any question to theeffect of asking the Minister responsibleto come and make a Statement has beentabled. However, we need to make surethat the Committees that have been giventhe task go ahead and duly submit thereport to plenary.
Mr Speaker,I want to bring to the attention of theHouse and the Business Committee theimportance of Standing Order 75, andwith your permission, I beg to quote: 75(1) “As soon as sufficient copiesof a Paper for distribution toMembers have been received in theOffice of the Clerk notice of the
Mr Speaker,some of them are Legislative Instruments,and within the 21 days that they have beenlaid here, they are supposed to be working,but we have not seen them and theCommittees have not worked on them. Mr Speaker, it would be good, withyour guidance, to get us a timeline thatby a certain time this thing should be done,and then the Committee could work on it.Once it has been laid and it is a LegislativeInstrument, there is nothing we can do.
Very well. Hon Member, you have had your bite,have you not?
Mr Speaker,respectfully, I am grateful. I have anotherpoint to raise. As a nation, I think that we have madesome giant strides concerning the dumsor,to wit, power cuts. We have made someremarkable improvement. Recently weheard the Hon Minister saying that somesubsidy had been announced, and thenHis Excellency the President is alsosaying that it is actually a realignment. Mr Speaker, I am respectfully seekingyour high office, if the Business Committeewould programme the sector Minister tocome and tell us indeed, whether it is anannouncement of a subsidy --
HonMember, we are looking at the BusinessStatement presented before us. If youthink you would want to table a Questiondirected at the Minister responsible, youare free to do so.
Performing official dutyfor some of our Hon Members who haveasked that roads be constructed in theirconstituencies. So, currently, he is in theUpper West Region on official duty onbehalf of Hon Members of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, I have noproblem, but if the Hon Minister deemedthis House as an important assignment --I think it is Friday. We normally giveFridays for roads, so, at least, by theclose of the week, he should be here.Next time we would know what to say.
HonMembers, if we observe, we would realisethat the Hon Minister for Roads andHighways has been very punctual whenit comes to answering Questions. Thank you.
MrSpeaker, I think the call of Parliamentshould be taken more seriously. Ourauthority should be taken more seriously. Mr Speaker, the reason he gave is whatI am worried about that he is engaged onan official assignment in Ghana. Mr Speaker, I believe the call ofParliament should supersede that officialassignment that he is doing anywhere inGhana, most especially, when he is comingto answer Questions on behalf of thegood people of this country. So, that ismy worry, the reason that the Hon DeputyMajority Leader gave. Mr Speaker, I believe whenever an HonMinister is called upon to answerQuestions in Parliament and the Ministeris in Ghana, nothing should stop him orher from doing so. Whatever assignmentthey are doing is not more important thanthe call of Parliament. That is my concern. Press for gazetting and for copies to beprinted. The Assembly Press, as I am madeto understand, is very choked. These arethe realities on the ground. So, I woulddirect the Table Office to follow up onthese matters that you have raised on theAssembly Press Office to ensure thatthey go through the process as quicklyas possible.
Mr Speaker, I thank youfor that, but something more must bedone beyond your directions. TheAssembly Press cannot be the stumblingblock for this work. Our Standing Ordersare clear, that we should receive, at least,275 or 300 copies before they are laid. Thatis my worry. I agree with your understanding.[Pause.]
Well, HonMember, I am advised that the procedurewas complied with. In certain cases, whenthe gazetting is done and the copies aresubmitted to this House, they are not reallyin the form that we would readily want togive out to Hon Members. There is a bitof work that has to be done in tandemwith the Assembly Press. So, that explainsthe delay. But I can assure you that with thisdirection, the Table Office would workhand in hand with the Assembly Press toget it done.
Mr Speaker, I totallyagree with your direction. I do not have aproblem. It is the clock that is ticking thatI have a problem with. Mr Speaker, there are about nine ofthem. They all lapse within the 21 daysbefore we rise, and that was my onlyworry.
It is actually anational crisis.
I know, butyou could table a Question for him to comeand respond to. Hon Members, the Business Statementfor the week ending Friday, 15th July, 2016,be hereby adopted as the business for thatweek. Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, we could move to Questions.
Do we havethe Hon Minister in the Chamber?
Mr Speaker, the HonMinister is currently not in Accra. He ison an official assignment up north, andhe has delegated his deputy to come andanswer the Questions on his behalf. Mr Speaker, with your permission, wewould ask the support of our HonColleagues that the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Roads and Highways would answerthe Questions on behalf of the HonMinister.
Yes, Honavailable Leader?
Mr Speaker, I would like tofind out, where did he say the HonMinister has gone to? What is the HonMinister doing? Let us know specificallywhat the Hon Minister is doing.
The Hon Minister currentlyis in the Upper West Region on official--[Interruptions.]
Mr Speaker, would theHon Deputy Minister tell us why till date,nothing has been done on those roadsprogrammed for maintenance in 2016programme when we are in the rainyseason. They were part of the maintenanceprogramme for the whole year, and tilldate, six months into the year, nothinghas been done. What is the reason forthat?
Mr Speaker, I wouldlike to find out from the Hon Minister,whether proactively, they have timelinesfor completion. He says that they would know it afterthe contract has been awarded. I wouldwant to know whether in spite of that, theyhave proactively done something abouttimelines for the completion of theconstruction work?
Mr Speaker, yes, wedo know times for the completion of suchcontracts. Depending on the extent of the project,the time is determined accordingly, andwe are very much aware - for instance,the Hon Member asked about the urgencyof the matter. We consider all these andappropriate things are done.
HonMembers, the next Question stands in thename of the Hon Member for Twifo AttiMorkwa.
Mr Speaker,thank you for the opportunity given. I advertised this Question for a longtime, I have now followed up on it to acertain point, and I am certain about thedevelopment of the Ministry, so, I wouldhold my peace for now.
Very well. Hon Members, the next Questionstands in the name of the Hon Memberfor Kpandai. Kpandai to Salaga Road(Construction and gravelling). Q. 537. Mr Matthew Nyindam askedthe Minister for Roads and Highwayswhen the construction and gravelling ofthe Kpandai to Salaga road commence.
Very well. Hon Members, the first Questionstands in the name of the Hon Member ofParliament for Asante Akim Central. Is hein the Chamber?
Mr Speaker, the HonMember is caught up somewhere and hehas asked me to -- [Interruptions.]
Mr Speaker, he said Ishould ask the Question on his behalf.He is not in the Upper West Region. Heis on his way. [Laughter.]
Where is he too?
HonMember, I would grant you permission toask the Question.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF ROADS ANDHIGHWAYS
Mr Speaker, routinemaintenance programme has a schedule.Normally, they take between three to fourmonths for the grading and others to bedone. We would know in the contract thatit would be awarded by the end of July2016. In the contract, we indicated exactlywhen it would commence, and when itwould end.
HonMember, your last follow up?
Mr Speaker, I would goahead even though the last question wasnot answered. Mr Speaker, has the Hon DeputyMinister taken cognisance of the fact thatthese roads lead to staple food growingareas in this country, and the delay isaffecting staple food production in thecountry?
Mr Speaker, yes, wedo. We have taken steps to ensure thatthe right things are done. (Mr William O. Boafo -- rose --
Mr Speaker, routinemaintenance are programmes that ensurethat regularly, sections of the roads aregraded and put in good shape formotorability. For this road, it has two lots, as I said.The first one is factored into the routinemaintenance program, and the other onewould be awarded on contract, by the 15thJuly, 2016.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinister said that maintenance on the first30 kilometres was completed on the 15thJune, 2016. Last week, I came back from theconstituency and I used that road. Thereare about six or seven culverts that I sawbeing constructed on that particular road.But as we speak now, even the gravellingon those particular culverts --
Mr Speaker, my questionis that, which stretch of the roadparticularly is the Hon Minister talkingabout its completion between 15th June,2016?
Mr Speaker, theroads are in two lots and as I said, the firstlot was that which was programmed onthe maintenance plan. The second lot ,would be awarded -- the 30 kilometresroad on contract, by 15th July, 2016.
HonMember, your last question.
Mr Speaker, I would wantto appeal to the Ministry to try as muchas possible to do more of the monitoringbecause I am very sure that the completionaspect --
MrSpeaker, as at the time I filed this Questiontill now, the situation has been put out,and as at today, the contractor is on site,and work is progressing, for which reasonI would want to step the Question down.
HonMembers, the next Question stands in thename of the Hon Member for UpperDenkyira East. Roads in Upper Denkyira EastMunicipality (Tarring) Q. 539. Nana Amoakoh asked theMinister for Roads and Highways whenthe Asikuma-Esaaso-Ayaase andDunkwa-Twifo Praso Roads in the UpperDenkyira East Municipality be tarred. Background
Mr Speaker, i. theAsikuma-Esaaso-Ayaase- Dunkwa Roadis 52 kilometres long. The road has 10kmbituminous surfaced and 42 kilometresgravel surfaced section. The road is in afair to poor condition.ii. The Dunkwa-Twifo Praso Road is 78km long with a 64 km gravel surfacedsection and a 14 km bituminous surfacedsection. The gravel surfaced section ofthe road (64km) is in fair to poor condition. Both roads are located in the UpperDenkyira East and Twifo Atti MorkwaDistricts of the Central Region. Current programme The Ghana Highway Authority hasplanned to upgrade the road in phases. Atotal of 35kilometres of the Dunkwa-Twifo-Praso Road has been awarded on contract. Background
Mr Speaker, theKpandai-Salaga Road is a 60 kilometresgravel surface road in fair conditionlocated in the East Gonja District in theNorthern Region. Current programme The road is currently being maintainedunder the Ghana Highway Authority 2015-2016 routine maintenance programme. Theproject was awarded in two lots.Maintenance on the first 30kilometres wascompleted on the 15th of June, 2016. Thecontractor is mobilising to site for thecommencement of the remaining 30kilometres. Future programmme Tender for the upgrading of the roadto bitumen surface has been opened andevaluation to select a contractor for thework is expected to be completed by 15thJuly, 2016.
HonMember, any follow up?
Mr Speaker, from the HonMinister 's Answer, he says thatmaintenance work is ongoing under theGhana Highway Authority, 2015 to 2016programme. Mr Speaker, what I would want to findout from the Hon Minister is that;between Kpandai and Salaga, if not forthe favours of the rains, the road wouldhave been totally cut off. So, if he says: “maintenance work”,then I really do not get him. What are theingredients, when he says that the road isunder routine maintenance? This isbecause the reality on the ground is notthe same as the picture that the HonMinister is painting.
HonMember, it is your last question that weare requesting for. If you have exhausted your question --
Mr Speaker, I have notexhausted my questions. The questionwould come, but I am telling him that asan Hon Member of Parliament, I have anoversight responsibility to play. I am onthe ground there and I am telling the HonMinister that if they would not mind --
HonMember, what is your question?
Mr Speaker, my lastquestion is that mobilisation of thecontractor and the Hon Minister wouldcommence the second phase or thesecond lot. Mr Speaker, when is the contractormoving to site and who is the contractor,if I may ask?
Mr Speaker, thequestion again.
Mr Speaker, accordingto the Hon Minister, on the second lot,the contractor is mobilising to site tocommence business and I am asking whenthe contractor would move to site, whothe contractor is and if necessary, the sumof the contract.
Mr Speaker, I do nothave with me the name of the contractor,and I would furnish him with the detailsas soon as possible, but the mobilisationto site is as soon as possible.
HonMembers, the next Question stands in thename of the Hon Member for Keta.
Mr Speaker, theBeposo-Wioso Road is 6.0 kilometreslong and is located in the Sekyere CentralKwaman District of the Ashanti Region. The road was awarded for bituminoussurfacing in 2007. The contractor executedthe works up to primer seal level andabandoned site due to delay in payment.The Department of Feeder Road's effortsto get the contractor back to site failed.The contract was eventually terminated. The road is currently in fair to poorcondition. Current programme The road has been programmed forbituminous surfacing works in theDepartment of Feeder Road's 2016/2017budget. Engineering Studies have beencompleted. The procurement process willcommence soon to get the contractawarded by the end of September, 2016. ii) Nsuta - Juansah Road Background The Nsuta-Juansah Feeder Road is an8.0 kilometres long gravel surfaced roadin fair to poor condition. The roadconnects Nsuta through Juansah to theBeposo-Wioso road. It traverses hillysections with quite steep slopes. TheRoad is located in the Sekyere CentralDistrict of the Ashanti Region. Future Programme Engineering studies are currently inprogress to undertake the necessarydesign and estimates for inclusion in the2017 budget. iii) Birem-Balana-Maala-Blackie-Sunkwae road Background The Birem -Balana -Maala - Blackie -Sunkwe is an earth road in poor condition,and it is located in the Sekyere CentralDistrict of the Ashanti Region. Future programme Engineering studies are in progress todetermine the type of intervention to becarried out.
Mr Speaker, on Friday,February 7, 2014, the Hon Minister gavean assurance that the road betweenBeposo-Wioso was going to be packagedand awarded to another contractor. Buthere we are, the same Minister has toldme the contract would be awarded in 2016and 2017. Which is which?
Mr Speaker, theWioso-Beposo Road has been terminated accordingly due to non-performance ofthe contractor and it is repackaged foraction as indicated.
Mr Speaker, I justwant to know, if the Hon Deputy Ministeris giving an assurance -- This is becausehe gave an assurance in 2014. Now, he issaying the same thing, so how can Ibelieve the Hon Deputy Minister thatwhat he is saying is the truth?
Mr Speaker, it is ofhigh determination to assure him that theroad will be fixed and fixed accordingly.Therefore, by September, 2016, the Roadwill be awarded.
Your finalfollow up?
Thank you, MrSpeaker. I want to inform the Hon Ministerthat Nsuta-Junsa Road falls within a majorcocoa producing area. What stops theMinistry from including Nsuta-JunsaRoad in the Cocoa Roads to berehabilitated?
Thank you, MrSpeaker. This road is a critical one and that iswhy we have commissioned anengineering studies to be formed. As soonas that is concluded, the road will beincluded in the 2017 Budget. Thank you.
HonMember, that brings us to the end ofQuestion time. Hon Deputy Minister,thank you for attending upon the Houseto answer the Questions tabled.
Mr Speaker, the HonDeputy Majority Leader is irresistiblygoing to move for the Presentation ofPapers. And I see that, there are two majorPapers to be presented. The Asikuma-Esaaso-Ayaase-DunkwaRoad and the remaining sections of theDunkwa-Twifo Praso Road are beingmaintained under the Ghana HighwayAuthority 2016 Maintenance Programme,to keep them motorable until a majorintervention is carried out.
Mr Speaker, the HonDeputy Minister said 10 kilometres of theroad is bituminous surfaced. Can he tellthe House which stretch of the road isbituminous surfaced?
Mr Speaker, the 64kilometre gravel surface, the 14 kilometrebituminous surface sections and the 34kilometre gravel surface section has beenawarded as I said to two contractors --MS KB Annan with the length of 25kilometres and Messers Mawuz Limitedthat has the 10 kilometre project.
Mr Speaker, the HonDeputy Minister has not answered thequestion because I asked what end. Hehas not given me which part. If he said 10kilometres is bituminous, I would want toknow what stretch because there is astarting point and an end point that hasbeen tarred. I just want to know.
Mr Speaker, I willcome back with the specifics, I came toexplain how it is being programmed foraction. Therefore, if it is specifics, I willcome back to give him the specific detailsaccordingly.
HonMembers, the next Question stands in thename of the Hon Member for NsutaKwamang Beposo.
Mr Speaker, item numbered6 on page 12 of the Order Paper.
Item 6 bythe Majority Leader and Leader of theHouse?
Mr Speaker, I ask yourpermission to lay the Papers on behalf ofthe Hon Majority Leader. Mrs Kusi -- rose --
Yes, HonGifty Kusi?
Mr Speaker, I am veryworried. This is because the Papers arenot here -- [Interruption.] Can he show us the copies? They arenot ready, that is what the Minority issaying. Mr Speaker, let us all work inconsensus --
HonMember, he has given us the assurancethat, they are here so --
Can he lay it on the Table?
I am onlyasking for permission as he did for him asHon Deputy Majority Leader --
I have no problem but thePapers are not ready.
Hon DeputyMajority Leader? concluding paragraph, line 1, after “shall”we insert ‘‘through the Minister'': “The Chairperson of the Councilshall, through the Minister, notifythe President of the vacancy andthe President shall appoint a personto fill the vacancy for the residue ofthe term.”
You haveno objection to the proposed amendment,do you?
We have no objection atall. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 9 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 10 -- Meetings of the Council
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 10, subclause (1), line 2,delete “despatch of business at the timesand in the places” and insert “dispatch ofbusiness at a time and place”. It is a more polished rendition, that iswhy we filed for that amendment. Question put and amendment agreedto..
Mr Speaker,clause 10 (3), with your leave and if theHon Chairman and Deputy Ministerwould have no objection, it reads: “The quorum at a meeting of theCouncil is eight Members of theCouncil or a greater numberdetermined by the Council in respectof an important matter…” Mr Speaker, we want to be assured that,these Papers are available for distribution.If they are not available for distributionimmediately, then we should defer thePresentation. This is because, we do notwant to experience what happened to uswith regard to some Bills and LegislativeInstruments (L.I.s) These are major pieces of -- PublicElections Regulations and Representationof the People. We want to be assured that,they are readily available in the House fordistribution. The Clerks-at-the-Tableshould assure us.
Mr Speaker, the matterraised by my Hon Colleague is actually afact. These Papers are very important andthat was the reason I beckoned the HonChairman of the Committee to give usdouble assurance. Already, I have beeninformed that, the Papers are ready but Iwant double assurance from him. So, MrSpeaker, the answer is that, these Papersare ready to be laid.
Mr Speaker, I would liketo supply this information to buttresswhat the available Leader just said. I wasalso part of the Committee on SubsidiaryLegislation that worked on these Papersand it took us some time. Mr Speaker, if those Papers that theyclaim are here are laid, there would beserious constitutional crisis. I know for afact that, changes are being made to thesePapers as we speak and that, the real oneswould come sometime next week. Why arewe deceiving ourselves? Mr Speaker, if they claim they are here,let us distribute them. I rest my case.
HonMember, you are putting the cart before
Mr Speaker, item numbered12 on page 16 of the Order Paper -- NationalDisaster Management Organisation Bill,2015 at the Consideration Stage.
HonMembers, item number 12 on the OrderPaper -- the National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015 at the ConsiderationStage. Is the Hon Chairman of the Committeein the Chamber?
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee, can yourefresh our memories on where --
Mr Speaker, we were on clause9. It was not an advertised amendment butyesterday, Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsumade an intervention and we accepted it,that, on clause 9, subclause 7, the
Mr Speaker, I appreciatethe observation made by the HonMinister. But this distinction is made inthe Interpretation Act, where we have“ordinary” and “important” matters. So,we are only trying to extend what is foundin the Interpretation Act in this Bill. It isan interpretation matter. This is not thefirst time that this particular phraseologyis being used in this House. We have usedit several times in several Bills simplybecause, it is not a novelty but rooted inour law. What is important is left to thediscretion of the Board. It is not statutorilydetermined because you cannotstatutorily determine what is important. Itis a matter of merit and each case woulddepend on its merit and how important itis. The Hon Minister would not challengeany assessment that when he sits behindhis desk in his Ministry, he has ordinarymatters and important matters to consider.
Mr Speaker, thisclause has been dealt with strenuously atthe Committee level. The consensus isthat, we are here talking about disastermanagement. So, it is not for nothing thatthe subclause says; “in respect of an important matter”. A quorum -- A greaternumber could be decided upon as thequorum. Mr Speaker, if you look at the membersof the Council, you would notice that itcovers a number of ministries. That is sobecause, when you are dealing withdisaster, sometimes, it becomes necessarythat certain key ministries are involved. Without the involvement of certain keyministries, depending on the nature of thedisaster, you might not be in the positionto manage the disaster effectively. It is fora good reason that that particular clauseis part of the Bill. If we shoot it down, wemight run into problems. Yesterday, I gave a typical example ofa disaster which is health related. If forexample, the quorum is eight and theMinistry of Health is not involved, youmight miss a lot of things in respect of theexpertise that that particular key ministrywould bring to bear on the deliberations.So, it is for these reasons that we take theclause as it is.
Mr Speaker, my ColleagueHon Asiamah has something to say onthis issue.
But we aredealing with this particular proposedamendment. Therefore, Hon Minister, areyou prepared to abandon the --
Mr Speaker, Iappreciate the explanation given by theHon Deputy Minister. But as I understandit, you are looking at a quorum, minimumnumber of persons to be present beforethe commencement of a meeting. I do so,relating it to clause 7 -- Governing bodyof the Organisation. Where the Council is made up of 17members as I do my counting or rely onthe Explanatory Memorandum. There is apage where we have indication of theBoard which is a very clumsy Board. So,if you say eight members, that would passas a quorum. But you are saying that inrespect of important matters, you wouldneed a greater number other than eight. Ifthat is the explanation he is giving, that isfine with me.
Very well. Hon Members, in that case, I wouldput the Question with regard to clause 10as amended standing part of the Bill. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 10 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clauses 11 to 12 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 13 -- Allowances
Mr Speaker, inrespect of clause 13: “Members of the Council andMembers of a Committee of theCouncil shall be paid allowancesapproved by the Chairperson of theCouncil in consultation with theMinister responsible for Finance”. So, where the Chairperson is not theMinister for the Interior, are you sayingthat the Chairperson must just writedirectly to the Ministry of Finance,indicating that these are allowancespayable? Best practices in our legislation. Thisis a consultation between the sectorMinister and the Minister for Finance andtherefore, not the Chairperson.
Mr Speaker, with “allowanceapproved by the Chairperson” just as theHon Minister said, I believe that normally,it is the Board or the Hon Minister thatapproves it. Mr Speaker, this rendition should belooked at. Mr Speaker, other Hon Members, wouldlike to contribute but I do not know whyyou are not calling them. Can you please,call Hon Asiamah because he would wantto contribute?
HonMembers, can we have some order!
Mr Speaker, I believe HonAsiamah has been on his feet for a longtime and we are pleading with you --
HonMember, we have gone past what hewanted to deal with. So, as far as I amconcerned that is over and done with.
Mr Speaker, we are onlypleading that you, call him.
Mr Speaker, mayI, with your leave propose that clause 13should read; “Members of the Council andMembers of the Committee of theCouncil shall be paid allowancesapproved by the Minister inconsultation with the Ministerresponsible for Finance”.
HonMembers, can we defer the considerationof this particular clause for the Committeeto take a second look at it and then wecan come back and look at it? Otherwise,we would spend so much time debatingthis particular issue.
Mr Speaker, let uslook at the rationale behind clause 14.They want to establish units or divisions;national, regional and district levels. Weheard the arguments even though mySenior Colleague did not provide anyelaboration on the Interpretation Act. If adistrict office of NADMO is establishedin Apam in the Central Region -- Are wesaying by this Act, if for some reason thereare no disasters in the area one day, theyshould just say they are closing thatoffice? In any case that is administrative.What they are doing is, they are creatingdivisions of the Organisation and they arecreating those divisions at the national,regional: and district level. Why do theyworry themselves with: “The Council may abolish or re-organise a unit or division”. Why? What would be theadministrative rationale to do that? Theyare creating an entity. Mr Speaker, we should be guided. Theheadnote reads; “Divisions of the Organisation”.
HonMinister, that is why I have directed thatwe defer further consideration of thisparticular clause for the Committee to lookat it.
Mr Speaker, theHon Deputy Minister must yield to theHon Chairman so that we can makeprogress. Clauses 14 to 16 ordered to stand partof the Bill
Mr Speaker, afterabout 30 minutes of rising on my feet,finally, I have caught your eye. Mr Speaker, I rise on Standing Order48; which is about quorum of Parliament.I do not believe we have the numbers todo this very important national assign-ment. Mr Speaker, I would urge that you ruleon Standing Order 48.
HonMembers, I direct that the bell be rung.Meanwhile, we can proceed. Clause 17 -- Appointment of Director-General
Mr Speaker, withyour leave, we would need to polish orimprove on clause 17. And with yourindulgence, I beg to quote: “The President shall in accordancewith article 195 of the Constitution,appoint as the Director-General andChief Executive…” Mr Speaker, the word “as” should bedeleted and also they have joined thewords “Director-General” and “ChiefExecutive” which is also a problem.
Yes, HonMinister, we are listening to you. Unlessyou are abandoning --
Mr Speaker, whenyou mentioned clause 17, I did not seethe Hon Chairman rise to propose anyamendment. But he is heckling me in thequiet.
HonMembers, let us listen to the HonChairman of the Committee.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 17, subclause (1), line 2, delete“and Chief Executive of”. Mr Speaker, this is because we regardit as superfluous. The Hon Minister jumped the gun. Hedid not give me the chance to even rise.This is because he is thinner than me andI am a little bulky, so, my desk preventedme from getting up on time. So, he has tostop being mercurial.
“The President shall in accordancewith article 195 of the Constitution,appoint as the Director-General aperson of integrity with considerableknowledge, expertise and experiencein matters relevant to the functionsof the Organisation”.
Mr Speaker, I am lookingthrough the Bill to see whether the word,“integrity” had been defined. But if wesay, to appoint “… a person of integrity”,I am looking for the definition of‘integrity'. Who is a person of integrity? Iwould want the Hon Chairman to answerthat.
HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond to that?
Mr Speaker, actually, thePresident would take into considerationthe integrity of anybody he appoints. So,really, I do not have any objection to that.Therefore, the expression, “a person ofintegrity” is just to give some substance— “…with considerable knowledge,expertise and experience.”
HonChairman of the Committee, are you allright with it?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 13 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill
Mr Speaker, withyour leave, I would like to propose that,clause 14 (2) which reads: “The Council may abolish or re-organise a unit or division”. Mr Speaker, this clause is unnecessary.This is because, it is administrative, sowhy would they want to legislate on it?Therefore, clause 14 (1) should just stand: “The Council may establish unitsor divisions within the Organisationat the national, regional and districtlevels that is it considers necessaryfor the effective performance of thefunctions of the Organisation”. For what purpose does clause 14 (2)serve?
Mr Speaker, even thoughit is implied that a body which is clothedwith the power to do can also undo, butfor purposes of enacting a legislation ofthis nature, it throws light on the functionsof the Organisation. So, if it can establish,why not? It has the power to abolish. I do not believe that the inclusion ofthat particular provision is injurious orfatal to clause 14 (1) in any way. It merelyelucidates on the functions of theOrganisation; what it can do in terms ofthe abolishing. It even qualifies it a bit more. That iswhy we put it that way. I do not think thereis anything wrong with putting that in.
Let us listento Hon Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi and thento the Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker, this sentencelimits the powers of the President toappoint people if it is allowed to remain “…a person of integrity withconsiderable knowledge, expertiseand experience…” Mr Speaker, people learn on the job. Ibelieve it would limit the discretion of thePresident.
Mr Speaker, disastermanagement definitely requires somebodyof considerable knowledge in the field ofdisaster management. We cannot justappoint anybody and expect that theperson would learn on the job. We aretalking about the Director-General of theAgency of State responsible for disastermanagement. The person must haveknowledge in disaster issues and theirprevention. Mr Speaker, the provision is wellthought out and should stand.
Mr Speaker, if theHon Chairman and the Hon DeputyMinister would have no objection, clause17 could read: “The President shall in accordancewith article 195 of the Constitution,appoint the Director-General whoshall be the Chief Executive of theOrganisation with considerableknowledge and experience inmatters relevant to the functions ofthe Organisation”. Mr Speaker, I so submit as animprovement to what they did.
Mr Speaker, we thoughtthat the position of Director-General is thesame as Chief Executive of theOrganisation. So to repeat the statementthat, “the Director-General who shall bethe Chief Executive” does not really addor subtract. We do not want to berepetitive when drafting legislation. Thatis why we had the proposed amendmentthat, the “Chief Executive” be deleted.
Mr Speaker, a carefulexamination of the provisions of clause18, subclause (1) and (2) clearly indicatesthat, the Director-General is the ChiefExecutive of the Organisation. Mr Speaker, he is in charge of the day-to-day administration and responsible forthe management of the employees of theOrganisation. So I believe that this is theanswer to the suggestion by the HonMinister.
Very well,Hon Deputy Minister, how do yourespond to that?
Mr Speaker, I would craveyour indulgence to put the Question. Weagreed that the, “Chief Executive” bedeleted. This is because, it is the same as‘Director-General'. There is no officer ofthe Organisation who is highly rankedthan the Director-General. He isresponsible for the day-to-dayadministration, therefore, the ChiefExecutive of the Organisation. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 17 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonMembers, what do we have here; we haveclause 18 and then back to clause 17. Isthat an error? [Pause.] Very well. Clause 18 then. Clause 18 — Functions of the Director-General.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 18 subclause (2), delete. Mr Speaker, this is because it issuperfluous. The Director-General isresponsible for the management of theemployees of the Organisation this is verystandard. There is no need for us to repeatit. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, beforeyou put the Question on the whole ofclause 18, the headnote reads: “Functionsof the Director-General” but if we come tothe meat of the provision, whether inclause 18 (1) or (2), we see them use theword, “responsible”. I am sure theywanted to say, “Responsibilities of theDirector-General” and not the functions.[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, with thegreatest respect, functions are the sameas responsibilities.
Mr Speaker, I do not wantto run against my Hon Chairman but undersubclause (3), that: “The Director-General shall act asthe Secretary to the Council”. Mr Speaker, I believe this is over-burdensome for the Director-General. Weneed a separate provision wherebysomebody else would be appointed as Secretary to the Council. He is the ChiefExecutive and he cannot double as theSecretary.
Mr Speaker, Ialso support the position taken by mylearned Colleague here. I am of the viewthat the Council should have the freewayto appoint their own Secretary so that itwould not be that the same man runningthe system who doubles as the Secretaryto the Council. How he would manageserious issues of conflict with the Councilwould be difficult. Mr Speaker, I am of the humble viewthat, the Council should have the libertyto appoint its own Secretary for theirdeliberations and responsibilities underthe impending law.
Mr Speaker, we wouldconcede on that point and propose that anew subclause then be created under,“The Functions of the Council”; whichwould empower the Council to appoint theSecretary so that the subclause (3) isdeleted.
HonMembers, would it not be advisable tocreate a new clause, indicating that theCouncil would have the power to appointthe Secretary.
Mr Speaker, very well.
So thatsettles it. We do away with this provision whichsays; “The Director-General shall be theSecretary” then subsequently look at aprovision for the appointment of aSecretary by the Council, maybe, under“The Functions of the Council”. Hon Member, would that be all rightwith you?
HonAsiamah, I saw you on your feet?
Mr Speaker, yes. I raised Standing Order 48 and it isabout 15 minutes since --
The bell hasjust been rung. Look at the Order closely.
Mr Speaker, I raisedit 15 minutes ago --
And Idirected that the bell be rang. The bell is now ringing so why do younot bid your time. [Laughter.] You would have your way -- Do notworry.
It is clear.
Yes, HonMembers, we would delete and put theQuestion for the deletion. Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, theamendment proposed is to delete clause18, subclause 3: “The Director-General shall act asthe Secretary to the Council” and bring a new clause.
HonMembers, it has been moved that wedelete the subclause 3. I will put the Question with regard tothat. Question put and amendment agreedto. We can now look at the creation of thenew subclause to take care of theappointment of a Secretary. But we do notneed to do that now unless you would sowish us. Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Speaker, I would begof you to allow us to proceed with theother clauses while we come out with adraft for consideration.
Very well. So, Hon Members, we move on toclause 19. Clause 19 -- Appointment of otherstaff of the Organisation
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 19, subclause (2), line 2, delete“with the approval of the Council”. Mr Speaker, we regard it as superfluousbecause the work of the Organisation isunder the direction of the Council anyway.
HonMembers, I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve with clause 19, it is just forelegance and I have a difficulty when youopen clause 19 (1) with the expression: “Other staff of the Organisation ...” Probably, for you to direct thedraftsperson, clause 19 (3) should beclause 19 (1) so that:
Mr Speaker, with regard tothe last submission made by the HonMinister for Employment and LabourRelations about the need to change “aconsultant” to “consultants”, I wouldwant to remind him that, in theInterpretation Act, the singular includesthe plural. So, we do not need to changeit.
Mr Speaker, I have anobservation to make which may result inan amendment. That is with clause 19 (2). Mr Speaker, the appointing authorityis the President of the Republic and heinvariably would determine the terms andconditions of the appointment. So, I thinkthe Bill seeks to undermine the authorityof the President by taking that away fromhim and giving it to the Council. We know that under article 195 (2), thePresident has the power to delegate it andthat is administrative. So, I think weshould consistently maintain theauthority with the President and deleteclause 19 (2).
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond to that? Hon Chairman of the Committee, beforethen, how do you also respond to theHon Minister's suggestion about gettingthe draftspersons to rearrange thatparticular clause because the “Other staff...” comes before provision is made for theInstitution appointing other staff? Just forpurposes of orderliness -- You would seethat in subclause 1, you have: “Other staff of the Organisationshall be appointed in accordancewith article 195 of the Constitution”. “The Organisation shall have otherofficers and staff that are necessaryfor the proper and effectiveperformance of its functions”. Then you can follow on article 195 thusthe President delegating the Authority ashe may please. But for the purpose of thearrangement, I think that you may directthe draftsperson --
Mr Speaker,finally, talking of where he moved hisamendment, we have: “... engage the services of aconsultant ...”. Mr Speaker, that is singular; they arenot going to have one consultantthroughout the existence of thisOrganisation. A further directive to thedraftsperson to improve it. This is because the language there is“... the services of a consultant ...” so thoseof you who went to Achimota School orMawuli School may want to improve it.But certainly, when you say a consultant,it connotes singular -- Mr Frederick Opare Ansah-- rose --
Mr Speaker, andthis Suhum Primary School young Memberof Parliament -- Mr Speaker, if they would want toimprove it. Thank you.
Yes, HonW. O. Boafo?
Hon DeputyMinister, just look at clause 19 (1). Whydo you want to talk about “Other staff”?What do you mean by that? In the courseof your presentation, you are talkingabout the staff of the Organisation but inanother clause, you have “Other staff”.So, what do you mean by that? If you come to subclause 3, you wouldsee that it says: “The Organisation shall have otherofficers and staff that are necessaryfor the proper and effectiveperformance of its functions”. -- and I am a little bit worried aboutthe expression “Other staff”. Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, Ishould associate myself with thecomment of Hon Boafo and persuade theHon Deputy Minister and the HonChairman of the Committee to accept it.The draftspersons would improve it. Mr Speaker, when you read article 195,you are in particular referring to article 195(2), which states, and with yourpermission, I beg to quote: “The President may, subject to suchconditions as he may think fit,delegate some of his functionsunder this article by directions inwriting to the Governing Councilconcerned...” When you come to clause 19 (3), itsays: “The Organisation shall have otherofficers and staff ...” Do you follow it, Hon Deputy Minister?It is a matter of arrangement.
Mr Speaker, it is alright.We do not have any issue with that.
Very well. So, I direct that the draftspersons lookat it and clean them. What about the issue raised by HonW. O. Boafo?
I did not hear him.
You did nothear him? All right. Hon W. O. Boafo, could you go overthe point you raised?
Mr Speaker, I raised anissue on clause 19 (2) and that underclause 19 (1), the appointing authority isthe President, which is vested in thePresident by the Constitution andinvariably, he would determine the termsand conditions of the appointment whenhe is making the appointment as such. Butclause 19 (2) seeks to give that power ofdetermining the terms and conditions tothe Council. So, I think they arecontradicting -- clause 19 (2) should bedeleted. I do not think that we have foundit in any of our Bills.
Mr Speaker, clause 19 (1)talks about the appointment of the staffof the Organisation and subclause 2 says: So, they know what to do in respect ofthe appointment of other staff pursuantto article 195. What I argued was on just the re-arrangement. We would not want to beginclause 19 by saying that other staff of theorganisation shall be appointed by thePresident. We have to create it, which is in clause19 (3), and I beg to quote: “The Organisation shall have otherofficers and staff that are necessaryfor the proper and effectiveperformance of its functions”. Before that, you then ask for thePresident to delegate that mandate to theGoverning Council. Thank you.
Very well. Hon Chairman of the Committee andthe Hon Deputy Minister, are you inagreement?
Mr Speaker, I associatemyself with the Hon Minister.
The clause 19 should bere-arranged.
Pardon? I did not hear what you said, HonDeputy Minister.
Mr Speaker, I associatemyself with the Hon Minister'ssubmission, that clause 19 be re-arranged,so that clause 19 (3) becomes clause 19(1), and then we can move clause 19 (1) toclause 19 (3). But we would leave that to the Attorney-General and Minister forJustice's outfit to deal with it.
Very well. Hon Members, from all indications, Ithink we are ad idem, I direct that thedraftspersons rearrange clause 19, so thatthe proper sequence is captured. Yes, Hon W. O. Boafo?
Mr Speaker, I do notunderstand why the Hon Deputy Ministerfor the Interior would agree to the clause17 (2) where the Director-General'sappointment letter determines the termsof his appointment by the President butat the same time he disagrees with mysubmission on clause 19 (2). It is a contradiction. [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, clause 19 (2)does not deal with appointment. It dealswith the performance of the functions thatthe Council or the Director-General withthe approval of the Council may assign tothem, while clause 19 (1) talks aboutappointment under article 195. Mr Speaker, the Hon Ranking Membermay assist us as I do not really get theargument he is advancing. I would bemost grateful if he could assist us to throwlight on it.
Yes, HonW. O. Boafo?
Mr Speaker, I have beenarguing on the basis of consistency in ourBills, that nowhere in our Bills do we makesuch provisions because of article 195(2).[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, article 195 (2) empowersthe President to delegate his power ofappointment under that particular article 195 (1). Invariably, in appointingsomebody, one would go to the extent ofdetermining the duties and functions ofthat person. It is not only appointment. The Hon Deputy Minister would notin any way suggest to me that when hewas appointed, he only got a letter fromthe President saying that he is appointedDeputy Minister for the Interior. The letterwould go further to indicate the terms andconditions under which he has beenappointed; the duties and functions underwhich he has been appointed and that isprecisely what I am referring to under thisparticular section. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, the heading would beappointment but what is the content ofthe appointment? Salaries and otherworks that one would do are all containedin the appointment letter. This is permittedunder clause 17 (2) and I do not see anyreason why it should not be --
Yes, HonMinister for Employment and LabourRelations?
Mr Speaker, myunderstanding as you rightly directed isto put the Question on clause 19, but torequest the draftspersons and theAttorney-General and Minister for Justiceto improve the rendition within the remitof article 195. That would satisfy him because, hestated that, while the terms and conditionsof the Director-General must be specifiedin his letter of appointment, say same forthose other staff. Within article 195, thatcould be done. If that would please him, then, we couldmake some progress. Thank you.
Yes, HonW. O. Boafo, are you all right with that?
Mr Speaker, that is what Ihave been canvassing for and I hope theHon Deputy Minister would understandthis.
Mr Speaker, I nowappreciate the point the Hon RankingMember raised. His point is that, when anofficer is appointed, the instrument ofappointment should spell out the scopeof his function. Therefore, clause 19 (2) may not benecessary. Clause 19 (2), I beg to quote: “The staff of the Organisation shallperform the functions that theCouncil or Director-General with theapproval of the Council may assignto them”. Mr Speaker, my simple response is that,apart from the functions that may be speltout in one's instrument of appointment,the Council should reserve the right togive additional responsibilities. An officerwho receives additional responsibilitiesfrom the Council should be able to carrythem through. I believe that is what clause19 (2) seeks to achieve.
So, now,you are not talking about the general orparticular responsibilities but additionalones.
That is so, Mr Speaker.
Well, canwe not get the draftspersons to take careof that, so that we are clear in our minds?The point raised by the Hon W. O. Boafomakes a lot of sense. So, I would put the Question and thengive a rider that the draftspersons dealwith these issues that have been pointedout; the order and then the issue ofadditional responsibilities. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 19 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
I direct thatthe draftspersons take care of the orderor the sequence of the subclauses as wellas the issue of additional responsibilitiesgiven out by the Council and then, theissue of article 195. Hon Members, at this stage, we wouldbring the Consideration of the NationalDisaster Management Organisation Bill,2015 to an end for today. [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that since it is an issue of quorumthat has been raised, there is no need tomove any Motion for a Question to beput. The House is in your hands.
The House was adjourned at 12.15p.m. till Monday, 11th July, 2016 at 10.00a.m.