Hon Members, Correctionof Votes and Proceedings and the OfficialReport. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Friday, 29th July,2016.] [No correction was made to theOfficial Report of Tuesday, 19th July,2016.] [No correction was made to theOfficial Report of Wednesday, 20th July,2016.] At the Commencement of PublicBusiness -- Hon Deputy MajorityLeader? Deputy Majority Leader (Mr Alfred K.Agbesi): Mr Chairman, at the Commence-ment of Public Business, Item 4 (b) (i) isthe only Paper ready to be laid for now.
Hon Members, Presentationof Papers. Item numbered 4 (b) (i) -- Chairman ofthe Finance Committee? By the Chairman of the Committee -- (i) Report of the Finance Committee onthe Indemnity Agreement betweenthe Government of the Republic ofGhana and the InternationalDevelopment Association (IDA)and the International Bank forReconstruction and Development(IBRD) in support of a US$500million World Bank IDA Guaranteeand a US$200 million World BankIBRD Guarantee for the developmentof Sankofa Gye Nyame Oil and GasProject.
Yes, Hon Deputy MajorityLeader?
Mr Speaker, as I said, theremaining Papers are not yet ready to belaid. Mr Speaker, we could go to Itemnumbere 39 on page 40 of the Order Paper-- Public Financial Management Bill, 2016at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Hon Members, Itemnumbered 39 on the Order Paper -- PublicFinancial Management Bill, 2016, at theConsideration Stage. Dr Prempeh — rose --
Mr Speaker, if you go topage 37 of the Votes and Proceedings,clause 70; it is stated Question put andamendment agreed to.
Page 37 of the Votes andProceedings.
Hon Chairman of theCommittee on Finance, which clause ofthe Bill are we starting from?
Mr Speaker, clause 71.
Very well. Hon Members,clause 70 -- [Interruption] -- Hon Members,please, check your Votes and Proceedings,there are a number of amendments underclause 70. Some of them have been taken andothers are yet to be taken -- [Pause.] Hon Members, we have clause 70 (1).There is an amendment standing in thename of the Hon Member for Nadowli/Kaleo. The Question for that amendmentwas deferred. Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I think it wasconsequential from clause 67 onwards,that we subjected all the credit guaranteesand everything else to article 181. So, Ibelieve that the Question can be put.
Hon Members, I was notin the Chair. It was the Hon SecondDeputy Speaker who was in the Chair. I expect those in charge of GovernmentBusiness to guide the Chair.
Yes, Hon Member?
MrSpeaker, as you rightly said last Friday,this week seems to be a very loaded weekfor us. So I would plead with Leadershipthat they should let us know the prioritiesso that we are not short-changed as notall of us can participate in everything.
Hon Member, please, Ihad discussion with the Leadership todayin my office as to what the priority fortoday would be and they mentioned thePublic Financial Management Bill, 2016and the Bank of Ghana (Amendment) Bill,2016. So tomorrow, I would tell you what thepriority is -- [Interruption] -- HonMember, you are out of order. Take yourseat. Hon Chairman of the Committee onFinance?
Mr Speaker, I thought thatQuestions were put on clauses 67 and 70and agreed to.On the Order Paper theyhave been advertised as Questions to beput again.
Hon Members, if you havecopies of your Votes and Proceedings,you would find out whether the Questionhas been put or not. This should not be amatter for debate. Hon Chairman of the Committee onFinance, was the Question put ordeferred?
Mr Speaker, the Votes andProceedings says”deferred” but to thebest of my knowledge, the Questions wereput. I do not know what debate remainsagain. Clause 71 -- Finance lease agreementsentered into by Government.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 71 subclause (1), line 1, delete“subsection (2)” and insert “Article 181of the Constitution”.
“Subject to Article 181 of theConstitution, the Minister shallexercise the right to enter intofinance lease agreements on behalfof Government.” Mr Speaker, so we are deleting theentire clause 70 (1) and substituting it withthe following: “Subject to Article 181 of theConstitution, the Minister shall havethe right to enter into finance leaseagreements on behalf of Govern-ment.”
Hon Chairman of theCommittee on Finance, you have anamendment advertised on the OrderPaper. That is not the amendment that youhave moved. In order to carry the House along withyou, let us get the new rendition and theexact amendment you are moving and thenI will put the Question.
Mr Speaker, the amendmenton the Order Paper is being amended bydeleting the entire clause 71 (1) andsubstituting it with the following: “Subject to Article 181 of theConstitution, the Minister shallexercise the authority of Governmentto enter into finance lease agreementson behalf of Government.”
Mr Speaker, if we look atclause 69 on page 36 of the Votes andProceedings --Mr Speaker: Do not take us back.
Mr Speaker, I am nottaking us back. I am just making areference. Mr Speaker, under itemnumber119 in the Votes and Proceedings,we subjected it to article 181 of theConstitution as follows: “…the Minister shall exercise theauthority of government to lendpublic funds.” Mr Speaker, that was what was agreedto.
Hon Minister forEmployment and Labour Relations?
MrSpeaker, if the Hon Chairman, your goodSelf Rt Hon Speaker and the House wouldhave no objections, we may want clause71 (1) to read as follows: “The Minister shall exercise the soleauthority to enter into FinanceLease Agreements on behalf of theGovernment subject to article 181,of the 1992 Constitution.”
Mr Speaker, I think that itis better for us to use the Hon MajorityLeader's proposed amendment in clause70 (1). This is so that we subject it to article181 of the Constitution. We can takeexactly what he said, “the Minstershall…”, then we state what the HonMinister should do. The “exercise” that was added toclause 69, amounts to introducingunnecessary words to the sentence.
Mr Speaker, I believe thatwe can put the Question on theamendment which stands in the name ofthe Hon Majority Leader, taking a cue fromthe amendment that was proposed andagreed to on clause 69. In line with that,clause 70 can also go the way the HonMajority Leader puts it, and I beg to quotethat: “Subject to Article 181 of theConstitution, the Minister shallenter into a supplier 's creditagreement…”
Hon Members, clause 70(1), delete and insert the following words: “Subject to Article 181 of theConstitution, the Minister shallenter into a credit supplier's…”
Mr Speaker, the first ‘credit'should be deleted. So, it should read: “…shall enter into a supplier's creditagreement.” Question put and amendment agreedto Papa Owusu-Ankomah -- rose --
Mr Speaker, Iwould just want to be certain of what theHouse is deleting;‘the sole authority'?[Interruption.] I just wanted to be certain.
That is what is beingdeleted. Clause 70 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Yes, Hon Member for WaWest?
Mr Speaker, Idisagree with his amendment. The thingis simple. The Hon Minister has the “soleauthority” as already captured. Why dothey ask whether he has the right toexercise? They are adding wordsunnecessarily. If they keep it as it is, it seems shorterand neater. They are now adding“exercise” as if it is a different thing.
Mr Speaker, I wonderwhy the Hon Member for Wa West wantsto take us back. Most of the preceding clauses that weamended, which stood in the name of theHon Majority Leader were agreed togenerally with the Finance Committee. Itwas agreed that when we subject it toarticle 181, we do not say the Hon Ministerhas the “sole authority”. This is because the authority is sharedbetween Parliament and the Executive. So,as we did for clause 70,the renditionbecomes the “Minister shall enter intoAgreement for public finances” as the HonChairman of the Committeehas said. Sowe have to change the whole of subclause(1).
In the one that I put theQuestion on, they did not use the word“exercise”. That is the point the HonMember for Wa West made. So if we wantto use the language of clause 70, let us doso for the sake of consistency.
Mr Speaker, it was veryinstructive that you asked the HonMinister to distinguish betweenSuppliers' Credit Agreements and FinanceLease Agreements. The Hon Minster says that they areobviously the same thing. Mr Speaker, the removal of the words,“sole authority” does not take the poweraway from the Hon Minister, if we look atthe amendments that the House agreedto. This Act has defined the “Minister” as“the Minister responsible for Finance”. Sowhen we agree, as we did in the otherclauses, that subject to article 181, “theMinister shall exercise on behalf” or“…shall enter into”, we would be referringto the Hon Minister for Finance.According to this Act, it is no other HonMinister. So, we do not need to say “soleauthority”, in the sense that article 181,which we have mentioned is in thepurview of Parliament. Mr Speaker, there were three otheramendments with regard to that rendition,“sole authority;” which the Hon Ministeragreed to was not right. So, if we are nowgoing back to it, I do not have any problembut it looks as if depending on the numberof people in the Chamber, we change.
Mr Speaker,article 181 (1) deals with loans contractedby Government. It does not distinguishor identify who in Government shall do it. Mr Speaker, considering the previousamendments we made to account for whatthe Hon Minister should do, the “sole”that he introduced cannot be so. Once we subject it to article 181, heshares that responsibility with Parliament.Therefore, we should not add the word“exercise” again. The “sole authority” which we did notagree to last Friday, should just stay. Sothe rendition will be: “Subject to article 181 of theConstitution, the Minister shallenter into Finance lease agreementson behalf of Government”.
Mr Speaker, ifwe look at the operative words in article181 (1), it says: “Parliament may by a resolutionsupported by the votes of amajority of all the members ofParliament, authorise the Govern-ment …” Mr Speaker, it is rather the Loans Actthat says, that power should be exercisedby the Hon Minister. This particular Bill is supposed toreplace the Loans Act. So “sole authority”is important. We said that whereParliament is authorising the Governmentto enter into an agreement, it should beexercised solely by the Hon Minister. So, the fact that it is “sole” is important.It cannot be that every member ofGovernment can exercise that authority.The Constitution said “Government”, andwe seek to restrict that authority solely tothe Hon Minister for Finance. Mr Speaker, I believe that is consistentwith our practice. We almost always havethe Hon Minister for Finance, even if thereis another Hon Minister who initiates it,as it were, or who seeks or solicits Cabinetand Parliament's approval for such afacility.
Mr Speaker, the intentionhere is to ensure that the Hon Ministerfor Finance would be the sole authorityto enter into a Finance Lease Agreement. Mr Speaker, a Finance Lease Agreementis a form of financial Agreement, whichcannot be signed by any other sectorMinister. The intention here is the same as wehave in the Loans Act. So what we seekto do here is to ensure that a finance lease,other than operating lease is signed bythe Hon Minister for Finance and not anyother sector Minster. Mr Speaker, a finance lease is a financeAgreement, and it is only the Hon Ministerfor Finance who can sign it on behalf ofthe Government. This is very muchdifferent from a Suppliers' CreditAgreement or other Loan Agreements. Itis a finance lease, and we think that theHon Minister for Finance should be giventhe power to sign it.
So what is the differencebetween a Suppliers' Credit Agreement,for the purposes of putting an obligationon Government, and then the FinanceLease Agreement? We need to be veryclear as to what we are doing. I would want you to draw thedistinction for us to know why the “soleauthority” cannot be used for theSuppliers' Credit Agreement but with theFinance Lease Agreement. The point is that, if this law is replacingthe current Loans Act and there shouldbe an Hon Minister designated in theExecutive and is responsible for all thesematters, why are we removing “soleauthority” from some of the clauses andusing “sole authority” in others?
Mr Speaker, Suppliers'Credit Agreements are Loan Agreements.A Finance Lease Agreement is where theGovernment of Ghana and a third partyagree to purchase something, with the ideathat the person would take a long termfacility for the Government of Ghana toservice it over time to retire the facility. So they are two different things. Oneis a Loan Agreement and the other is aFinance Lease Agreement. One is purelya financial Agreement and the otherrequires Parliamentary approval, amongothers. Mr Speaker, so the two cannot beequated. In fact, even with the Suppliers' CreditAgreement, the Committee did not changethe “sole authority”. It was on Friday inPlenary, when we were discussing it, thatHon Members thought that the HonMinister for Finance cannot be given thatsole responsibility. It is rather Parliamentthat can give that authority. Mr Speaker, we think that “sole” isimportant.
Once we subject it toarticle 181, which the Hon Minister doesthe “sole” qualify to exercise thatauthority? As you rightly pointed out on the floor,this is the case so that we do not havemultiple Hon Ministers doing all sorts ofthings. So we would have to be very clear inour minds and allow for consistency.
Mr Speaker, thankyou very much. I believe that my HonSenior Collegue, the (Hon) Papa Owusu-Ankomah, captured it succinctly. Mr Speaker, I just have one practicalexample -- A Parliamentary memorandum;Ministry of Foreign Affairs and RegionalIntegration, Hon Minister for Finance andCredit Facility Loan Agreement. What this particular clause seeks to dois to vest the power to conclude suchfinance agreement in only the Ministry ofFinance, subject to the provisions ofarticle 181 (1). Mr Speaker, so, originally when weused ‘sole authority' without reference toarticle 181(1), that itself, could even sparkup issues on the constitutionality of thisparticular clause. Mr Speaker, once we are subjecting theexercise of that ‘sole authority' to article181 (1), we simply say the Hon Ministerfor Finance --It is true; whether it isWater Resources, Works and Housing orRoads and Highways, or Communicationwho seeks to enter into a financearrangement, they must do so with a tacitapproval of the Hon Minister for Finance. Mr Speaker, so the earlier proposalwhere we suggested that he exercised thesole authority subject to article 181 (1)must stand.
Mr Speaker, this debatewent on a lot last week, and I believe theHon Majority Leader, offered acompromise, which reflects clause 70. Itgoes as follows; with your kindpermission: “Subject to article 181 of theconstitution, the Minister shall enterinto a suppliers' credit agreement;” Mr Speaker, we took out the ‘soleauthority' and I thought we could havemade progres, if we have taken thisdecision --
Actually, the point madeon the floor by the Hon Minister and theHon Member for Sekondi is that, weshould put this matter beyond doubt asto which Hon Minister is responsible forthis type of purpose. So, if he or she puts the matter beyond --
Mr Speaker, in the Act,“the Hon Minister”refers to the HonMinister for Finance.
If you use the “soleauthority”, it is subject to article 181 (1)because of the Parliamentary rule ofapproval.But if we impose that authorityon a particular Hon Minister, that is whatthe “sole authority” -- and that dealswith the Executive aspect. The ‘sole' qualifies the Executiveaspect but article 181 (1) deals with theParliamentary aspect, that Parliament mustapprove.
Mr Speaker,lastweek we debated this for a long time but itwas not properly explained as Hon PapaOwusu-Ankomah has indicated. Mr Speaker, clearly, the argument waswhether or not the Hon Minister forFinance alone should do all the things. The idea of getting a loan processed,as the Hon Minister indicated is that, even if it is for water, it is co-presented toCabinet by the Hon Minister for WaterResources, Works and Housing and theHon Minister for Finance. Mr Speaker, now, after Parliament hasfinished, the only person who can enterinto an agreement on behalf of theRepublic is the Hon Minister for Finance.So, the argument now is that, if we havefollowed the procedure to a point whereParliament is over seeing who is to executethe agreement? It is only the Hon Ministerfor Finance and that is why the ‘sole' isnecessary and important here. Even if the Hon Minister for Finance isnot available, the person must bedesignated as acting for the Hon Ministerfor Finance and that is the ‘sole'responsibility that we are talking about.Itmust be the Hon Minister for Finance. Mr Speaker, it is possible that weshould go back on the earlier amendmentsand stick to what has been considered. More so, it has been lifted from theLoans Act and we know that as soon aswe start the processes of getting it to theCabinet and getting Cabinet to send it toParliament, the Loans Act then takes over.We are going to repeal that. Mr Speaker, it is better for us to capturewhat the Loans Act already says.
Mr Speaker, I think myHon Senior Colleague should read whatis in the Loans Act. It is very weak. It isnot the same thing in the Loans Act. Thatis why they seek to improve upon it. Mr Speaker, the Loans Act, the way itis read, any Hon Minister could do that.That is why they seek to change it. Now it says, Parliament may by aresolution authorise the Government --So we ask, who in Government is going toexercise that authority? The HonMinister? Let it be stated clearly that heor she has the sole authority. This isbecause when it comes to finance, it isthe Hon Minister -- and we have had allthese experiences in the past. That is all.
Hon Deputy Minister, inthe Finance Lease Agreement, is there noobligation on Government?
Mr Speaker, there is anobligation on Government.
Do we not haveobligation on Government on Supplier'sCredit?
Mr Speaker, there isobligation on Government.
Yes; so that is thedifference. If you look at article 181 (6) itsays; and I quote with permission:- “For the purposes of this article,“loan” includes any moneys lent orgiven to or by the Government oncondition of return or repayment,and any other form of borrowing orlending in respect of which -- (a) Moneys from the ConsolidatedFund or any other public fundmay be used for payment orrepayment; or... So when the transaction imposes anobligation on Government, then forpurposes of the Constitution, it is treatedas a loan. It is because there is norepayment, and matters of grant are notnormally brought to the House forapproval, except for the information of theHouse.
Hon Members, we needto be guided by the Long Title of the Bill.It says: “AN ACT to regulate financialmanagement of the Public Sectorwithin a macroeconomic and fiscalframework; to define responsibilitiesof persons entrusted …” This responsibility is given to the HonMinister for Finance. That is the argumentmade by the Hon Minister for Employmentand Labour Relations as well as the HonMember for Sekondi. Mr Ahiafor -- rose --
Hon Member for AkatsiSouth?
Thank you for theopportunity, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, if you look at clause 57,we used the word “sole”, and so I aminclined to support the renditionproposed by --
It has been amended.
Very well. Mr Speaker, I am inclined to leanagainst the amendment proposed by theHon Member for Tamale South. That is,“The Minister shall exercise the soleauthority to enter into Finance LeaseAgreement on behalf of the governmentsubject to article 181 of the 1992Constitution.”
Hon Chairman of theFinance Committee?
Mr Speaker, I believe thatwe would have to back those clauses thatwe had amended to delete “sole”, andequally reinstate them. Clauses 57, 69 and70 are the clauses we amended with regardto the “sole”. So if we agree to make it“sole”in clause 71, then we have to --
The “sole” is in terms ofwho is in government; the Executive armexercising those responsibilities and it isconsistent with the Long Title of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, yes, in thoseclauses that the “sole” has been used,itactually refers to the responsibility of theHon Minister for Finance. So raising ofloans, granting public funds and creditfacility are all loans and for that matter theHon Minister for Finance should have thesole responsibility to do that.We shouldreinstate the “sole” in clauses 71, 70, 69and 57.
We are now on clause71. So let us deal with that, and as towhatever we would have to do afterwards,we would use the rules of the House todeal with it. So, what is the sense of the House? Hon Chairman, move your amendmentand let me put the Question and if it is notcarried --
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 71 subclause (1), line 1, delete“subsection (2)” and insert “Article 181of the Constitution”.
“Subject to article 181 of theConstitution, the Minister has thesole authority to enter into financelease agreements on behalf ofGovernment.”
Hon Members, I want toput the Question.
Mr Speaker, if itpleases you then I would seek to improvethe Hon Chairman's amendment to read:“Subject to article 181 of the 1992Constitution, the Minister shall exercisethe sole authority to enter into financelease agreement on behalf of thegovernment.” Mr Chireh -- rose --
Yes, Hon Member for WaWest?
Mr Speaker, the “shall”there is absolutely not necessary. We arenot compelling the Minister to do so --he has the authority and what the HonChairman of the Committee on Financemoved is a better amendment. When wesay the Minister “shall” are wecommanding him to do something? No!He has the right to do something and thatright has been given to him. This is a false “shall”; it does notcompel him to do it. So I believe that “hasthe right” is the better word for thisparticular amendment.
Mr Speaker, the“shall” there is mandatory because we aresubjecting the particular clause to article181 of the Constitution. Mr Speaker, if wego further -- and I believe we are working Mr Speaker, my worry is that, it lookslike there are several decisions the Househas already taken with different renditions.They are two; clauses 70 and 57, I believe. Mr Speaker, going forward, what do wedo? [Interruption.] We should do this inthe light of what we have done already sothat we do not look like we do not knowwhat we are about.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that at the time that theamendments were proposed, the view heldby the House was that insofar asParliament under the Constitution gaveauthority to the Hon Minister, the HonMinister could not be the sole authority.That was the argument and that is what Iam hearing. Mr Speaker, the fact is that, in terms ofthe sole authority, it relates to Governmentand not the process and what thesponsors of the Bill want to emphasise;and I agree with them. Mr Speaker, it is only the Hon Ministerfor Finance who can exercise authority onbehalf of Government irrespective of whatthe President may decide. I believe this isthe new perspective that is being broughtinto the debate. It does not mean that if itis agreeable it cannot affect thosepreviously done. Mr Speaker, I have been referred toclause 57, that it is subject to article 181. Iunderstand that was also amendedbecause it was believed that[Interruption] --If you look at clause 57(1) it says; and with your permission Iquote: “Subject to article 181 of theConstitution and this Act, theMinister has the sole authority…”
If it were not one of aconsequential nature, I would havepreferred that we keep the “Division,” forthe fact that if the name is changed infuture, would you also come here to amendthe law? So, if it is not because of theconsequential effect, I would prefer thatyou keep the “Division”. It is the Divisionresponsible for this or that. But if youmention the office and tomorrow the titleof the office, the “Ministry of Finance” ischanged, would you also come and amendthe name of the office? So, when we are making legislations,let us take all these issues into account.These are not Divisions for administrativeconvenience; they are not offices withlegal backing. It is only for administrativeconvenience in managing the Ministry.So, if tomorrow we would want to changethe name of the office or even break it intotwo, what would happen? If you want to, then I would put theQuestion. Mr Forson -- rose --
Mr Speaker, please put theQuestion because this was discussed inCommittee. Mr Speaker, the “Division”was in reference to Debt Management.
Hon Deputy Minister,yes, we would take the Committee'sdiscussion into account. That is thecompelling factor we would take into account. But if every position of theCommittee were to be taken, then wewould have finished passing this Bill longago. I am just throwing it out that iftomorrow, we would want to change thedivision at the office fine.But if for now, itwould do for our purpose, le me put theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 71 subclause (4), opening phrase,delete “Division” and insert “Public DebtManagement Office”. Mr Speaker, it is consequential. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Hon Members, I wouldnot put the Question on Clause 71 tostand part of the Bill. Yes?
Mr Speaker,before you put the Question on clause 71in general, this is just for guidance. Clause71 (4) (a), before “assessment”, are we notreferring to cost assessment? When wejust say “the result of the assessment”,we would want to know what the costimplications are. Indeed, I was also speaking to myColleague whether before “cost to” inclause 71 (2), in the second line, he doesnot want us to add “implications,” to read“cost implication”.
Mr Speaker, the“assessment” does not only refer to thecost. It is a finance lease agreement. Aperson would assess the viability of thefinance agreement, the cost implication and others and even looking at thetimesheet of the finance element of it. Andso it is not just the cost.
Very well. Clause 71 as variously amendedordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 72 -- Record of governmentdebt and finance arrangements.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 72 opening phrase, delete“Division” and insert “Public DebtManagement Office”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 72 add the following newparagraph: “(f) Any other relevant record inrespect of Government debtobligation”. Mr Speaker, the Committee is of theview that, the debt management office inkeeping an appropriate database in atimely manner,the record of all theoutstanding items like Government debt,should also include any other relevantrecord in respect of the public debt. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 72 as variously amendedordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 73 -- Publication of governmentdebt and finance arrangements.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 73 subclause (1), line 1, delete“Debt Management Division” and insert“Public Debt Management Office”. Question put and amendment agreedto. on that -- We would realise that whenmy Colleague; the Hon Deputy Minister,made the analysis between suppliers'credit, lease finance agreement and others,under article 181 (5), which I believe thisHouse would do in the foreseeable futurehe referred to and Mr Speaker, with yourindulgence I beg to quote: “This article shall, with thenecessary modifications byParliament, apply to an internationalbusiness or economic transaction…” That will envisage the character ofsome of these finance -- related matters.So I believe that the “shall” is still --
Mr Speaker, my HonFriend should remember that, whenParliament approves it and the HonMinister goes and there are someproblems with it -- He cannot, if there is adifficulty --The “shall” compels him thatno matter how bad the agreement is, heshould. That is not what we are saying,but as soon as we approve of it, he shouldsign. No, he has to look at it properly andso the “shall” should not compel him. Thatis why the Hon Chairman's amendment isbetter. The Hon Minister has the soleauthority. So he could look at it.
Hon Members, I wouldput the Question on the Hon Chairman'samendment since the Hon Minister said ithimself that he tried to improve theamendment of the Hon Chairman. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 71 subclause (2), line 1, delete“Division” and insert “Public DebtManagement Office”.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 74 delete
It is consequential.
Mr Speaker, it is notconsequential.
The Committee is of theview that by exempting the requirementfor parliamentary approval under theConstitution, we are by way of this Actamending the Constitution, and for thatmatter, we should not exempt therequirement for parliamentary approval.And so we are completely deleting clause74. Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
I am not getting the point.Please, could you move the amendmentagain before he comes in? I would wantto get the point you are trying to putacross.
Mr Speaker, clause 74delete. The clause says, “Exemption ofrequirements for parliamentary approval”,and it makes reference to article 181, whichrequires that Parliament approvesrequests from the Minister. This clausesays: “74 (1)Where an international businessor economic transaction or anaspect of international business oreconomic transaction does not directly impact on the lending orborrowing of money ofGovernment with the consequentialmanagement of the money throughthe Consolidated Fund or otherpublic fund, the approval ofParliament of a transaction underarticle 181 (5) is not a require-ment.” So that is why we are deleting it. Weare of the view that, all those transactionsrequire parliamentary approval.
Mr Speaker, theCommittee thought that the Ministry istrying to force our hand. The SupremeCourt has asked that we do theappropriate modification which we havenot done. And the Minister through thisAct is trying to force us to waive ourprivilege. This is insulting to Parliament,and it should never have been put inthere. I am surprised that an Hon Memberof Parliament (MP) would seek throughan Act to take our powers, powers of 274Hon Members, excluding himself. Mr Speaker, we should delete itcompletely.
Mr Speaker, Isupport the proposed amendment by theCommittee as articulated by the HonChairman. Mr Speaker, we must premise thiswithin the context of the Constitution, inparticular, article 11, which deals with thehierarchy of the laws, and also article 2which deals with where there is a conflictbetween an Act of Parliament and theConstitution. Tried law would tell you thatthe Constitution would supersede. Itherefore support the Hon RankingMember's argument that this ought notto have been part of the Bill. This is because it would open as anouster provision to oust the mandate ofParliament and oust the constitutionalpowers conferred in loan approval. I therefore strongly support theamendment that it should be deleted.
Mr Speaker, Iwould not put it as strongly as the HonRanking Member and the Hon Ministerfor Employment and Labour Relations putit. Mr Speaker, article 181 (5) providesthat article 181 shall apply with thenecessary modifications made byparliament. Parliament exercises its powereither through an Act or a resolution. Whatthis particular clause seeks to do is to giveParliament the opportunity to considerarticle 181 (5). Of course, I would have thought thathaving regard to the sensitivity of thismatter, there would have been some priordiscussions, particularly, when Parliamentitself has set up a Committee to considerthis matter. However, it is important thatwe have a holistic enactment relating tothe exercise of parliament by its powerunder article 181, including 181 (5). So, ifParliament unduly delays in doing what itis expected to do, should the Executivesit down? No, it brings proposals. Let us look at the proposals, whetherthey are exhaustive, whether we think theyare restricted. But just to say that yes it isour power. After all, the power of enactinglaw has always been with Parliament, butthe proposal comes from the Executive. But I believe that this particular clause,if it had been treated separately and then
Mr Speaker, with respect tothis particular issue, I would like tounderscore one point, that there is nointention on the part of Government toinsult Parliament, as the Hon RankingMember insinuated. Government isseeking to capture the spirit of article 181(5), which is that, if there is an agreementthat does not in reality constitute a chargeon the Consolidated Fund, that is, it isnot a loan, then it falls outside the ambitof article 181 (5). It is only those international, economicor business transactions that constitutea charge on the Consolidated Fund thatshould be treated as loans, so actually,the provision here in the Bill captures thespirit of article 181 (5). Having said that, I agree with Hon PapaOwusu-Ankomah, that in the attempt tomodify article 181 (5), we have not givenourselves the opportunity tocomprehensively deal with what theframers of the Constitution gaveParliament the power to do, and which theSupreme Court has asked Parliament todo, and for two or three years nowParliament has not been able to do it. That is, give the opportunity TO USfor us to be able to state categorically inan Act of Parliament the type ofinternational economic agreement thatmust not come before this House as if theywere loans under article 181 of theConstitution. So Mr Speaker, I do support the viewthat this Clause is narrow and does notgive us the kind of opportunity that theConstitution gives us, so -- clause 74(1) can stand alone. Whetherwe put it here or not, that is the currentpractice. Is it not better to put it in thelaw? Take advantage of this law and put itthere? So I thought we should take clause 74(1) by itself and then take clause 74 (2) byitself.
Mr Speaker, I withdrawthe word “insult”. I did not mean to saythat. Mr Speaker, I agree with you that heshould look at clause 74 (2) (f). How canit be consequential to clause 74 (1)? ; “Thevalue of the transaction is less than aminimum amount approved by Parliamentor benchmark figure that is arrived at by aformula approved by Parliament”. We have not had that discussion, andhe is trying to force our hand, and that iswhere some of us were so angry that, wedid not even look closely at clause 74 (1). So I concede, Mr Speaker. I believe theHon Chairman may want to amend hisamendment and leave clause 74 (1),because that is the current practice.
Hon Chairman of theCommittee, do you get the point beingmade? The point being made is that ifthere is no financial obligation onGovernment of Ghana, why do you bringit for approval like grants? So clause 74(1) is only legislating thecurrent practice that we haveI would goin for clause 74(2), and even with clause74(2),because, the ad hoc Committee thatwe set up to come out with the modalitieshas failed the House. I would have come out with at least (f).Anyway, that is the view being expressed.
But the works contractrelates to the main contract, so they aretogether, so that one has to be brought,but if that is the thinking of theHouse.[Interruption.]
That is my understandingof this Clause 74 (1).
Let me put the Questionon your amendment. Why do you thinkthat the works contract would not imposean obligation? It would impose anobligation. You cannot separate the workscontract from the economic contract.
The works contract whichis a commercial contract has an economicvalue, and in most cases it is aninternational business and that is why weare bringing it now to the House. And sothe Clause here says; “where aninternational business or economictransaction”, laying emphasis on directlyhaving lending or borrowing impact onGovernment. It should not come. Thismeans that if we pass this, then we cannotbring the works contract to the Houseagain.
That is not myunderstanding there. If we look at thegeneral definition of a loan underArticle181of the Constitution, it talksabout situations where there is anobligation. But if that is the thinking ofthe Committee, then I would put theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 75 -- Annual report toParliament
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 75 -- subclause (1), line 1, delete“Debt Management Division” and insert“Public Debt Management Office”.
Hon Deputy Attorney-General, in fact, this also goes for the HonMember for Sekondi. Look at clause 74(1). Is it not re-stating the current practicein terms of grants? I believe that we should draw adistinction between clause 74 (1) andclause 74(2). So the problem is more withclause 74(2), but the clause 74 (1) in myview as presiding over this House is juststating the current position of the practice.
That is so Mr Speaker, youare right. But clause 74 (2) is consequentupon clause 74 (1), so it says --
No, I am talking aboutclause 74 (1). It is re-stating the currentpractice.
You are right, Mr Speaker.
So whether it is here ornot, that is what we are doing, and that iswhat we would continue to do. Whetherwe legislate it here or not, that would bethe practice in case of grants, because itdoes not impose any financial obligationon the country. So I thought the Committee shouldhave drawn a distinction between clause74 (1) and clause 74 (2).
Mr Speaker, that was the pointI was trying to develop with respect toclause 74(2), because it is consequential, itsays: “without limiting the generality ofsubsection 1…”, So it flows naturally --
No, clause 74 (1) canstand alone, but clause 74 (2) cannot standalone, because we would have to submitit to clause 74(1).
Mr Speaker,you made a comment that I believe cannotbe allowed to pass, because probably theHouse may not have had the benefit ofthe full facts. Mr Speaker, the Committee set up wasChaired by the Hon Majority Leader, whois the Leader of Government Business inthis House. He came and said that thisproposal and all the background papershave been submitted by the Executive, andthat due to certain reasons, they wouldlike us to suspend the matter, and that thereis an arbitration pending before theInternational Chamber of Commerce (ICC),and if we are not careful and we concludethis, it may adversely affect Government'scase. So, we held it down. That was said in confidence.
But that matter wassettled long ago.
Mr Speaker,the Committee has not been made privy.
Anyway, Hon Memberfor Sekondi, thank you very much. So Hon Chairman?
Mr Speaker, I am of the viewthat though the Clause 74 (1) might nothave any financial impact directly onlending or borrowing of money byGovernment, once it is an internationalbusiness or economic transaction, it stillneeds the approval of Parliament just aswe have been doing. These days we bring the contracts.Apart from the loan facility, we still bringthe works contracts to Parliament forapproval?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 76 -- subclause (1), line 1, delete“On the coming into force of this Act”and insert “Subject to Article 181 of theConstitution”.
“Subject to Article 181 of theConstitution, borrowing by a localgovernment authority, a publiccorporation or a state-ownedenterprise shall be in accordancewith this Act.” Mr Speaker, again, as we did earlier, weare subjecting the borrowing of theseauthorities also to the provisions underArticle 181 of the Constitution.
Mr Speaker, is it the intentionof the amendment to subject theborrowing of public corporations andstate-owned enterprises to Parliamentaryapproval? If we make it subject to Article 181, thenwe are going to subject even theborrowing by local government entitiesand public corporations to the approvalof Parliament, and I think that would stiflethe activities of especially the publiccorporations that have been set up forcommercial purposes. Mr Speaker, we have to also bear inmind that, the decision of the SupremeCourt in Felix Klomega vrs the Attorney-General, in which the court held that theborrowing activities, or the fact ofguaranteeing a loan by the Ghana Portsand Harbours (GPHA), was not subject toParliamentary approval, and that it felloutside the ambit of Article 181 (5) of theConstitution. So, Mr Speaker, I do not think that theamendment should carry.
Even when the article 181is not put there, we are saying that itshould be that one has to borrow inaccordance with Act 181, but certainportions of the Act has subjectedborrowing to Article 181. So does it makea difference? Even if we do not put the Article 181there at all, we are saying that borrowingwill be in accordance with this Act. I agreewith you.
Mr Speaker, it will dependon the subject matter being dealt with bythose other clauses of the Bill, so that if itis not generally applicable, then clause 76will stand alone as governing theborrowing activities of state-ownedenterprises, public corporations and localgovernment authorities.
Hon Members, I thinkthat there is some work we need to do onthis clause. Even if you look at thedefinition of “public corporation” in theAct, it is not in conformity with thedefinition in the Constitution. A distinction has been drawn betweenpublic corporations that are establishedfor commercial purposes in theConstitution and -- In the definition inyour Act however, you have not drawnthat distinction. So, to use it in this form,we need to do some work on it. A “public corporation” means acorporation or any other body of persons,established by an Act of Parliament; oneor two, set up out of funds provided byParliament or three, other public funds. Mr Speaker, as you said, we shouldreally look at what we intend to achieve.The University of Ghana for instance may beconsidered to be a public corporation.TheUniversities are public corporations.
In the case of the localgovernments, do we have sealing for thekinds of borrowing that should be broughtto Parliament for approval, or is it anyborrowing? Those of you who worked on this Bill,is there any sealing for it? Otherwise, asthe Hon Deputy Attorney-General rightlypointed out, it will cripple localgovernment administration, such thatevery borrowing of theirs would have tobe brought to Parliament, subject to Article181 of the Constitution.
The sponsors of thisBill gave us the impression that the LocalGovernance Bill that is before us, hasthese similar provisions. That is theinformation.
We should not anticipatea Bill that we are not considering. Weshould look at this Bill.
Mr Speaker,clause 77 says: “Subject to subsection (2) andwithout limiting section (76), a localgovernment authority may borrowfunds only; (a) from within the country, and
Mr Speaker, I do notknow about the case he is siting, but thesubjection here relates to article 181 (6). Ifthis does not apply, then they can go anddo it. So, he should address his mind toArticle 181 (6). I think that is why in the case of theGhana Ports and Harbours Authority(GPHA), they were able to get away. So itis Article 181 (6) that is particularlyrelevant.
Mr Speaker, as long asmoneys from the Consolidated Fund orany other public fund is not used, andGPHA funds are not necessarily publicfunds, that is all right. That is the issuethere. That is why it is being subjected toArticle 181 in this sense.
Mr Speaker, reading clause76 (1) again, I noticed that the referencehere does not only relate to publiccorporations, but also state-ownedenterprises. Mr Speaker, some state-owned enterprises are limited liabilitycompanies, and if they are so, then I donot think that they may have to come toParliament for approvals, unless theGovernment of Ghana gives some sort ofguarantee to support that particularborrowing. So, Mr Speaker, I think that we mayhave to look at clause 76 (1) and (2) again.
Mr Speaker,under the Constitution, “publiccorporation” means a corporation or anyother body of persons, established by anAct of Parliament, or set up out of fundsprovided by Parliament, or other publicfunds.So, a state-owned enterprise, interms of this definition, may be a publiccorporation, depending on how it was setup.
But the clause 776 youare subjecting to article 181 is theamendment.
I agree to thatbecause Mr Speaker, it cannot be that forpurposes of local government, theMinister determines as and when it shouldcome here.
You are from Sekondi so--
Mr Speaker, Iwas the External Solicitor for the SekondiTakoradi Metropolitan Assembly. I thinkthe longest ever -- from 1984 to 31stDecember, 1996. I was external solicitorfor the then Sekondi Takoradi CityCouncil, later Shama Ahanta EastMetropolitan Assembly. I was on retainertill I came to Parliament.
That was why I said thatbecause you are from Sekondi yousupport this amendment.
We haveheard these challenges. We said wewanted to raise bonds and so forth. TheGovernment itself was not clear as to howwe should do it. But if it is notinconsistent with article 181 (5), it can bedone by the Minister.
Mr Speaker, even withrespect to public corporations, I believethe point you made earlier that we need tothink critically about the clause is a veryimportant point. This is because with the publiccorporations, there are two types: thosethat form part of the Public Services ofGhana under article 190 of theConstitution and those that are set up forcommercial purposes. Article 190 of theConstitution distinguishes between thetwo. In terms of treatment as part of theprocess of management of public finances,we need to draw a distinction between thetwo so that in trying to regulate those thatare set up as part of the public servicesstifle the activities of those that are set upfor commercial purposes.
Mr Speaker, Iam even more concerned with those thatare set up for commercial purposes. Thisis because within their governancestructure, they do not conform to thenorms of other companies.
But is this the way to dealwith it?
Probably, wecan say that. But if you say “stifling” --Mr Speaker, we know a lot of these publiccompanies. A lot of these are supposed to be commercial enterprises but theyalways take moneys from Governmentwithout even passing through Parliament.
Hon Members, I do notthink that it would be practicable to subjectclause 76 to article 181 of the Constitutionbut it is for the House to decide. It wouldbe in the Hansard for posterity. Theywould be creating a problem than solvingit.
Mr Speaker, I do not seethe problem. Article 181 (6) is very clear. Ifthe moneys do not come from theConsolidate Fund, what is theproblem?They can do it. To the extent thatmoney comes from the ConsolidatedFund, you have to subject it to that. Ifyou look at subclauses (a) and (b) -- Ifthey do not apply, then they are all right.But if the repayment comes from theConsolidated Fund, then it should apply. Otherwise, we would be violating theConstitution. That is why Ghana Ports andHarbours Authority (GPHA) could win thecase because those funds did not comefrom the Consolidated Fund. There is noproblem with that.
How will they not comefrom the public funds?
They have internallygenerated funds (IGF).
Do you think the IGF isnot part of public funds? They are publicfunds.
In what sense?
The IGF is public funds.
Mr Speaker, the IGF thatthey make from their commercial activitiesare not directly public funds.
IGF is public fund. Lookat article 181 (6) that you referred to --“any other public fund”.
Mr Speaker, after readingclause 77 and 79, I am inclined to abandonthe amendment because of clause 76,which says: “On the coming into force of thisAct, the borrowing by a localgovernment, a public corporation ora state-owned enterprise shall be inaccordance with this Act.” The Act itself in most cases issubjected to article 181 of theConstitution. If you go to clause 77, weare subjecting the borrowing to clause 76and we are giving the Minister the powerto determine the levels for which the localgovernment can borrow. So I am of theview that we should abandon theproposed amendment and go by therendition in the Bill -- with yourpermission it thus reads; “On the coming into force of this Act,borrowing by a local governmentauthority, a public corporation orstate-owned enterprise shall be inaccordance with this Act.” So clauses 77 and 79 can fit inappropriately. If we amend this now, it means that ifwe go to clauses 77 and 79, we shouldalso amend the reference made to clause76. Mr Speaker, I believe that we shouldabandon the proposed amendment.
Mr Speaker, Ido not mind supporting the abandonmentby the Hon Chairman. However, myconcern is where we give authority to theMinister without direct oversight byParliament. The Minister may givedirectives, limits et cetera. How doesParliament then exercise oversight overthat power given to the Minister?
Hon Chairman, have youabandoned your amendment? -- [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
I am going to put theQuestion. Clause 77 -- Hon Members, I am putting theQuestion on clause 77 because there isno advertised amendment. So I am tryingto put the two Questions together, nowthat the amendment for clause 76 has beenwithdrawn.
Do you have anamendment at clause 77? I thought theamendment has been withdrawn.
Mr Speaker, there isno amendment on the Order Paper but Ihave a point to raise so that you consideralongside.
The amendment has beenwithdrawn. Are you moving a newamendment?
It is not on theamendment he spoke about. It is far fromthat. It is on clause 77. Mr Speaker, I want to seek your leaveand make -- 12. 05 p.m.
Please, then let me putthe Question on clause 76, then if we callclause 77, and you have an amendment,you can propose it. Clause 76 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 77 -- Borrowing by localGovernment authorities.
Mr Speaker, clause 77(1), (a) has to deal with borrowing by localGovernment authorities only within thecountry. Mr Speaker, I thought that, withthe introduction of the Local GovernmentBorrowing Bill, which is in the draft stageon which we were briefed, the HonMinister, even in (b), is virtuallycontrolling the limits of borrowing byLocal Government Authorities.
Please, what is youramendment?We are at the ConsiderationStage.
Mr Speaker, myproposed amendment is that, it should notonly be limited to within the country. LocalGovernment Authorities can borrowoutside the country with the control andsupervision of the Minister. That is exactlythe rendition coming from the LocalGovernment Authorities Borrowing Bill,which is yet to come before us.
Please we are notdiscussing that Bill, we are discussing thePublic Financial Management Bill, 2016.
Mr Speaker, I am pre-empting you. So, I think that, you cannotlimit it only to within the country.
Whichever, whetherwithin or outside, you are subject to theserestrictions in clause 77.
No, Mr Speaker, it says: “…only from within the country.” So, that means that, we cannot borrowfrom outside. The word is ‘only' and thatis why I am trying to see whether --
So, when we get the Billyou are talking about, then we wouldknow how to qualify it. But Hon Chairman of the Committee,would you like to change the Head noteof clause 77? This is because clause 76 isabout borrowing by Local Governments,Public Corporations and State-OwnedEnterprises. Why do you not put it asborrowing restrictions on localgovernment authorities?
Mr Speaker, it has beenseparated into two. For the corporations,it is captured under clause 79. They aretreating the local authorities separatelyand then --
Very well. Then why doyou have all these under clause 76?
Mr Speaker, clause 76 is ageneral provision that covers the localgovernment authorities, public corporationsand State-owned enterprises. But the variousprovisions that affect them differ from thelocal government Clause 77 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 78 -- Reporting requirementsof local government authorities.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 78 -Sub-clause (1), line 3, delete“Chief Director” and insert “Minister” Mr Speaker, the Committee thinks that,on the issuance of debt security andobtaining an overdraft, the submission bylocal government authorities should be made to the Minister but not the ChiefDirector.
Mr Speaker, if you take acue from clause 77, it is the Hon Ministerwho provides the limits under which theauthority borrows so, if they are to submitany report on the transaction, after theissuance of debt security, that reportshould come to the Hon Minister. He isthe one who permits them to borrow andfor that matter, the report should besubmitted to the Hon Minister but not theChief Director. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 78 -subclause (2), opening phrase,line 1, delete “Chief Director” and insert“Minister. Mr Speaker, it is consequential. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 78 -- subclause (2), paragraph (b),delete “Chief Director” and insert“Minister”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 78 -- subclause (3), line 1, delete“Division” and insert “Public DebtManagement Office”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clauses 78 as amended, ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 80 -- Subclause (1), line 3, delete“Chief Director” and insert “Minister”. Mr Speaker, if you permit me, I wouldmove the rest of the subclauses underclause 80.
Is it the case that,wherever we see “Chief Director,” weshould substitute it with “Minister” in thisparticular clause?
Mr Speaker, in clause 80,wherever we see “Chief Director”, wereplace it with Minister and wherever wesee “Division,” we replace it with --
Please let me put theQuestion on the Chief Director first andthen you move the one on the Public DebtManagement Office. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 80 -- subclause (3), line 1, delete“Division” and insert “Public DebtManagement Office”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 80 as amended, ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 81 -Power to appoint agents.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 81 -- subclause (3), paragraph (b), line 2, after “duties” insert “andresponsibilities”. Mr Speaker, this is an omission, that inparagraph (a) “the duties and responsibilities ofBank of Ghana” But has been omitted in paragraph (b)so, we are only inserting ‘andresponsibilities'. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 81 as amended, ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 82 -- Duties of a PrincipalSpending Officer
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 82 -- delete. Mr Speaker, this entire clause has beenshifted, to come after clause 6.
I remember. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 83 -- Submission of financialstatements.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 83 -- subclause (1), openingphrase, after “shall”, add “through thePrincipal Account Holder”. The new rendition would read asfollows; “A Principal Spending Officer shallthrough the Principal AccountHolder: (a) prepare and submit quarterlyfinancial statements… (b) submit any other relevant reportwithin the time that the Controllerand Accountant-General maydetermine.”
Can you help the Chair?Who is the Principal Account Holder?
The Principal AccountHolder is the head of the institution. Inthe case of a Ministry, it is the Minister --
In the case of Parliament,who is the Principal Account Holder?
It is Mr Speaker. ThePrincipal Spending Officer is the ChiefDirector, or in the case of Parliament, theClerk. So, the Clerk can only prepare andsubmit this quarterly financial statementthrough the head. In the case ofParliament, the Speaker; in the case of theMinistry, it is through the Minister.
Can you not make anexception for Parliament? [Pause.] Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 83, subclause (2), delete Mr Speaker, whenever the financialstatement departs from the approvedaccounting standard, the note to theaccount would definitely explain that thebasis upon which the account has beenprepared differs. So, there is no need toput it here.
So, is it wrong to put ithere? If you put it here, does it cause anyharm or violence to the Bill?
It does not cause any harmbut the Committee --
If it would not cause anyharm, let us leave it.You are anAccountant, so that is why --
Mr Speaker, it would notmake the Act look neat because thefinancial statement is the figures and thenotes that explain the basis upon whichthe figures were derived. So, once theysubmit the financial statements, the noteis part of it. So you do not need to have ithere again because it should tell us whythey would deviate from the laid-downprocedure.
In the local governmentand rural areas, do they know this? Wouldit conflict with any provision in the Bill?So, let us leave it.
All the Accountants onthe Committee insisted on this one; butnot all of us are Accountants, so let uskeep it.
Those of us here mightunderstand what you are talking aboutand we could guide those in the otherplaces.
Mr Speaker, having it inthere is redundant because a financialstatement is not complete withoutfootnotes. If there is a real departure, itwould be disclosed in the financialstatement. So, we do not need to put ithere again.
I want it to be there but itis for you to decide.
Mr Speaker, Idid not hear the last statement that youmade. This is a decision of theCommittee.At the Committee level, someof us who are not Accountants did not
Hon Chairman, most ofthe Principal Spending Officers are notAccountants; they rely on their FinanceOfficers. So this is a way of finding out,when they give it to their Accountants,on whom they are putting theresponsibility of the submission of thefinancial statements. This is to knowwhether the Finance Officers or Directorshave complied with those requirements. I understand “notes to accounts” butwe are making legislation for a number ofpeople who may not understandaccounting, its language and practices.
Mr Speaker, it does notaffect any laid down procedure if this isallowed in the law. As we explained earlier,there is no financial statement withoutnotes to the account to tell the basis uponwhich the account has been prepared. We are also not making this law for onlyGhanaians. There are international bodieswho might look at our PFM law and saythat, though they know that financialstatements have notes to explain the basis upon which the account has beenprepared, they still state in the law thatthere should be a provision to state whythere is a departure from the accountingstandard.” So we should just delete that. All theAccountants at the Ministries,Departments and Agencies at the coveredentities understand that if there isdeviation from the accounting standardthat they used in preparing their account,the note to the account would state it. If they do not state it, there would beno basis and the account would becompletely out of order. Definitely, they would state the bases;historical method, current bases of themethod they used to prepare theaccount.That is part of the account. Sothere is no need to say that if one deviatesfrom the standard accounting procedure,it should be stated. But if the House thinks we shouldmaintain it, I do not have a problem withit. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 83 subclause (3), line 2, delete“report” and insert “statement” Mr Speaker, it should read; “…quarterly financial statement”Itshould not read “not financialreport”. Mr Speaker, in clause 83 (1) (a), what isrequired to be submitted is a quarterlyfinancial statement.That is in line with therequirement under subclause 1 (a). Mr Speaker, we should change the“report” to read as “statement”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 83 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 84 -- Annual accounts.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 84 subclause (2), paragraph (c),lines 1 and 2, delete “Chief Director” andinsert “Minister”.
(2) “A Principal Spending Officer ofa public corporation shall withintwo months after the end of eachfinancial year, (c) submit a copy of thesummary statement to theMinister”; It should not be the “Chief Director”.But that has not been captured in theOrder Paper. Question put and amendment agreedto.
The Table Office shouldplease capture this amendment becauseit has not been captured in the Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 84 subclause (3), paragraph (b),delete
“indicate any significant departurefrom the accounting standards andthe reasons for the departure”. Mr Speaker, this is consequential toclause 83. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, the nextamendment is a mistake and it should beabandoned. So, I would move the nextclause. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 84subclause (3), paragraph (d), delete. Mr Speaker, this is consequential tosubclause (2) (b).
Hon Chairman, whichamendment did you move?
Mr Speaker, I moved clause84 (xxxvi).
Have you abandonedclause 35?
Mr Speaker, clause 35 hasbeen abandoned. [Pause] Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 84 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clauses 85 and 86 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 87 -- Internal audit.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 87 subclause (2), line 1, after“report” insert “administratively” and inline 2, before “the Audit”, insert“functionally”.
Hon Chairman, what isthe difference?
Mr Speaker, the differenceis that “Internal Auditors” have a dual role.Administratively, they report to the ChiefDirector; and in terms of their functions,since they perform internal audit role, theyhave to report functionally to the AuditCommittee.
What do they report“functionally”?
Mr Speaker, “functionally”,means the work that they perform. Theyreview the work of management, so theycannot report to management. They haveto report to the Audit Committee of thecovered entity.
They would report to boththe Spending Officer and the AuditCommittee.
Mr Speaker, the Act is toestablish the Audit Committee.
I agree but they wouldreport to both?
Mr Speaker, yes —administratively, in order to have —
How do you reportadministratively and functionally?
Mr Speaker, “administratively”means that the Internal Auditor would reportto the Chief Director who would then makeavailable resources for the InternalAuditor to work. So administratively, theChief Director, who is the PrincipalSpending Officer, is the head of thatcovered entity and for that matter, he mustprovide all the resources needed for theauditor to perform. Mr Speaker, when he does his work andwrites a report, he reports to the AuditCommittee, who is mandated by this lawto implement decisions of Parliament andmanagement report of the Auditor-General.So he would tell the Audit Committee ofhis findings for them to take actions onthem. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to movethat, clause 87 -- subclause (3), paragraph(a), line 2, delete “control” and insert“controls” Mr Speaker, we are just changing thesingular to plural.
It is really an administrativeissue but let me put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to movethat, clause 87 -- subclause (4), lines 1and 2, delete “An internal auditor of theInternal Audit Unit of a covered entity”and insert “The Internal Auditor of acovered entity” Mr Speaker, the intention is to justdelete the portion that relates to theInternal Audit Unit. So the new renditionwould read: “The Internal Auditor of a coveredentity shall, in consultation with thePrincipal Spending Officer...” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, if you wouldpermit me, I would want to move the nextthree amendments; subclause (6) to (9).
Please tell us why youare deleting these clauses. Please,first,explain to us and I wouldthen put the Question.
Mr Speaker, it is the sameprinciple under clause 87 (4). We aredeleting “Internal Audit Unit”.It wouldjust read: “The Internal Auditor of acovered entity”. Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, clause87 -- subclause (6), line 1, delete “of theInternal Audit Unit”. Clause 87 -- subclause (7), line 1,delete “of the Internal Audit Unit”. Clause 87 -- subclaue (8), line 1, delete“of the Internal Audit Unit” Clause 87 -- subclause (9), line 1,delete “of the Internal Audit Unit”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to movethat, clause 87 -- subclause (10), line 1,delete “of the Internal Audit Unit” and inline 5, delete “Chief Director” and insert“Chairperson of the relevant AuditCommittee”. Mr Speaker, the intention of this clauseis that, where the Internal Auditor of acovered entity suspects that a PrincipalSpending Officer is involved in a fraud or misuse of public fund, the InternalAuditor shall report the matter to theDirector-General of the Internal AuditAgency who shall in consultation with theChairperson of the relevant AuditCommittee, initiate an investigation intothe matter. Mr Speaker, we do not think that itshould be the Chief Director. This isbecause, the Chief Director being referredto here is the Principal Spending Officerand so he cannot report the matter — TheDirector-General of the Internal AuditAgency shall not consult the personwhom the allegation is made against. Mr Speaker, so we are changing it to,“the Chairperson of the relevant AuditCommittee.”
Would it bypass thePrincipal Account holder and go straightto the Director-General? Is that what youare proposing?
Mr Speaker, the InternalAuditor would report the fraud or misuseof funds to the Director-General of theInternal Audit Agency. The Director-General would then, in consultation withthe Chairperson of the Audit Committee,institute the investigation. That is whatthe committee thinks we should do. Mr Speaker, the outcome of thatinvestigation would then be reported tothe Board of that covered entity.
Mr Speaker, my worry isthat, they are replacing “Chief Director”with”Chairperson”. This Chairperson isperfect with agencies that have governingboards, but in the Ministries, there areDepartments that do not have governingboards. So whom do we want to relate toin this particular — [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, theChairpersons of Audit Committees that aregoing to be created -- the PrincipalSpending Officer is not the Chairperson.Each Ministry would have an AuditCommittee which reports to Parliament.
Mr Speaker, currently, whatI know is the Chairperson of the AuditReport Implementation Committee; are wenow saying a different thing?
Mr Speaker, it used tobe the Audit Report ImplementationCommittee (ARIC) but it is no longer. It isgoing to change.
All right. I still do not knowwho the Chairperson of that Committee is— when the Principal Spending Officer —So who would now be that Chairperson?[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I want to be clear.supposing we move on from this pointand we get to other parts of the Bill andnobody understands it —[Interruption.]
Hon Members, I believethat this amendment is better than what isin the Bill. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 87 as variously amendedordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 88 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 89 -- Report on findings andrecommendations.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 89 -- subclause (1), openingphrase, line 2, delete “Minister, Auditor- General and Parliament” and insert“Minister and Auditor-General”.
“A principal spending officer shallon an annual basis submit thefollowing to the Minister and theAuditor-General:” That is “a report of the status ofimplementation of recommendations madeby the Auditor-General …” And then, “a report on the status ofimplementations made by Parliament.” Mr Speaker, the Committee thinks thatthe status report should be submitted toonly the Hon Minister and the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General woulddefinitely incorporate that into the reportthat he submits to Parliament. Adding “Parliament” at this point isnot necessary and so the Committeeproposes the deletion of “Parliament”.
Effectively, you aredeleting only “Parliament”.
Mr Speaker, yes.
Is that the way to capturethe amendment?
Mr Speaker, the PrincipalSpending Officer does not have locus withParliament. It is the Auditor-General --
Yes! Effectively, thisamendment is just deleting “Parliament”.
Yes, Mr Speaker. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 89 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 90 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 91 -- Composition of AuditCommittee.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 91 -- subclause (3), line 4, after“relates”, add “and two other membersnominated by the Principal AccountHolder”. The Internal Audit Agency, theInstitute of Internal Auditors and theInstitute of Chartered Accountants shallnominate the majority of members fromamong persons who do not work in thecovered entity to which the AuditCommittee relates and two other membersnominated by the Principal AccountHolder.” At least, two persons would benominated to serve on the Committee. Theother three members shall come from theInternal Audit Agency Institute of InternalAuditors and Institute of CharteredAccountants who are not members of thecovered entity.
Let me first hear from theHon Deputy Minister for Finance.
Mr Speaker, just to say thatbefore you put the Question, the Instituteof Chartered Accountants -- I think thatwe should add the word “Ghana”. It isimportant because we have Institute ofChartered Accountants in other countries. In Ghana, we have the Association ofCertified Chartered Accountants (ACCA);though they are not resident in Ghana theyhave members here. I think we should say “Institute ofChartered Accountants, Ghana” to giverecognition to the Ghanaian Accountantsbody.
Mr Speaker, I think whatthe Hon Deputy Minister for Finance hassaid is appropriate. The body we knowand which is recognised by law is theInstitute of Chartered Accountants,Ghana. There are other accounting bodiesthat we do not refer to. So in most of thelaws that we pass, we always refer to themspecifically like we do with the Ghana BarAssociation.
HonChairman of theCommittee, so in effect is that provisionto get these bodies to nominatemembership of the Audit Committee?[Pause] Who pays them?
Mr Speaker, in actual fact,in the Bill, there is no provision madefor --
How would they get theirremuneration? This is not a case of theAuditor-General, so who pays thesepeople? Is it that somebody nominates andanother person pays? Have you thoughtof that and is it in the Bill?
It is a coveredentity.
Mr Speaker, yes.
Mr Speaker, the Actwould create the Audit Committee for acovered entity and they would have topay them. That is what we are doing bythis Act.
There are many other --
Mr Speaker, the issue youraised is very important because when weset up a Committee under a body, wedefine the functions or what they do, andtheir allowances should also be stated.Usually, we have a portion that deals withthe Hon Minister in consultation …” Inthis case, he would not consult withanybody. He has to determine theallowances and there are categories ofallowances for --
Hon Members, why doyou not appoint professionals inconsultation with the Internal AuditService? That would be neater. We wouldhave to get a public -- Yes?
Mr Speaker, the funding ofthe Committee is provided for in clause 90(2) (c). So, for the purposes of subclause (1),the Hon Minister shall, by regulation,specify the funding of the AuditCommittee.
Why do we not get theInternal Audit Agency to do so inconsultation with the professional bodieswhich would be nominated? If one wantsto do an external auditing, he does so inconsultation with the Auditor-General.[Interruption.] Yes?
Mr Speaker, if you readcarefully, the Internal Audit Agency is tonominate one of them. The Institute ofInternal Auditors on its part is aprofessional body --
They give responsibilityto people -- I do not know but -- [Pause] Yes, but if we do not build some checksand balances in there, there might besome private persons who might alsodecide to -- Yes, we would want to make sure thatthere are people from professional bodiesand all those things. That is good. Buthow do we also check them?
Mr Speaker, they areprofessional bodies.
How do we check them?
Mr Speaker, they checkthemselves, just like the External Auditorsdo. The Institute of Chartered Ghana haveways of checking themselves. We cannot allow the External Auditorto control the --
We did not say ExternalAuditor.
These are all professionalbodies and they have laws that check them.Otherwise, why are we relying on theirprofessional competence? That is thereason why they are being nominated thistime. It is because they are a professionalbody subject to professional discipline. Mr Speaker, who checks the Ghana BarAssociation (GBA)? [Interruption] Theyare a professional body. [Interruption.]Yes, professional ethics.
Mr Speaker, I asked theHon Chairman of the committee about thisissue of independent members.
The proponents of theBill should tell us whether or not there islegal backing and all those things. That iswhy I invited the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance. I do not know and you shouldguide the Chair on this matter.
Mr Speaker, they arenot backed by law. I do not recall any lawthat backs them in Parliament. So, weshould admit that and solve the problemsomehow. In fact, he knows that they are notbacked by law.
Mr Speaker, though theymay not be governed by law, they arerecognised as a professional bodyoperating in Ghana.
We are making law. Youdo not put a body in a law which does nothave a legal backing. It becomesproblematic. Are they not Chartered Accountants?[Interruption.] Some are Chartered Accountants.
Mr Speaker, are we talkingabout the Institute of Internal Auditors?
Please, who gave you thefloor? [Laughter.] Yes, Hon Member for Shama?
Mr Speaker, if we aretalking about the Institute of InternalAuditors, some may be CharteredAccountants. But as far as the Instituteof Chartered Accountants is concerned,one cannot be a member of the Institute ifhe is not a Chartered Accountant. For the Institute of Internal Auditors,some may be Chartered Accountants. He talked about Internal AuditorsAssociation. It is not a professional body.[Interruption] I know that they do nothave an association.
Is it governed by law?[Interruption] I think that is his point. Iwould want to know. Help the Chair; is it governed by law?
Mr Speaker, apart from that,if I am a member of the institute --[Interruption] -- We need to furtherclarify. If the person is already working in theMinistry and he is also a member, and theydecide to nominate him, would it not be inconflict with the independence that he issupposed to enjoy? So I believe that, apart from comingfrom the Institute, he should not be withinthat same agency or a public official. Tome, that would make it independent.
Mr Speaker, I think thatthe Hon Minister should know if theInstitute of Internal Auditors is backedby law or not. We need to know. We know the Internal Audit AgencyAct is good for the first one. That isbacked by law.
Mr Speaker, I know theInstitute of Chartered Accountant, Ghanais governed by law but I am not too sureof the Institute of Internal Auditors --[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, we recentlypassed the law for the Institute of Taxation.In the case of this Institute, they areregistered.
No, Mr Speaker. My attention has been drawn to thefact that they are now in the process ofbringing the Bill before Parliament. Anexample is the Chartered Institute ofTaxation, Ghana. Parliament recentlypassed the law, so I believe they are alsoputting things in place to come beforeParliament and to get a charter to governthe Institute. Mr Speaker, though they are not yetgoverned by law, they are a well-recognised Institute that operates inGhana. They have their members acrossthe country and they are doing a goodjob. I believe that we may consider them. Inother words, since we are talking aboutthe Institute of Chartered Accountants --
Let me find out from theHon Minister for Defence, as a formerAttorney-General and Minister forJustice, whether it is best practice tospecify a body or an association in a lawwhere the association itself is not backedby law.
Mr Speaker, let me justspeak as a professional lawyer, just in casepeople extend the former Attorney-Generaland Minister for Justice beyondjurisdictional matters.
Where is the Hon DeputyAttorney-General and Minister forJustice? [Interruption.] He is not here. Yes?
Mr Speaker, in fact, whenwe had the opportunity to provide for theAssociation of Recognised ProfessionalBodies in the 1992 Constitution, it was anticipated that it would be followed upwith a list of laid-down procedures ofwhich associations are recognised underthat umbrella provision.
Is that law on theAssociation of Recognised ProfessionalBodies still in existence? I asked thisbecause we would have to go back to thatlaw to see whether it is one of thoseassociations that had been recognisedunder that law.
Yes, Mr Speaker, but theConstitution anticipated an entirely newarrangement. It is just that the names werevery similar but they wanted to regulatethe Association of Professional Bodiesproperly and not base it on the formerAssociation of Professional Bodies,where the schedule was proliferated withall sorts of professions. Mr Speaker, the danger we have thereis because of the “freedom of association”.People believe that, likeminded people,trade and vocations can come togetherand refer to themselves as an association. But the safer thing --
So, should we have anassociation in the Bill which is not backedby law?
Certainly not! Mr Speaker, they would tell you that ifit is an association based on the freedomto associate in the Constitution,sometimes, people, extend it to say, it hasa legal basis. If you read that article tounderstand what the Constitutionanticipates by the “Association ofRecognised Professional Bodies”, wewould clearly see that it is very differentfrom the one that was a legislation wherethey kept adding up the association as and when they were formed. It must be alegal association to be recognised.
Mr Speaker, I justrecollected that when we wereconsidering the Petroleum RevenueManagement Bill, we made provision forthe membership of the Public InterestAccountability Committee (PIAC) and fora position like Association of Civil SocietyPlatform on oil and gas.
So, that one is different.You are not referring to a particularprofessional body. You are describingthem. So, “somebody who is in a practiceof internal audit”, you are not referring toa particular institute or association. Thatis the difference.
Mr Speaker, well I am justconstruing because if they are also notbacked by law, but we make provision forthem. For instance, are queenmothersbacked by law? Mr Speaker, but we makeprovisions for them.
Yes, the queenmothershave been mentioned in the Constitutionof the Republic of Ghana.
Mr Speaker, what about theGhana Bar Association?
Yes, it is backed by law;ask the lawyers.
Mr Speaker, there areexamples that we can follow and providethem --
Mr Speaker, article 109 ofthe Constitution says, and with yourpermission, I quote: “(1) Parliament may by law regulateprofessional, trade and businessorganisations. (2) The affairs of an organisationreferred to in clause (1) of thisarticle shall be conducted ondemocratic lines”. Mr Speaker, it is important that if theyhave been incorporated under theCorporate Bodies Act as a limited liabilitycompany or a company limited by shares,and that is how the Institute of Taxationused to operate until we gave them thischarter. So, if there is evidence that the InternalAuditors have also registered as a limitedcompany that members belong to, that isa different matter. Then it means we candeal with them on a basis that they existlegally. Mr Speaker, but my point is that, if welook at the Institute of CharteredAccountants, we have accountants andauditors there. So, if auditors say they arealso forming their own Institute, then thereis going to be a multiplicity of deeds. We found that some people wereopposed to the Bill on the Institute ofTaxation because we have lawyers,accountants and auditors who aremembers. Mr Speaker, so we have to be a littlecareful. I have not heard or seen anythingabout Internal Auditors Association.What I know as the former Hon Ministerfor Local Government and RuralDevelopment is that the Internal AuditorsAgency had officers who were working invarious places. They formed anassociation to agitate for their conditionsof service.
Mr Speaker, I thinkthe Internal Audit Institute may be existingand regulated under their ownconstitution. That would be in order. In our association, we do not exist byan Act of Parliament. We are onlyrecognised by the Constitution and Actsof Parliament. So far as we are concerned,we exist by the constitution of the GhanaBar Association. I also know of Act 106, which is theUnincorporated Bodies Act, which allowscompanies that are not incorporated tooperate in Ghana. Mr Speaker, also, recently, with regardto a number of financial Bills which havecome to this House, the DepositProtection Bill and the other ones, whenwe came to deal with auditors, I rememberthere was a clause which required that fora person to be eligible to be appointed asan auditor, he must be a company auditor. Mr Speaker, do we have companyauditors? But we recognised that inParliament and passed it. Mr Speaker, so if we have an InternalAudit Institute, let us recognise that theyhave a constitution which regulates theiraffairs just as the Ghana Bar Association,which is recognised. Then we startrecognising them under the Act ofParliament. Then it would operate.
Hon Members, we havelistened to the Hon Minister for Defenceand the Hon Member for AkwapimNorth,we need to be sure whether we keepon referring to certain legislations under which they can be registered and regulatedby their constitutions. Hon Members, butwe are putting it in the law here. So, thereshould be the basis for their legalexistence. So, if we can do some further work withregard to those legislations that we havebeen referred to, then we would be doingjustice to what we are doing. Hon Members, but let me hear from theHon Minister for Defence.
Mr Speaker, the issue ofthe auditors is unique. Some HonMembers are behaving as if auditing is avery separate profession from accounting.Mr Speaker, but it is actually another formof accounting practice. This is becauseone cannot be an auditor, if one is not anaccountant. So, it is like saying that in the BarAssociation, there is an Association ofCorporate Lawyers. They come under theGhana Bar Association.
In other words, you aretrying to see between the defence counseland the prosecutor.
Mr Speaker, precisely. Mr Speaker, that is why one is worriedthat until we can -- I am not sure of whatwe mean by the “auditors” we are dealingwith here. Mr Speaker, but if they are theaccountants who choose to specialise inauditing, then they would belong to theprofessional accounting group.
Indeed, they shouldbelong to that association -- the Instituteof Chartered Accountants, Ghana. This isbecause we even want them to beprofessional people.
Mr Speaker, we proposethat we delete “the Institute of InternalAuditors” and give the Institute ofChartered Accountants two membersinstead of one.
What are you replacingit with?
Mr Speaker, we are deleting“the Institute of Internal Auditors and thenpropose that; since we are talking of threemembers, the Institute of CharteredAccountants can have two members, andthe Internal Audit Agency can have one. Mr Speaker, this is based on theprinciple that if one is not a driver, onecannot be a driving instructor. So, we think that the Institute ofChartered Accountants, Ghana can havetwo members, but with speciality ininternal audit. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I amsurprised at the Hon Deputy Minister.After vigorously saying that the Instituteexists, now he is afraid of the Rt HonSpeaker.
Hon Member, what didyou say? What is he afraid of?
Mr Speaker, he is afraidof the Rt Hon Speaker's argument. He vigorously said they exist.
Mr Speaker, I withdraw. Mr Speaker, but his Ministry issponsoring the Bill and he has stood hereto say that they exist. Mr Speaker, all you said was that theyshould give us information that says thatthey are registered. Mr Speaker, you weretalking about legally-backed institutes.We have the National Catholic Secretariatas a member of the Public Interest andAccountability Committee (PIAC). Theyare not backed by law. There is no law backing the Federationof Council of Moslems. As long as theyare a registered entity, they are all right.So, it does not depend on whether theyare backed by law or not. Mr Speaker, but if he is convinced thatthey are properly registered, he shouldstick with it. Mr Speaker, let us just step itdown, do some homework and come back.Then we would keep it.
The point made by theHon Minister for Defence is that these arealso chartered accountants. If they wereto be real professionals, they should bemembers of the Institute of CharteredAccountants, Ghana.
Mr Speaker, but theremight be a reason they are forming thatInstitute. Let us not deny them of thatright.
So, they are. I do not really mind; if we want to givetwo members to the CharteredAccountants, and they can look to thosewho are into internal auditing or not, it isfor them to decide. I do not have a problem with that butthat will even allow for professionalism inthe work they are coming to do as membersof the Audit Committee.
Do you want us to standit down?
Mr Speaker, delete theInstitute of Internal Auditors and then givethe Institute of Chartered Accountants,Ghana, two nominees whiles the InternalAudit Agency will have one. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 91 subclause (6), line 1, delete“Minister” and insert “Principal AccountHolder”. Mr Speaker, the clause says; “The principal account holder shallappoint the chairperson and themembers of the Committee” Mr Speaker, after the nomination hasbeen done by these Bodies, the “PrincipalAccount Holder” appoints them insteadof the Minister.
Very good. Question put and amendment agreedto. [Pause.] Hon Chairman, did I put the Questionon subclause (3)?
Mr Speaker, yes, you putthe Question. So, you will now put theQuestion on the entire clause 91.
No, I did not put theQuestion. What I did was to delete theamendment that the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance moved. Deleting the “Instituteof Internal Auditors” that is the Questionthat I put. I have not put the Question on thatone, so kindly move that amendment andlet me put the Question.
Mr Speaker, the proposedamendment which was moved by the HonMinister for Finance --
Yes. I have put theQuestion on that one.
So, I moved the newamendment.
With the first clause 91(xvi), we have not put the Question.
Mr Speaker, the first clauseis 91 (xvi), subclause (3) line 4 --
Have we put theQuestion?
Mr Speaker, you put theQuestion but it is further amended by theHon Deputy Minister for Finance --
Are you sure I put aQuestion on that one?
Mr Speaker, it is the furtheramendment by adding ‘Ghana'.
No, his amendment isdifferent. The amendment of the HonDeputy Minister for Finance is to get theInternal Audit and then get the twonominees from the Chartered Institute of Taxation which is separate from the firstamendment under clause 91. We have notput the Question on that one so, move itso, I can put the Question.
Mr Speaker, clause 91subclause (3) line 1, delete “the Instituteof Internal Auditors”.
He has called theQuestion on that one. It is yours now thatyou need to --
Yes. We have put theQuestion on his but that amendment isdifferent from your amendment in the firstclause 91. You went straight and movedthe second amendment under clause 91.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 91 -- subclause (3), line 4, after“relates”, add “and two other membersnominated by the Principal AccountHolder” . Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 91 as variously amendedordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 92 -- Functions of AuditCommittee
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 92 -- subclause (1), paragraph (a),subparagraph (ii), delete and insert thefollowing: “Parliament's decision on theAuditor-General's report”.
“An Audit Committee shall ensurethat the head of a covered entity towhich the Audit Committee relates, (a)pursues the implementation ofany recommendation containedin (i) an internal audit report;” Mr Speaker, we are also adding“Parliament's decision on the Auditor-General's report”. Whenever the Auditor-General submits a report to Parliament andParliament takes a decision, the AuditCommittee shall also implement thoserecommendations in the decision ofParliament. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 92, subclause (1), paragraph (a),add the following new subparagraph:
At the point of theManagement Letter, you have not yetheard from the management team. Are yougetting me? At that stage, you have notheard from the management team, why doyou not wait for the management torespond? Yes, Hon Member for Ho Central?
Mr Speaker, before theManagement Letter is issued, a draft ispresented to management and thenmanagement sits with the external auditors. Those things that need to becleared are done before a final Manage-ment Letter is written and that is the onewe are referring to.
So, are you talking abouttwo management letters, Hon Member forHo Central? Listen carefully to yourself,you are talking about two ManagementLetters.
Mr Speaker, the first one --
The first one you talkedabout is not management letter. Is it calledthe Exit conference?
Mr Speaker, yes, but itincludes a lot of queries which can be --
At times, with the Exitconference, you would tell them certainthings and they would go back and repeatit in the Management Letter. I am talkingfrom experience.
Mr Speaker, if the externalauditors disagree with management on aparticular issue, they would tell thembefore they go and complete theirManagement Letter. So, it is what comesout of the final --
I have seen ManagementLetters that they give them and theywould go and include it. So, please, let ustake a second look at it. The proposals ofthe Bill did not include it but that doesnot prevent us from looking at it. At thattime and given our own experience in thiscountry, people jump on ManagementLetters and they would put it in the publicdomain while at that they have not fullyresponded to it, and causing damage topeople's integrity.
Before you would respond, the harmand damage would have been caused.Management Letter remains a Manage-ment Letter and it is meant for managementto respond to it and under the AuditService Act of 2000, you are given about30 days to respond and if you do not, thenthere are consequences. We cannot goand create unnecessary problems in thisBill.
Mr Speaker, during theprocess of the audit, the auditor raises anumber of queries to which managementresponds. When the auditor receivesthese responses from management, theywould come to the Exit Conference todiscuss those issues. After the ExitConference, those of the explanations thatare provided by management; that theauditor is satisfied with are ended at theExit Conference. With those that they are notsatisfied with, they put them in theManagement Letter with the recommendationon what management should do and it is sentto management. Mr Speaker, we are saying that whenthe Management Letter is sent tomanagement, then the audit committeecould start working on this ManagementLetter before the final Auditor-General'sreport and decision of Parliament comesto management, which the Committeewould still work on. So, that is the positionof the Committee. If the ManagementLetter is issued and no action is takenabout it --
My understanding is thatthe term is “Management Letter” and it isfor management at that point. That is whyit is called Management Letter. Unless,you would want the auditors to also helpin managing the covered entity, unlessthat is what the amendment is seeking todo. Management Letter remainsManagement Letter!
Mr Speaker, I think thateven though the position is that the letteris to management to respond to issuesthat have been raised by the auditors, Istill believe that with the Audit Committee,we are not looking at the time they wouldsubmit the letter, they should send it tothe Audit Committee. Mr Speaker, but when the auditcommittee is looking at findings that theAuditor-General would have made, theyshould also be interested in seeing theManagement Letter and the response themanagement would give to the letterbefore the final audit is issued. If there isany misunderstanding between theManagement Letter and the responses, ifthe response did not adequately addressthe issues raised by the ManagementLetter, but the audit committee needs tobe ceased with this -- Mr Speaker, I do not think that we aretaking away the responsibility ofmanagement responding to thatManagement Letter. No, but it is properthat the audit committee gets ceased withit and sees how it was responded to. So,we would need to add it to this and Isupport the amendment of the HonChairman.
Mr Speaker, you areright. It is called Management Letter butif there are issues related to --
Hon Members, we needto understand this in the light of the AuditService Act of 2000. It is a process ofengaging the management. If at that stageyou bring people; majority of who areeven outside the organisation, at thatstage, I do not think it is --
Mr Speaker, it says: “An Audit Committee shall ensurethat the head of a covered entity, towhich the Audit Committee relates: a) pursues the implementation ofany recommendation contained…” So, it is the implementation. I would besurprised that if management gets theletter they would hold it in their bosom.This is because it would be related tomatters of audit and management does nothave the capacity to implement theserecommendations, except the people ofthat committee. So, it would be in theinterest of management to immediatelypass it on so that they could begin toimplement. That is all what is being saidhere and the Bill seeks to do.
Mr Speaker, I think weshould agree to the amendment.
I do not have a vote.
Mr Speaker, the process isnot such as to intimidate management.Firstly, when the Management Letter isdrafted, as I explained earlier, there is ameeting to take out those that need to betaken and the responses are incorporatedin the Management Letter. Thenmanagement is made to sign what is calleda Letter of Representation agreeing to allthe discussions that took place during theaudit process. So, before it becomes a finalManagement Letter --
But why are you puttingthe obligation on the head of the coveredentity, who is not part of management?
Mr Speaker, if we wait,sometimes --
Mr Speaker, I want tooffer an amendment so that we couldmove forward. Mr Speaker, I beg topropose a further amendment, “clause 92,line 1, The Principal Account Holderthrough the Audit Committee …” Now, it is the “Principal AccountHolder” which is the management so, thatwe could move forward. Now, managementis in charge but they would do it throughthe Audit Committee. I get your point andwe would achieve the same purpose. “The Principal Account Holderthrough the Audit Committee shallensure …” So, the onus is on management andnot the audit committee.
Mr Speaker, I just wantedto clarify what Hon Kpodo just said. Thereis a difference between ManagementRepresentation Letter and ManagementLetter. They are two different letters. Onecomes from the auditor and one comesfrom management. If management makescertain representation to the auditor thenmanagement is agreeing to certain thingsand if the auditor is to write tomanagement, then the auditor is askingmanagement to confirm certain things. So,they are two different letters and we cannotlook at them.
Hon Deputy Minister forFinance, so which one are they referringto?
Mr Speaker, in this case,the Committee's amendment is referringto the one coming from the auditor. So, itis Management Letter but Hon Kpodo wastrying to clarify it.
Mr Speaker, Iunderstand that but the issue here is that,the letter goes to management andmanagement is held responsible and notthe Audit Committee. So, what the Rt HonSpeaker is saying is that, let us separatethe functions. I am suggesting that, if we amend tosay “the Principal Account Holderthrough the Audit Committee shouldensure the implementation”, you areholding the management who get the letterresponsible. But the instrument of theimplementation is the Audit Committee.That is all we are seeking to achieve. Thatis where I see the Hon Minister's concern,that they are holding them responsible butthe letter is not coming to them. The letteris going to management who is heldresponsible for what happens, but theinstrument is the Committee. That is all.
Mr Speaker, the issue heraised would have fitted well, but in thisclause, we are dealing with the functionsof the Audit Committee, and notmanagement. We are also talking aboutpast management letters; letters that camefrom the auditors for responses by themanagement. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 92, subclause (1), paragraph (a),subparagraph (ii), delete and insert thefollowing: “Parliament's decision on theAuditor-General's report”. Mr Speaker, this is consequential tothe (a).
So, it is for consistency. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 92, subclause (1), paragraph (a),add the following new subparagraph: “(ii) Auditor-General's ManagementLetter”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 92 as variously amendedordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 93 -- Submission of consolidatedaudit accounts of local governing authorities.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 93, line 1, delete “six” and insert“nine”
“93. The Minister responsible forLocal Government shall, withinnine months after and end of eachfinancial year, submit to the Ministera statement of consolidated auditedaccounts of each local governingauthority.” Mr Speaker, the Committee is of theview that the six months is short. This is because we have up to June, thus sixmonths, for the audited accounts to becompleted. So, the Minister shall compilethe audited accounts of all the localauthorities and submit to the Minister forFinance within nine months. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 93 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 94 -- Duty of governing bodyof public corporation and state-ownedenterprise.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 94, paragraph (c), delete. Mr Speaker, (94) “The governing body of apublic corporation and state-owned enterprise shall establishand maintain: (a) policies, (b)procedures, (c) risk procedures,(d) risk management and internalcontrol systems, and (e)governance and managementpractice.” Mr Speaker, the risk procedurementioned in (c) is actually part of riskmanagement. So, we are deleting (c),which is risk procedure since it is alreadycontained in risk management in (d).
Could you give yourreason again?
Mr Speaker, my reason isthat, when we talk about risk managementwhich is in (d), it covers risk procedures.So, there is no need to have riskprocedure separate from riskmanagement. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 95 -- add the following newsubclause: “(1) The Board of Directors of apublic corporation governed bythis Act shall ensure the efficientmanagement of the financialresources of the publiccorporation including thecollection and receipt of moneysdue to that public corporation.” Mr Speaker, this is lifted from theFinancial Administration Act, that first ofall, we have to establish the collectionbefore we come to the second one, whichis part of the Bill for the failure to collect,which would then attract punishment. So, Mr Speaker, we are proposing thisamendment to establish the collection firstbefore we come to the negligence or thefailure. Question put and amendment agreedto. Mr Boafo -- rose --
Mr Speaker, before you putthe Question on clause 95, I have anobservation and need your direction. TheMinister is empowered arbitrarily tosuspend or withdraw the emolument ofthe members of the Board on therecommendation of the auditor withoutgiving the Board members any opportunityto defend themselves so far as therecommendation is concerned.
Mr Speaker,indeed, if you give an opportunity formembers of the Board to defendthemselves, I can assure you that, youcan never enforce financial prudence. If aperson has any reason, he collects it.Theemolument would be restored, even theones that would be in arrears. But to saythat I have looked at it, you have notreported it and I am suspending youremolument, it would defeat the verypurpose. My worry however, is the withdrawalof emoluments. If we withdraw a person'semoluments, then we are sacking theperson. Mr Speaker, if we withdraw a person'semoluments, he occupies an office, whatis the effect? Should he continue workingwithout emoluments? That is the problem.We could have suspension, but as forwithdrawal, I have a problem with it,because it amounts to dismissal.
But has the Minister gotthe power to suspend? He is not theappointing authority.
Mr Speaker,he is not the appointing authority, but weare investing him with that statutoryauthority.
But you also know that,the person who hires is the one who fires,and it is in the Constitution. [Interruption]
Yes, but weare suspending, we are not withdrawing,that is why I have a problem with thewithdrawal.
Well, if you would like tokeep this provision in the clause then, youhave to clarify it. In practice when theauditors come to audit they do not eventalk to the board members. So even if you want to keep this here,you need to clarify it. They do not talk tothe board members, they talk to themanagement, that is why they refer to thatletter as Management Letter. I have beenon one or two boards, and no auditor hasever spoken to me.
Mr Speaker, I thought thepractice was that when there is an auditissue and a person is cited, the personwould be given the opportunity to clearhimself. So Mr Speaker, I believe thatbefore the Auditor-General issues hisreport, at least the person would be giventhe opportunity to clear himself. So as itis, I believe it is good enough. [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, they areurging me that the person could go tocourt, and I am asking why in everything,we must go to the court, when we couldresolve it? Instead of buying litigationwith our legislative process, why do wenot prevent litigation? Mr Speaker, under article 23 of theConstitution, persons charged withadministrative duties are expected to befair and reasonable. That is what shouldbe imported into this particular Clause. So Mr Speaker, if we are honouring dueprocess, it must be reflected in everythingthat we do. The Hon Deputy Minister isacknowledging it, and he is saying that itis implied in existence. But why should itbe implied? At what point can I lay myhands on a provision in the law that I amentitled to be heard, that what they havedone is against natural justice?
But before the Auditor-General issues a final report, there isdiscussion with the potential person whois alleged to be committing a crime. Theygo through a discussion. Before he issuesa final report, that due process would haveoccurred. In fact, the law allows theAuditor-General to even surcharge theperson.
Hon Members, we mayhave to take a second look at thisprovision in the first place, and I havecome across situations where as a longstanding Member of the Public AccountsCommittee, the Auditor-General's reportitself comes before the Public AccountsCommittee and through the process ofhearing you realize that some of thefindings are not correct. So if we use that recommendation atthat stage to start taking action againstboard members who are supposed to havea certain control over management, wewould weaken their moral authority overthe organisation. What about if the report comes beforethe Public Accounts Committee and thenit is found out that the finding of theAuditor-General or the recommendationin the Auditor-General's report is wrong? There was one particular case that wedid. Hon J. H. Mensah was then theChairman of the Committee. The mattertravelled all the way to the Supreme Courtand it is reported as Agbavor vrs TheAttorney-General. Agbavor was then the Deputy JudicialSecretary. At that time, findings were madeagainst him. He appeared before us.Clearly, it came out, and because of thatthey even said they should sack him. When he appeared before theCommittee, we realised that the findingscould not be supported, and the PublicAccounts Committee wrote for his reinstatement, signed by the old SeniorMinister. They did not reinstate him, andin the end he had to go to court. That finding of the Auditor-Generalitself is going to pass through anothertest, so if at that stage we start takingdecisions, only to find out when it comesto the Public Accounts Committee thatthey are not supported by the facts, orthe Auditors did not look at all the details,what do we do? We have embarrassed theman by suspending his remuneration andsuspending him.
Mr Speaker, inthe first place, I wonder by what authoritythe Chairman of the Public AccountsCommittee..?
I do not know whether itis the Chairman, but based on therecommendation, a certain communicationwas made --
It was probablyParliament's decision communicated by theClerk as a decision of Parliament. Mr Speaker, I agree with you, but whatmischief are we seeking to remedy? Thisis not a crime. It is suspension ofemoluments for willfully or negligentlyfailing to ensure that monies due to thatpublic corporation are collected orreceived. That is all. It is suspended. Suspension meanssuspension. I am against withdrawal,because then we would be dismissing theperson. But if we are saying that the reportshould come to Parliament, go to thePublic Accounts Committee, Parliamentshould take a decision.
Hon Member, all the lawsthat we pass here, is the Board not for
Yes MrSpeaker, but as for this, when we haveboard members of public corporationsand Mr Speaker, you have experience inthese matters, some board members wouldnot even attend meetings, they wouldcollect their board fees, not sittingallowances. But this is to ensure thatboard members do their work, and not thatthey just go and sit down. Mr Speaker, to say that it should gothrough the process after Parliament hasrecommended, how many times have wenot complained that reports of theAuditor-General having been approved,but the implementation has become aproblem? We are not saying the person hascommitted a crime. We are just suspendingthe emoluments pending the remedy. MrSpeaker, it is just pending the remedy, soif the person says he is not at fault, wewould collect the money, or if we are ableto demonstrate or the matter is before thecourt, and the person is even in denial,we have done our job. Mr Speaker, “willfully” or “negligently”denotes a level of culpability notnecessarily arbitrary decision. So MrSpeaker, I support the amendment.
I have put the Question,the amendment was carried.
I would wantto propose an amendment to thesubstantive clause as follows: In line 3,delete the words: “after Auditor-General,withdraw”. So it would read: “upon therecommendation of the Auditor-General,suspend…”
Hon Members, withregard to the state of Business in theHouse, I direct that we sit outside theprescribed period. Yes, Hon Member for Atiwa West. Afteryou, then the Hon Member for Wa West.
Mr Speaker,I have a problem with the whole of clause92, including the proposed amendment. Mr Speaker, we should be careful notto fuse the functions of a “board” andthat of “management” together. Theremust be a clear distinction. Mr Speaker, the function of any Boardas established by law in any organisation,is to give strategic direction to thatorganisation. The day-to-day running ofany organisation is the function of themanagement, headed by either theManaging Director or the Chief Executive,as the head may be designated. Mr Speaker, the functions of the Boardare clearly established by law. If you takethe Company's Act of 1963, Act 179, thefunctions of the Board are clearlystated.The Board members have aresponsibility, either for being negligentor for not exercising their duties well --They are clearly established. Usually, it is after all the assets of thecompany have been attached to defrayany outstanding debt and found to beinsufficient that we can attach either thepersonal properties or any emolumentsbelonging to members of the Board. Usually, it happens on a court order.Depending on the situation, it mightsound very irregular and ridiculous. Thisis because much as the position of an HonMinister is highly respected in our bodypolitic and it is a very enviable position,to give the Hon Minister the right --
Hon Member, whatabout the situation where evidence is putbefore the Board that an organisation orsomebody owes that Board but the Boardmembers decide not to take any action, orat least, to instruct that legal action betaken --They should have gone to court,but they refused and sat on it. In the spiritof the submission made by the HonMember for Sekondi, how would you seethat type of situation?
Mr Speaker, if youlook at the content of the clause, it eventalks about collection and receipt ofmoneys.That is a function for themanagement.
Hon Member, theQuestion has been put on that one already.We are now on the substantive clauseitself. Where the organisation suffers butthere are a number of people who owethem, they would just sit there as a Board-- That is the mischief. My only problemis that -- What is the definition for a publiccorporation under Section 95? HonMember for Sekondi, what type oforganisations are you talking about?
Mr Speaker,an organisation which is set up by fundsfrom the Consolidated Fund, or any otherpublic fund, according to the Constitution. Mr Speaker, you would recall that wehave taken note of the definition of “publiccorporation” and we would want to bringit in line with the interpretation as providedunder the Constitution.
“Public Corporation means acorporation or any other body ofpersons established by an Act ofParliament or set up out of fundsprovided by Parliament or otherpublic funds.”
So, will the JudicialCouncil be classified as a publiccorporation?
Mr Speaker, itis a public corporation insofar as thisdefinition is concerned.
Who is the Chairman?
Mr Speaker,the Chairman is the Chief Justice.
Can the Hon Ministerwithdraw the remuneration of the ChiefJustice?
Mr Speaker, hecannot withdraw, but he can suspend.
Can the Hon Ministersuspend the remuneration of the ChiefJustice and the Rt Hon Speaker?
Mr Speaker,it is for the purposes of financialaccountability. Mr Speaker, if you look at--
It is well intentioned, butI think that we would need to do a little bitof a clean-up.
Mr Speaker,when you give advice, we take account ofthe advice seriously. I recommend tothe Chairman, to heed your advice, sothat --
Hon Member, my adviceis based on your definition. This isbecause you may put a lot here, whichmight not be easy to implement.[Laughter.] Based on your definition of publiccorporation, we have to look at this again.This is because somewhere, in article 192-- We have the definition of “publiccorporation” in the Interpretation columnand a specific definition in article 192. It isthe definition in article 192 that draws thedistinction between those set up forcommercial purposes and those not.
Mr Speaker, I think that ifwe look at recent developments onaccountability scene in Ghana, “OccupyGhana” or some such organisation isalready sending the Auditor-General tocourt to enforce the retrieval of moneys. This provision is the one that catersfor that.The way it has been framed, itsays: “wilfully, and negligently.” That iswhy they are deprived of their emolumentsfor the time being. The other confusion we have suffered --
Hon Member, that pointhas been sufficiently canvassed on thefloor of the House, that there is a certainmischief that we would want to addressor cure. But in all circumstances, is theHon Minister the right person to exerciseit? If we use the definition from theConstitution. I would want to get the kindof public corporations we are talkingabout. If you take the Armed ForcesCouncil for example, it is chaired by theVice-President. So, I do not get it.
Mr Speaker,who pays the emoluments of publicservants in Ghana?Who authorisespayments and that of His Excellency thePresident? Mr Speaker, you referred us to the longtitle of this Bill, but I would want to repeatit for the benefit of the House. It says: “AN Act to regulate the financialmanagement of the public sectorwithin a macroeconomic and fiscalframework; to define responsibilitiesof persons entrusted with themanagement and control of publicfunds, assets, liabilities andresources, to ensure that publicfunds are sustainable andconsistent with the level of publicdebt; to provide for accounting andaudit of public funds and to providefor related matters.” Mr Speaker, when the President isgiven an imprest, does he not have to retireit under the laws? So if the President doesnot retire it, whoever is taking action underthe law -- Mr Speaker, we are talkingabout financial management. Mr Speaker, when the Vice Presidentchairs the Armed Forces Council, it is nothis emolument as a Vice President that areattached or the emolument of the Speaker-- Who else can do it?
I only asked whether theresponsibilities that you are giving to theMinister he would be in a position --
If he does notdo it, he would be sanctioned under theConstitution. That is all we should startdoing. Mr Speaker, we should letinstitutions work in this country. Mr
Speaker, that is why we are suffering. Letinstitutions work in this country. Let usnot look at personalities.
At times, it is easier said.
I know but letus keep it there, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, my second legwas on the issue of the status of the auditreport implementation. If recommenda-tions have been made by the Auditor-General for people to return money, arethey to wait for Parliament's PublicAccounts Committee to deliberate on areport before they do so? That is why Isupport this provision. At any time, oncethe recommendations have been madethat a person has embezzled funds, theyare to take steps to retrieve it. If it means withholding theirallowances to ginger the management andthe Board to collect the money, in myopinion, that is perfect. We must add tothis. It does not matter who occupies theBoard Chairperson; whether it is the VicePresident or not -- We are not talkingabout his salary. He will continue to gethis salary but --
Then we could as wellkeep the word “withdraw” in the Bill. Weshould not file an amendment to delete“withdraw” and keep “suspend”. Let usleave it the way it is.
Mr Speaker,we cannot leave it the way it is becauseeffectively it amounts to dismissing orremoving the person from office. Wecannot give that to the Minister becausehe is not the appointing authority. When it is suspension, it is for a period.For withdrawal, unless we are talkingabout surcharging, which goes through adifferent process --
Mr Speaker, let us maintainthe way it is because if we say “suspend”and the reason for the suspension -- Dothey suspend forever? If they suspendand no action has been taken, then theycan go ahead and withdraw.
Hon Members, I will putthe Question on clause 95 -- No, we areleaving everything there. We will see whoare going to be victims of this provision.
Mr Speaker, Ihave made an amendment, unless myamendment is not properly before theHouse.
I have to put theQuesiton.
You have toput the Question with the amendment.
Hon Members, clause 95,line 3, delete “withdraw or”. Question put and amendmentnegatived. -- [Laughter.]
Let us keep it. Clause 95 ordered to stand part of theBill Clause 96 -- Removal of directors of apublic corporation
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 96, subclause (1), line 3, delete “96”and insert “80”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, clause 96--this calls for removal. Under the termsof appointment, this provision was not acondition. Are we saying that now we areeffectively including this as a conditionof appointment?
Let me quote the HonMember for Sekondi, “fiixed liability”.
Mr Speaker,this is an enactment; it is statute. Itoverrides all administrative directives andactions insofar as it relates to the subjectmatter. For the purposes of removing a directorfor non-reporting, it is governed by theprovisions of the Civil Service Act -- Iam sure the Attorney-General andMinister for Justice will duly advise thePresident who is the appointing authoritywhen it comes to these things. I am surethe Civil Service Act makes provision forhearing et cetera. Clause 96 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 97 -- Annual financial plan ofpublic corporations and state-ownedenterprises
Mr Speaker, clause 97, thereis no proposed amendment but I have justnoticed something. Subclause(2) (e)should be numbered as (b).
This is a drafting issue. Idirect the draftsperson to look at it. Itshould be “(b)” and not “(e)”. Clauses 97 to 99 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 100 -- Financial performanceof local government authorities, publiccorporations and state-owned enterprises
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 100, delete. Mr Speaker, the Committee looked atclauses 97 and 99 where there arerequirements for the public corporationsand state-owned enterprises to submittheir financial statements to the Minister.For clause 97, it is for the local governmentauthorities and for clause 99 it is for state-owned enterprises and public corporations. Again, in the Bill, provision has beenmade for the Minister to submit a financialstatement to Parliament. This has beenmade redundant. So, the Committeeproposes that we delete clause 100entirely because of clauses 97 and 99 ofthe Bill. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 100 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Hon Members, what isthe sense of the House at this point?Should we continue? I am asking becauseI have another assignment to perform. Ifthe sense of the House is for us tocontinue Sitting, I would let the HonSecond Deputy Speaker take the chairwhile I move out. We have some visitorsfrom the United Kingdom (UK) who arewaiting for us. Hon Deputy Majority Leader, what isthe sense of the House?
Mr Speaker, the consensusis that, we suspend Sitting for one hourand come back. But Mr Speaker, beforeyou take a decision, we have a Paper onthe Order Paper Addendum to lay. --[Interruption]
Mr Speaker, the consensusis that, we suspend Sitting for one hourand come back. This is because HonMembers want to go and “re-fill”. MrSpeaker, before you take a decision,however, we have laying of Papers.
Hon Members, for now,that brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage of the PublicFinancial Management Bill, 2016. We willresume when we return from suspensionof the House.
Mr Speaker, we seek yourpermission for the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance to lay the Paper on theAddendum Order Paper on behalf of theHon Minister for Finance.
Hon Members, presentationof Papers. The following Papers should bepresented by the Hon Minister forFinance.
Roman number (iii)?
Mr Speaker, the next Paperis a Commercial Agreement and I believeit should be laid by the Hon Member forRoads and Highways.
Hon Deputy Minister,what is wrong if the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance lays the Paper on behalf ofthe Hon Minister for Finance?
Mr Speaker, the practicehas always been that, since they sign theCommercial Agreement, they lay the Paper.But I am here to lay it on behalf of theMinistry. By Deputy Minister for Finance (MrCassiel A. B. Forson) (on behalf of)Minister for Finance) -- (iii)Commercial Contract Agreementbetween the Government of theRepublic of Ghana and QuierozGalvao Construcciones SL,Spain for an amount of thirty-fivemillion United States Dollars((US$35,000,000.00) for theimplementation of the ObetsebiLamptey Interchange Project andRelated Works (Phase I).
Mr Speaker,the Commercial Agreement.
Where is the creditfacility for which we have the CommercialAgreement? The (a) and (b) is thirtyseven.
Mr Speaker, there is afinancing cost element of US$4.2 million,making it the US$39.2million. The contractis US$35,000, 000.00 but insurance and therest is US$4.2million. Referred to the Committee on Roadsand Transport.
Hon Members the Houseis suspended for one hour. We will beback, at exactly 3.20 p. m. Hon Members, thank you very muchfor your support and cooperation. 2.21 p.m. -- Sitting suspended. 4.55 p. m. -- Sitting resumed.
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
HonDeputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we are justwondering, once we have resumed Sitting,we want to know your take as to whichitem we should take.
Beforewe came back, we discussed the order ofpriority between the Bank of Ghana(Amendment) Bill and the Companies(Amendment) Bill. Since Hon Avedzi is nothere, maybe, we could start with theCompanies (Amendment) Bill, if you haveno objection to it. I am prepared to --
Very well. Mr Speaker, itemnumbered 37, on page 29 of the OrderPaper,Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2016at the Consideration stage.
Thank youvery much. The Companies (Amendment)Bill, 2016 at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Mr Speaker, I begto move, clause 1 paragraph (a), sub-paragraph (h) (i), line 1, delete “present”.
“the insertion after paragraph (g)of… “(i) the full name and any formeror alternate name…”
What doyou mean by “alternate name”? Is thereanything in law known as “alternatename”?
Mr Speaker, the“alternate name” is any other name thatthe person is known by, not necessarilyan alias. Maybe, I am known as KofiAmoatey but elsewhere I am known asMagnus Kofi Amoatey.
Hon PapaOwusu-Ankomah, is this possible?
Mr Speaker, aname is a name. One cannot have an“alternate name”. I am Kwesi Papa Owusu-Ankomah, that is my full name. InParliament, I am known as Papa Owusu-Ankomah; in my profession, K. PapaOwusu-Ankomah; and at the university, secondary school and primary school,Kwesi Papa Owusu-Ankomah. They areall my names and none can be alternate.Unless “alternate” has a meaning whichis acceptable by law, I do not see how wecan use “alternate”.
Mr Speaker, this idea isto ensure that we have the fullest detailsor the identity of the person required. Thisis because the person might not want togive his real name. He might keep anidentity somewhere, or he might have hisname but he would register in anothername. The idea is to ensure that the personmust give us all the names by which he orshe is known, including alternate names.
HonChairman, there is nothing in law knownas “alternate names”. If it is an alias fire,but “alternate name”, the law does notrecognise it.
Mr Speaker, besides that,I believe Directors are made to sign adeclaration for which they could besurcharged for providing wronginformation during the incorporation of acompany. If one so decides to hide or refuse todisclose or make full disclosure of his orher particulars, it goes against that person. So, I do not believe this is somethingwe must belabour.
HonChairman, that name is not known in -- Itis a new creation.Unless it is defined. Thereare alternate Directors; but alternate name-- Hon Agbesi, a person has a name,formal name and aliases. A person mightalso be known as; “home boy”, “showboy”, “the boy” or something like that.But do we want all of that on a company'sform?
Mr Speaker, this issue washotly debated at the Committee level. I was of the view that “alternate name”is not proper. But upon further explanationI came to a realisation that if we want fulldisclosure, then “alternate name” may bepermitted. Mr Speaker, for example, I have beenhearing in passing, obia nye obia --[Laughter.] --To wit, “nobody isnobody”. Mr Speaker, for people who arepolitically exposed -- Mr Naabu -- rose --
HonMembers, please, there is a very importantHon Member on his feet and I wouldrecognise him. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, I would wantthe Hon Deputy Majority Leader towithdraw the words “obia nye obia”. Thisis because that is your seat. He shouldrespect the seat. He should withdrawthose word [Laughter.]
Thankyou very much Hon Naabu. At least, Iknow that I am protected when you arehere. Yes, Hon Akoto Osei?
Mr Speaker, thank youfor allowing my Hon Friend to contributetoday. Mr Speaker, I believe if we follow thearguments being adduced, then theyshould keep the word “present” and deletethe word “alternate”. So it would read asfollows: “the present full name and anyformer name”. That should be sufficient. We should delete the word “alternate”because it does not exist. As the HonMember said --
HonMember, unless you define “alternatename” to mean “alias” or “nickname” --You can define “alternate name” in thedefinition clause to mean “alias”,“nickname” or “pet name” or “guy name”.This is because we want a full descriptionof the person. In that case, as Hon Boamah said, theperson would sign a declaration. Peoplehave various nicknames. If they go to theirlawn tennis club, they have a nickname;among their friends they have a nickname;in their constituencies they have anickname. And if a person leaves orforgets one or two of the names, the nextday he could be told he was fraudulent. Somebody can cross examine him andsay that when he was in form four in PopeJohn's Secondary School, he was called“the whole the whole” or something likethat so why did he leave that out? It meansthat he wanted to hide. That is why we have to limit ourselvesto the legal names.
Mr Speaker, we take a cuefrom you and we would accept thissuggestion to define “alternate name”. This is because the idea is to get a personto give all the names that he is known by -- whether in school, business circles orin social circles. The intention is to know the person sothat he or she does not hide.
Mr Speaker, a person'ssocial name is not legal. So, it cannot be aperson's social name. It is not legallycorrect. Why would they want to usesomething that is not legally knownanywhere?
Mr Speaker, this is a Billto enable us lift the veil as a whole so thatwhatever a person does, his or her identitymust be known. So if a person invested ina “guy name”, a “social name” or in“aliases”, if we want to know who the trueowner of that share of that part of thecompany is, we should have a way ofidentifying the person somehow. That is the reason the sponsors areasking for the “alternate name” or the“aliases”.
HonChairman, I thought you were thesponsors. Or there are some sponsorssomewhere?
Mr Speaker, theAttorney-General and Minister for Justiceis the sponsor of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, itis unfortunate that neither the HonAttorney-General and Minister for Justicenor her Hon Deputy is here. If we look at the Bill, it says in clause1(h) (i), and I beg to quote; “the present full name and anyformer or alternate name;” Mr Speaker, the word is “former” or“alternate”. So, it is either, or. I wonderwhat an “alternate name” is. One may havea “former name”. But what is an “alternatename”? Mr Speaker, an Hon Colleague hassuggested that instead of the word“alternate”, we should put “any othername”.
“the present full name and anyformer or other name”.
Mr Speaker, we mayaccept that. Mr Speaker, I therefore seek your leaveto make a further amendment to clause1(h)(i) to read: “the full name and any former orother name”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, please, is it“any other name”, or “any other formername”?
HonMember, it is “any former or other name”. -- [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 1, paragraph (a), subparagraph (h)(i), line 1, delete “present”. Mr Speaker, the idea is to add anotherparagraph before the, “and” would come. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 1, paragraph (a), subparagraph (h)(iv), delete and insert thefollowing: “the nationality and proof ofidentity”.
”thenationality and proof of identity”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 1, paragraph (a), sub-paragraph (h), add the following: “(v) residential, postal and emailaddress, if any; and (vi) place of work and position held;” Mr Speaker, as I indicated earlier, theseare details that would enable the Registrarknow the full particulars and details of theowner of the shares. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 1, paragraph (a), subparagraph (i), lines 2 and 3, delete “theparticulars specified in paragraph (h) and” Mr Speaker, that is to make room forthe insertions that we have already made. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 1, paragraph (a), sub-paragraph (i), delete subparagraphs (a)and (b) and insert the following: “(i) the full name and any former orother name; (ii) the date and place of birth; (iii) the telephone number; (iv) the nationality and proof ofidentity; (v) residential, postal and emailaddress, if any; (vi) place of work and position held;and (vii) the nature of the interestincluding the details of the legalarrangements in respect of thebeneficial ownership.”
Mr Speaker, I amsurprised. We have spent all this timemaking all these changes to delete themagain and come back with a new clause 1.I do not understand. Why could we nothave deleted all of clause 1 and justreplaced it by this?
Mr Speaker, the idea isjust to rearrange them.
Mr Speaker, even withthis first one that we did, we went to deleteall of them and then we have now gone todelete the entire thing and we have a newsubclause (1). We could have then deletedthe entire subclause (1) and go straight towhat he is going to read now. And thatwould have saved us plenty of time.
Thankyou. But the Table-Office should haveadvised. We are deleting and — Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 1 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 2 — Section 32 of Act 179amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that, clause 2, section 32. (1), line 1,delete “Depositary” and insert“Depository” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove clause 2 section 32.(1), paragraph(b), delete and insert the following: “(b) where a member is not thebeneficial owner of the interest; (i) the full name and any formeror other name of thebeneficial owner; (ii) the date and place of birth; (iii) the telephone number; (iv) the nationality and proofof identify; (v) residential, postal andemail address, if any; (vi) place of work and positionheld; and (vii) the nature of the interestincluding the details of thelegal arrangement inrespect of the beneficialownership.” Mr Speaker, it is a rearrangement of theearlier one.
HonChairman, and so you are saying thatanywhere in the Bill that, “the full nameand any former or alternate name” exists,you want to change it to, “the full nameand any former or other name”?
Mr Speaker that is so. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 2, section 32. (2), paragraph(a), lines 2 and 3, delete “conclusion ofthe agreement with the company tobecome” and insert “becoming”.
Hon BenAbdallah Banda, you are payingattention, right? You are a member of theCommittee?
Mr Speaker, rightlyso. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 2 as variously amended orderedto stand part of the Bill. Clause 3 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 4 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 5 — Section 303 of Act 179amended
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 5, paragraph (bA),subparagraph (i), line 1, delete “present”. Mr Speaker, this is to conform to theearlier amendments carried. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 5 paragraph (bA),subparagraph (v), lines 2 and 3, delete“how the beneficial ownership ismaintained” and insert the following: “the legal arrangement in respect ofthe beneficial ownership”.
Mr Speaker, I beg to movethat, clause 7 head note and openingphrase, delete and insert the following: “Section 331A inserted 7. The principal enactment isamended by the insertion aftersection 331 of a new section331A as follows:” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker,probably if the Hon Chairman couldexplain it, he says we should add section331. The original is, to substitute this forsection 331. And so the original section331 is supposed to be deleted and thisnew one inserted. Mr Speaker, from what he has said, itmeans that we are maintaining the originalsection 331 and adding this to it. Theremust be a reason. Clause 7 reads: “The principal enactment isamended by the substitution forsection 331 of…”
No, youare looking at a different document.Please look at the Bill itself.
Mr Speaker, Iam referring to the Bill. It says: “There is established by this Act aregister to be known as the CentralRegister.” That is the new section 331, theamendment the Hon Chairman hasproposed in respect of which the Questionhas been put anyway is that we shouldadd section 331A in addition to theexisting section 331, and I thought thathe would give us an explanation.
Mr Speaker, the idea isthat in addition to the old register ofowners or shareholders, we are nowcreating a new central register containingthe names of beneficial owners.
HonChairman of the Committee, what HonPapa Owusu-Ankomah is saying is thatthe original register is contained in section331 of the Companies Act 1963, (Act 179).You are now adding a new clause (A) butwhen you read clause 7, it says: “The principal enactment isamended by the substitution forsection 331 of”. So it means that you have completelyremoved the old section 331. That is whathe is saying. So if there is no section 331,then why do you put section 331 (A)? Ifyou are keeping section 311, then you caninsert 331 (A). So I would step down clause 7 whilewe think about it. The whole of clause 7 is stood downfor a reconsideration of the whole of theclause, including the amendment that hasalready been proposed. Clause 8 -- Section 336 of Act 179amended
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 8 delete
I will putthe Question -- Dr A. A. Osei — rose --
HonAkoto Osei, is it Noe?
Mr Speaker, we need toknow why. The Hon Chairman of theCommittee is just deleting it.
Mr Speaker, already, theRegistrar has the powers under the Act tomake Regulations. So this is superfluous. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 9 -- First Schedule of Act 179amended
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 9, definition of “politicallyexposed person” delete and insert thefollowing: “politically exposed person” includes (a) a person who is or has beenentrusted with a prominentpublic function in this country, aforeign country or an internationalorganisation, including (i) Head of state or of government; (ii) senior political, government, judicialor military official; (iii) a person who is or has been anexecutive in a foreign country of astate-owned company; and (b) a person who is or has been asenior political party official in aforeign country and includes anyimmediate family members orclose associates of that person;” Mr Speaker, the idea is to ensure that“politically exposed person” is given aclassification to include the list here andclose associates first. Some Hon Members — rose --
Immediately, five Hon Members are ontheir feet. If I was allowed to debate, Iwould also be on my feet; who is a closeassociate? Anyway, where do I start from? Hon Dr Anane?
Mr Speaker,we must have a clear understanding ofwhat political exposure is before we canlump people into such a group. Now, howcan somebody who holds an executiveposition be it outside the country orwherever be said to be politically exposed,like the Chief Executive or the Head of theGhana Commercial Bank in London? Howdo we say that such a person is politicallyexposed and what is the connotation orwhat do we want to imply by the politicalexposure that we are bringing here? Mr Speaker, therefore, we have to beclear and have a clear definition ofpolitical exposure before we group peopleunder it. I do not think that an executiveof, say, the Ghana Commercial Bank inLondon should be said to be politicallyexposed. But generally, politically
Mr Speaker, if you look atthe Bill in respect of -- It is just a minorthing in terms of Head of State and Headof Government. I want the original in theBill to be maintained where you separateHead of State as one and Head ofGovernment as two and not combinedwhere they are saying Head of State or ofGovernment. No, they normally would be twoseparate individuals. So it should becategorised as such; if it is combined, itstill covers one person. So what is in theBill should be the one we retain. In the Billitself, it includes: “a) head of state b) head of Government” And I do not see why they would wantto save words by confusing Head of Statewith Head of Government.
HonMembers, this is the last clause in the Bill.I do not intend to put the Question. Iintend to hear a few comments and thenstep it down for tomorrow. This is the lastclause so let us listen to people and thenthe Hon Chairman of the Committee cantake it on board and we come and finish ittomorrow. Hon Nana Dr -- Is the name “Nana Dr” or “Dr Nana”?Which is the alternative?
MrSpeaker, it is “Dr Nana”. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, whether “Oti” or “Bless”,it is still “Oti Bless” (Hon). [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, actually, it is “Dr Nana AtoArthur”. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, “Dr” is nota name. It is a title and so the Hon Membercannot say that his name is “Dr”.[Laughter.]
So whatis his name?
His name is “Nana AtoArthur”.
But“Nana” is another title?
Yes, so that one too cango.
So it is“Ato Arthur”.
Yes, “Ato Arthur”.
Why doyou want to reduce him to nothing?[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I am Nana AtoArthur.
But I waslistening to you on Friday debatingsomebody's name. Continue.
Mr Speaker, it is thearrangement. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, weare trying to define “politically exposedperson” but I believe that the definitionitself needs further defining. “Prominentpublic function” -- what do we mean by that? I am not too clear about that and sothe definition itself calls for furtherdefinition.
The HonMember for Abetifi has held a seniorpolitical position before. Hon Member, you were a specialassistant. We are defining “politicallyexposed person” to include a seniorpolitical official. Who in your view is asenior political official?
Mr Speaker,thank you for the opportunity. I need to do some further checks onthis on this and get back.
So, whenyou were a special assistant, were you --[Laughter.] Yes, Hon Afenyo-Markin, are you hislawyer?
No, Mr Speaker.
All right,Hon Anane?
Mr Speaker, I tried to see ifI could get a definition to help us. From my little search right now, I thinkthe definition that can be used toaccommodate what has been proposed bythe Hon Chairman of the Committee isthat a ‘politically exposed person' is anindividual who is or has been entrustedwith the prominent function. Manypolitically exposed persons hold positionsthat that can be abused for the purposeof laundering illicit funds or other predicate offences such as corruption orbribery. If this is used, this may accommodatewhat the Hon Chairman of the Committeemay have been proposing. But we stillneed to continue the talks on these --
Spendtime to find it. Yes, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah?
Mr Speaker,the amendment proposed by the HonChairman of the Committee hasintroduced certain elements which werenot within the purview or contemplationof the proponents or sponsors of the Bill. Mr Speaker, now, the amendment isintroducing heads of internationalorganisations and foreign countries.However, if you look at the definition, itwas restricted to local people alone. So,there must have been a reason, and the“politically exposed person” is sonebulous that to define it with a certaindegree of precision is important. This isbecause, even in the original Bill, we havepoliticians. Who is a politician? A polling stationchairman or executive is a politician.[Interruption.] No, I am saying that in theoriginal Bill -- That is why I believe thatthe Attorney-General and Minister forJustice would have been helpful. I am sure this definition was not takenout of the blue. It must have been basedon an existing document that is aninternationally-acceptable one. So, if wecould have that, it may help.The HonMember for Nhyiaeso has attempted togive a definition, but, in the absence ofthe original Bill, the rationale would bedifficult for us to appreciate.
Who is aclose associate? How close should theassociate be to be a close associate? Hon Banda? Mr Amoatey -- rose --
HonChairman of the Committee, note all thesethings down. You would speak last, then,I would stand it down. Yes, Hon Banda?
Mr Speaker, I believe thatbefore we came to this definition, we did alot of deliberations and consultations. I believe that the Anti-MoneyLaundering Act went through thisParliament. This is the kind of definitionthat was given to ‘politically exposedpersons'. So, we just lifted the definitionfor ‘politically exposed persons' in theAnti-Money Laundering Act and put it inthis Bill. So, I do not actually see the problemwith respect to the definition of who‘politically exposed person' is. All that itis trying to say is that, to the extent thatone holds a public function or a publicresponsibility entrusted to one, he is a‘politically exposed person'. It goes togive a list of people who are referred toas, ‘politically exposed persons'. Mr Speaker, Head of state or ofgovernment; a senior political, govern-ment, judicial or military official; there isnothing nebulous about these. A personwho is or has been an executive in aforeign country of a state-ownedcompany. Somebody in Ghana has beenposted to man that company. That person,by this definition, is a ‘politically exposedperson'. So, Mr Speaker, to the extent that theAnti-Money Laundering Act passedthrough this Parliament and this is the kindof definition that was given to ‘politicallyexposed persons', we should maintain thisone.
HonAkoto Osei, and then, Hon Chairman ofthe Committee. Then, I defer it to move tosomething else.
Mr Speaker, I usually donot want to disagree with my Hon ColleagueRanking Members in Committees, but if hisreasoning is that because it is defined inthe Anti-Money Laundering Act weshould accept it, then I disagree. Assuming that we made a mistake inthere, should we repeat it? I think the firstdifficulty that is in here is the issue of“prominent public function”. Now, I do not know if the Anti-MoneyLaundering Act defines that. Hon Dr Anane tried to tell us what thatmeans. That one is susceptible to beingbribed. If we can define, “prominent publicfunction”, then, I do not have anydifficulty. But as it is, I have a difficultyand I do not know what makes itprominent. The prominence is not because of mytitle. A Chief Executive of any company isexposed because he is susceptible tobeing corrupted. So, we should then haveit defined somewhere so we know that thatis the reason we are calling it prominentbut not because it is under the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Mr Speaker, there is another thingwhich has been left out and I would likethe Hon Chairman of the Committee toexplain. An “artificially politically exposedperson” has been deleted. I would like toknow the reason. Finally, Mr Speaker, if the sponsors ofthe Bill cannot find the need to be here, Ithink we should stop and stand it down.When they are ready, they can come back.Neither the Attorney-General and Ministerfor Justice or her Deputy is here, and asyou said, this is a very important Bill.
Mr Speaker, Ihave checked on Wikipedia and thedefinition is quite complex.
“While there is no global definitionof a PEP, most countries have basedtheir definition on the 2003 FinancialAction Task Force on MoneyLaundering (FATF) standard, as forexample the Swiss financial marketregulator in 2011, which quoted it as“the international standard” or theAustralian government in 2015.” We also have foreign and domesticpolitically exposed persons. I am sure thedefinition is to try to conform to aninternationally-acceptable one. But it isunfortunate that the sponsors are nothere. They could help us. So, Mr Speaker, if it could be stooddown, I am sure it would be helpful.
So, HonChairman of the Committee, if your childor the child of anybody else here is of ageand would want to establish a company,that person by virtue of the fact that hisfather or mother is an Hon Member ofParliament falls within the definition of“close associates” and therefore, mustundergo disclosure.
Yes, Mr Speaker. This isbecause of the nature of the investmentand the idea of this Bill is to ensure that we combat money laundering, corruptionand terrorist activities. A lot of politically-exposed persons -- Mr Speaker, if I may just cite the recentrevelation from the Panama Papers, a lotof names appeared in that. That is thetarget. It is to ensure that wherever one isin this, we are able to identify them andbring out or check these anti-moneylaundering activities. Mr Speaker, it is true. As the HonMember for Sekondi said, we do not havea universally-accepted definition of“politically-exposed persons”. But eachcountry adopts a suitable one. MrSpeaker, the definition we put here isrightly in the Anti-Money Laundering Act,and this is the guideline that the Bank ofGhana has adopted. They lifted it from theFATF. Mr Speaker, for now, that is theguideline adopted.
Can yousay the acronym in full please?
Mr Speaker, it is theFinancial Action Task Force (FATF).
Thankyou. Hon Chairman, on that note, we havereached clause 10, which is the last clauseof the Bill, in record time. We have deferred clause 7, and we shallstand down clause 10 as well for you toconsult with your Hon Colleagues. Weshall complete it tomorrow.
Mr Speaker, thank you.
HonMembers, this brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage of the Companies(Amendment) Bill, 2016. Hon Agbesi?
HonMembers, the Bank of Ghana (Amendment)Bill, 2016 at the Consideration Stage. Bank of Ghana (Amendment)Bill, 2016 Clause 1 -- Section 3 of Act 612amended
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 1, subsection (2), paragraph(b), line 1, after “growth” insert “anddevelopment”
“(2) Without limiting subsection (1), theBank shall (b) promote economic growth anddevelopment and effectiveand efficient operation of thebanking and credit system…” Mr Speaker, we are adding “development”to “growth” so that the Bank would beworking towards --
HonChairman, please, your explanations aretoo long. Everybody agrees to what yousaid. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 1 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 2 -- Section 3A inserted
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 2, head note, delete “3A” and insert“2A”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 2 -- opening phrase, delete “3”and insert “2” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 2, section 3A, delete “3A” andinsert “2A”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, all these amendments are re-numbering. In fact, they did not need tocome here. It could have been done bythe draftspersons. Clause 2 as variously amended orderedto stand part of the Bill. Clause 3 -- Section 4 of Act 612amended
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 3 -- paragraph (a), delete Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 3, paragraph (b), delete and insertthe following: “(b) by the insertion of a newsubsection (1A), (1A) except asprovided in the Constitution, theBank of Ghana in the performanceof its functions under this Act,shall not be subject to the direction or control of anyperson or authority.” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 3 as variously amended orderedto stand part of the Bill. Clause 4 -- Section 7 of Act 612amended
HonChairman, then you tell us why you aredeleting it.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 4 delete. Mr Speaker, the Committee isproposing the deletion of clause 4, whichtalks about revaluation account. We think that the provision as capturedin section 7 of Act 612 is adequate. Theproposed amendment in the Bill istherefore not accepted by the Committee. So, we would go back and maintainsection 7 in the principal enactment; weare completely deleting the proposedamendment. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 4 is accordingly deleted byleave of the House. Clause 5 -- Section 8 of Act 612amended
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5 -- section 8, paragraph (d), line2, after “Accountant” insert “with relevantexperience”. Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldread --
No, donot read it. This is because you want an“Accountant with relevant experience”.
Mr Speaker, whatis “relevant experience”?”A charteredaccountant without a relevant…” Whatis “relevant experience”? Most charteredaccountants have experience. So, what isthe “relevant experience” he is talkingabout?
Mr Speaker, if we lookat clause 7 of the Bill, we would find outthat there are set out qualifications for amember of the Board. So, that insertion is unnecessary.
HonChairman, are you paying attention? Hon W. O. Boafo, can you say it again?
Mr Speaker, I amreferring to clause 7 of the Bill, where theyhave provided qualification for becominga member of the Board. Mr Speaker, if you read that carefully,it becomes unnecessary for us to makethis insertion of ‘relevant experience'.
HonChairman, do you appreciate what theHon Member said? In clause 7, it says: “aperson has extensive knowledge andexperience…” So what is the point of alsoputting “relevant experience” here?
Mr Speaker, there is adifference. In section 7 that the HonMember talks about, there is no referenceto accountancy. It talks about;“…extensive knowledge and experienceas regards monetary, banking, financialand economic matters…” Mr Speaker, it omits accountancy andit is different. One cannot be experiencedin all these and not be an accountant.When we come to section 9 of the Act, wehave nine other directors, including thechartered accountant with relevantexperience. Mr Speaker, being a charteredaccountant might not have given someonethe relevant experience. So, maybe, wehave to say 10 years' experience inpractice, but just being a charteredaccountant does not necessarily give youthe experience.
HonChairman, you have heard the comments,what is your response?
Mr Speaker, the clause 7 ofthe Bill is giving us a general qualificationfor people who can be members of theBoard but clause 5 of the Bill which we areamending, is making a specific provisionfor an accountant with relevant experiencein the field that will suit the membershipof the Board. Mr Speaker, so, if we read the twotogether that you are providing achartered accountant with experience, andthat relevant experience reading the clause7 of the Bill, it is the experience that isexperience in monetary, banking andfinancial matters. So, I think that we shouldgo by the amendment proposed by theCommittee.
Mr Speaker, “relevantexperience” is nothing. Relevantexperience in what? He has not saidanything at all.
Mr Speaker, for the relevantexperience in this case, we have to readthe clause 7 of the Bill that will be in thearea of monetary, banking and financialmatters. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, from what he is saying, ifwe are going to use clause 7 of the Bill asthe qualification and we have defined therelevancy in there, then the charteredaccountant should have that. So, we donot need to add ‘relevant experience' inclause 5 of the Bill. Mr Speaker, we cannot have it bothways. We cannot say that ‘relevantexperience' is monetary, banking andfinancial and then here, we put ‘relevantexperience'. What does he mean by‘relevant experience'?
Mr Speaker, the intentionis to make sure that the charteredaccountant who would be nominated byhis Excellency the President would havethe “relevant experience” in eithermonetary policy, banking or finance.
Mr Speaker, I said that ifwe have it under clause 7, then we do notneed to have it under -- What he justsaid supports what I am saying. So, wedo need to have relevant experience' underclause 5 of the Bill again.
HonMinister, but what you just said is inclause 7, it covers all the Hon Members ofthe Board.
Mr Speaker, I felt thatyou were going to say that --
HonChairman, drop it and let us move on.
Mr Speaker, I thoughtthey were going to say ‘relevantexperience' in accounting but if that is notwhat they want, then we do not need itthere.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 6, section 10, subsection (3), line 2,delete “Governor” and insert “Governors”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 6, add the following newsubsection 10, subsection: “(7) The members, other than theGovernor and the two DeputyGovernors shall be paidappropriate allowances to bedetermined by the Board inconsultation with the Minister.” Mr Speaker, the new clause says; “The members other than theGovernor or the Deputy shall be paidappropriate allowances determinedby the Board”.
Mr Speaker, I want theHon Chairman to explain to me why thisBoard is determining its own allowances.Yes, even though it is in consultation, it isthe Board that is determining it and theywould hold the Hon Minister to ransomas members of the Board. If we have the Bank of Ghana Board,determining their own allowances andgoing to the Hon Minister, which HonMinister will say -- I think even HonMembers of Parliament do not determinetheir allowances and Ghana's Constitu-tion has made it clear that nobody sits inhis own case. Mr Speaker, so even the President doesnot determine his salary, it is the HonMEmbers of Parliament who determine forthe Executive. When it comes to theExecutive, it is Hon Members of Parliamentand vice versa. Why is it so here?
HonChairman, based on the Hon DeputyMinister's submission, what do we do?We are in your hands.
Mr Speaker, the proposedamendment for clause 5 of the Bill isaccordingly abandoned. Mr Boafo -- rose --
Hon W.O. Boafo?
Mr Speaker, this is in respectof arrangements under clause 5. At thetail end of the clause, we find theexpression “appointees of the President”but it appears that in the form that it ispresented, it relates more to the nineappointments rather than the precedingappointment. Mr Speaker, if it concerns all of them,then the draftsperson should beadvised --
Thedraftsperson is advised accordingly. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 6 -- Section 10 of Act 216amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 6, section 10, subsection (1), line 2,delete “Governor” and insert “Governors”
Mr Speaker, the DeputyGovernors are two so, we are deleting inline (2) “Deputy Governor”; it should be“Deputy Governors.”
I believethe next amendment is the same. Mr Speaker, I would have preferred theHon Minister determining the allowancesfor the Board members and not the Boardin consultation with the Hon Minister. So,I will plead that every Board that we haveset up, it is the Hon Minister of Financealone that determines the allowances ofthe Board. Every Board that we have setup here what makes that -- Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
Do youhave a point of order?
Mr Speaker, the amendmentsays: “The members other than theGovernor and the two DeputyGovernors shall be paid appropriateallowances to be determined by theBoard --”
You havemade that point.
So, they have to explain,the ‘consultation' does not meananything.
Mr Speaker, we said itshould be done in consultation with theHon Minister even though the banks areoperationally independent. The Bank ofGhana (BoG) is independent and theyshould have determined their allowancesbut we say that it should be done inconsultation with the Hon Minister.
What isthe Judiciary is independence?
Mr Speaker, well, I do notknow that of the Judiciary but I know thatthe BoG is independent --
Mr Speaker, as the HonChairman said, in the Constitution, the BoGis treated uniquely and that is the onlyplace where we have an ExecutiveChairman. It is a unique institution andsome operational autonomy is neededthere. That is the international practice. Mr Speaker, what I do not understandis why the Governors do not getallowances. I do not know why we should excludethem. They are there as part of the Board.Their allowance as Board members isdifferent from the Governor's emolumentsas a Governor. So, I do not know why --Ithink Central Banks have this -- Mr Speaker, the Ghana NationalPetroleum Corporation (GNPC) determinesits own allowances -- [Interruption] --But the Bank of Ghana is independent. Itis the only place where we allow theGovernor to be an Executive Chairman.
Mr Speaker, thank you verymuch. I believe the issue is aboutconsultation, but more importantly, theBank of Ghana is not to be influenced byany authority or body. So, they are todetermine their allowances. Mr Speaker,you would also know that the Ministry ofFinance has categorized all publiccorporations, boards and others intocategories. If you belong to “A” class then yourallowances are different from the “B”-Class or “C”-Class. Therefore, I think theconsultation is not even necessary. Theycould determine it by themselves becausewe are not to direct them.
Mr Speaker, ifyou read clause 3 which talks about thefunctions of the Bank of Ghana, it saysthe Bank of Ghana, in the performance ofits functions -- The determination ofallowances is not a function of the Bankof Ghana. Do they want to determine theirown salaries? Mr Speaker, I think that wecould leave it to the Hon Minister forFinance to determine.
Thankyou. Hon Dr Prempeh?
Mr Speaker, the Judiciaryis more independent under ourConstitution than the Bank of Ghana. TheCommission on Human Rights andAdministrative Justice (CHRAJ) isautonomous -- Mr Speaker, they havelifted that rendition. That operationalindependence is in the 1992 Constitution.The 1992 Constitution gives it to theJudiciary, CHRAJ, Electoral Commissionand National Media Commission. TheSupreme Court of Ghana has ruled thatthey do not determine -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, we aretalking about financial autonomy and notoperational autonomy. The two arecompletely different. The Judiciary doesnot have financial autonomy -- it doesnot. So, let us be careful. I am talking aboutfinancial autonomy. Mr Speaker, thereality is that the Bank of Ghana determinesits own budget which is neither approvedby us nor the President. That is whatpertains now. We have just looked atclause 3 which says that: “Except as provided in theConstitution, the Bank of Ghana inthe performance of its functionsunder this Act, shall not be subjectto direction or control of any personor authority.”
Mr Speaker, wejust looked at clause 3, and with yourpermission I beg to quote: “Except as provided in theConstitution, the Bank of Ghana inthe performance of its functionsunder this Act, shall not be subjectto direction or control of any personor authority.” Mr Speaker, let us ask this question;who approves the budget of the Bank ofGhana? They set their own budget andthey are not subject to approval byanybody. In this case, the three Governorsare exempt from taking the allowances. So,they would set up, and together with theBoard, determine the allowance. It goesto the Hon Minister -- That is how itfunctions. You cannot subject them to thecontrol of anyone. So, as couched here, Ithink --
HonMember, I think you worked with the Bankof Ghana previously. Were you with theBank of Ghana? Were you a DeputyGovernor?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, in practice, what happensis that the Board's sub-committee onemoluments and remuneration sits anddecides the remuneration for Boardmembers including the Governor and histwo deputies. Mr Speaker, these aresubject to the approval of the HonMinister for Finance. So the Board's sub-committee works,generates a paper, brings it to the Boardfor approval and the Governor would thenforward it to the Hon Minister for Financeto approve of them. Mr Speaker, that iswhat is normally done in practice.
Mr Speaker, I have acontrary instruction, that we shouldcontinue with the consideration of theBank of Ghana (Amendment) Bill. Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Yes, HonMember, do you have --
Mr Speaker, myconcluding point was that, the Bank ofGhana is not a separate entity in Ghana. Itbelongs squarely in the 1992 Constitutionof the Republic of Ghana. We have someproposed amendments, that the HonMinister is going to direct the Bank onwhat to do. We would support that whenwe get there. So, that determination ofallowances --
I havestood it down.
All right. I did not hearthat part.
Yes. Ihave even taken clause 7. Clauses 8 - 10 ordered to stand part ofthe Bill. Clause 11 -- Section 14 of Act 612amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to moveclause 11 section 14, subsection (3), line1, delete “six” and insert “seven”. Mr Speaker, the new quorum for theBoard should be seven instead of six. Question put and amendment agreedto. That is what is best practice.Let us notcreate the impression that we are doingsomething new. That is the reality.
Mr Speaker, I still do notaccept their rendition of the Constitution.Mr Speaker, the independence of the Bankof Ghana in its operations has got nothingto do with the determination of salaries.Even private companies abroad, theallowances for Board Members are notdetermined by that board. Even theinternational banks, allowances for theirBoards are determined by specialremuneration committees.
Thenumeration committee is part of the Board.
Mr Speaker, but in thiscase --
All right.Hon Members, thank you very much. We would stand it down. Clause 7 -- Section 11 of Act 612amended. Clause 7 ordered to stand part of theBill. Mr Agbesi -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I think that wehave had enough of the Bank of Ghana(Amendment) Bill, 2016. If we could takeanother Bill for consideration --[Interruption] -- That is the instructionI had.
Thankyou very much, Hon Agbesi. Clause 11 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 12 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 13 -Sections 20A and 20Binserted.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 13 -- section 20B, subsection (5),line 1, delete “shall” and insert “may”
Mr Speaker, section 20talks about removal of Deputy Governorsand that a panel investigates any matterand makes recommendations to thePresident. The subsection (5) says,“shall”; and we propose that the Presidentcannot be bound by the recommendationsof the panel. Therefore, “shall” should bechanged to “may”. If the panel submits theirrecommendation, the President may act onthe recommendations and remove theDeputy Governor,but he should not bebound by the recommendations of thatpanel. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, clause 13 (2)provides that the President wouldconstitute a panel to investigateallegations based on subsection 1(a). Iwonder what happened to allegationsbased on subsection 1 (b). I need anexplanation from the Hon Chairman.
Mr Speaker, subsection 1(b)is about inability to perform the functionsof the office arising from infirmity of mind or body. That does not need anyinvestigation. It is only when there is astated misbehaviour or incompetence thatthe panel could investigate, but infirmityof mind or body does not need anyinvestigation.
Hon W.O. Boafo?
Mr Speaker, is there no needfor even a medical Board to certify thatthe person is actually incapacitated?
I wouldstep it down. Look at the constitutionalprovision as in the removal of judges andso on. Who determines that a person ismedically unfit? The law must provide forthe procedure. Hon Chairman, who determines that?Then the President could decide to declaresomebody whom he dislikes as medicallyunfit and sack the person.
Mr Speaker, definitely, itwould be done by a medical board, butshould it take the President to set up apanel?
Thoseare the things you must think about, letus look at the provisions relating to theJudiciary. Yes, Hon Prempeh?
Mr Speaker, even themore dangerous one is the infirmity of thebody. That of the mind is so simple. Butwhat about infirmity of the body?Weshould begin to think that different partsof the body could be infirmed; why couldthe President not act on that in taking -- Infirmity of the body, think about it.With what he is wearing -- All right, Iwould not continue. He should be careful.[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, that infirmitywould result in a person's inability toperform the functions of his office.
I wouldadvise that, you think through it a bit. Thisis because, for instance, when it comes toremoval of judges, article 146 sets out theprocedure. It says, and with yourpermission I quote: “A Justice of the Superior Court ora Chairman of the Regional Tribunalmay only be removed in accordancewith the procedure specified in thisarticle”. So, one of the most important thingswhen it comes to the security of tenure isthat a person sets out the details in theLaw, the procedure by which the personcould be removed, whether it is by amedical board or a committee; and thecommittee must report. Set it out nicely; I know you and yourCommittee are very capable. You woulddo it in less than a minute. I stand clause13 down. [Clause 13 accordingly deferred.] Clause 14 -- Section 22 of Act 612amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 14 -- section 22, subsection (3),paragraph (a), delete. Mr Speaker, this provision makes itrestrictive for only employees of the Bankto be appointed as Chief Internal Auditors.The Committee is of the view that the bankis not opening the opportunity foroutsiders who are equally qualified to jointhe Bank. So we are deleting the paragraph (a).There would be a new provision whichwould take care of anybody who is not anemployee of the Bank to be employed first and then appointed the Chief InternalAuditor of the Bank. Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I hope youwould stand this one down and let us lookthrough it again. This is because it is thepractice of accountancy; some auditorspractise auditing and some also practisenormal tax accountancy. When one sayshe is”a chartered accountant”, he mightnot even have the relevant experience inauditing. The person might be a charteredaccountant but he might not have therelevant practice in auditing. Did the HonMember say a person who has a ten-yearexperience as a chartered accountantcould necessarily not be into -- ? I hope he would think through it andlet us get the best person. Leaving it likethat would open it to everybody. In myopinion, however, if they appoint a chiefinternal auditor, the relevant experiencehe is talking about should be auditing.
Mr Speaker, as ChiefInternal Auditor, automatically, therelevant experience should be in auditing.We would not want anybody who is not achartered accountant.
Yes, Iwould want to put the Question. Hon Darko-Mensah?
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that the argument my HonColleague made is very germane.
Which ofthe Hon Colleagues?
The Hon MatthewOpoku Prempeh, the Member forParliament (MP) for Manhyia South.
Mr Speaker, theargument he has made is very germane.When we appoint a person as chief internalauditor for the Bank of Ghana, we expecta certain experience in auditing. Therefore,apart from the fact that the person is achartered accountant, we expect him tohave that experience. That is all that hesaid. I believe as part of the experience,we should be clear in our mind, in writingand in law that the person should have,maybe, five or ten years' experience inauditing, which is very keen. Chartered accounting is general, butwe know auditing is a speciality. Wecannot have a general surgeon performingheart surgery. He has to be a specialist inthat area. So if a person is looking forsomebody to cure people of heartdiseases, he does not just go for a generalsurgeon. We have to put it in the law sothat we are clear in our minds on what weare looking for.
HonMembers, there is a certain practicedeveloping in this House which I finddisturbing, that is, when one Hon Memberis speaking, then other Hon Members rise. You rise only when you have a Pointof Order, a point of clarification, orsomething like that to interrupt what theperson is saying. However, if you justwant to speak in response to him, you wait.When he finishes, then you rise. When five Hon Members rise, I wouldrecognise the one who catches my eye.From now onwards, if you rise when an You have to wait when the HonColleague finishes speaking then yourise, because we cannot have sevenpeople on their feet at the same time. It isnot a good parliamentary practice. So nowthat he has finished speaking, those whowould like to speak must rise. Hon Chairman?
Mr Speaker, if we want tolay emphasis on experience in auditing,then we have to further say “auditing inbanking”, because a person might haveexperience in auditing in a different sectoror in industry. If a person has experiencein the mining industry, it would bedifferent from a person with experience inthe banking industry.So the emphasishere is that, we are going to look forsomebody who has experience in auditingin the sector we will focus on, but thatperson must be a chartered accountant. So let us leave it that way; if we wantto talk about experience in auditing, thenwe have to go further and say “experiencein auditing in the banking industry, or theCentral Bank”.
Mr Speaker, theargument he is making is good for us.If heis talking about auditing, then it shouldbe auditing in banking. I believe thatchartered accountancy is far away fromauditing in banking than general auditing.Therefore general auditing would becloser to an auditor in the bankingindustry than just a chartered accountant. I believe that for the Central Bank, theemphasis should be on experience; andthat experience should be in auditing,whether general or specific. “23 (1) The Board shall appoint suchother officers and employees asthe Board considers necessaryfor the effective implementationof the functions of the Bank. (2) Subject to this Act, the officersand employees of the Bank shallhold office or appointment on theterms and conditions specifiedin their letters of appointment. (3) The salaries, benefits, wages orother remuneration or allowancespaid by the Bank shall not becomputed by reference to the netor other profits of the Bank”. So this is what we have in the principalenactment, and subject to theseprovisions, the internal auditor shall alsobe appointed by the Board.
Mr Speaker, I have an issuenot in relation to Hon W.O.Boafo's issue.I have an issue in relation to clause 22 (3)(c), which talks about “is not bankrupt”. Ithought that the standard provision is“not certified or declared to be bankrupt”. I also have a problem with the way thesubsequent provision has been crafted,because if it says “is not indebted andhas not failed to make arrangements forthe payment of a debt owed to thatperson”, if we say he is not indebted, heis not indebted to whom? To me, with all due respect, thatprovision is not clear. To the best of myknowledge, a lot of people owe. Does itmean that if you owe somebody, you aredisqualified from holding this position?What is the meaning of indebtedness? Isit being indebted to somebody or beingindebted to whom? That provision is not clear, if we couldcraft it in a way that is better understoodand clearer.
He said“My Lord” again. [Laughter.] The HonMember spends too much time in court.Hon Member, do you have permission topractise?
Mr Speaker, I havepermission from you to practise. Mr Speaker, between “is” and “not”, Iwould like to insert “declared”; “is notdeclared bankrupt”. I believe that is abetter rendition.
HonChairman, let us take your amendmentfirst. What is your proposed amendment?
Mr Speaker, my proposedamendment is to delete paragraph (a). Wehad not taken that, but then HonMembers started bringing new amend-ments. So, we are deleting paragraph (a).
Which isadvertised as roman numeral what?
Which is advertised asroman numeral xiv. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMember, we would take your amendmentlast. Hon Chairman?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 14, section 22, subsection (9),paragraph (c), line 2, delete “otherwisethan at the member's own request”.
Mr Speaker, I do notbelieve it would be relevant or necessaryif we were to legislate that we would needa person with “x” experience in auditing. Mr Speaker, I say this because theseare things that normally come out at theinterview. Considering the arguments thatmy Hon Colleagues have advanced, Iwould have accepted them if we wererecruiting an external auditor for instance. Mr Speaker, at that point we wouldhave argued that we need a charteredaccountant with a practising certificate or“x” experience. I do not think it isnecessary. I believe the words “charteredaccountant” is relevant; ten years post-qualification experience is good enough.Others would be determined at theinterview.
Thankyou. We live in a democracy, I have to putthe Question.
Mr Speaker, I wouldlike to refer to Clause 14. It deals withsection 22 (2) which is on the appointmentof the Chief Internal Auditor by the Boardof Directors in accordance with section23. The question is whether it is inaccordance with article 195 of theConstitution. This is because under article 195 thePresident is required to appoint personsto all public offices, and this is one of suchoffices.
HonChairman, what do you say to that?
Mr Speaker, section 23 talksabout other officers and employees of thebank. If you would permit me, I would readthe following, with your kind permission:
HonMembers, what is happening is that, weare moving from one proposed amendmentto another proposed amendment. I wouldstand it down. Rather than take all the proposedamendments to clause 14 one after theother, I would stand it down and go toclause 15. Let us finish the Bill. We havestood down only two clauses. We wouldcome back to them, very quickly.
Mr Speaker, I have notheard any other amendments except theone proposed by the Hon Chairman. Ihave heard discussions.
Hon W.O. Boafo --
He did not propose;heasked a question in relation to theConstitution. That is not a proposal.
HonBanda, are you proposing an amendment?
Respectfully, I would liketo propose that, with respect to (c), it isnot bankrupt. I believe it should be “hasnot been declared bankrupt”. If we say“…is not bankrupt”, that provision is notclear.
WhatHon Akoto Osei is saying is that, adiscussion is not a proposed amendment.
I am proposing anamendment. My Lord, what I am proposingis that --
On a Point of Order. MrSpeaker, he said “My Lord”. Who is the“Lord” here?
Mr Speaker, I am sorry. My Lord, I would like to insert --
HonChairman, are you noting these issuesdown? You will respond to them.
If we use the word “the”,it means that there is only one authoritythat can declare somebody. Why do wenot mention the name of that authoritythen?
If you are a member of theInstitute of Chartered Accountants, thatis the authority. That is the body that willdeclare you as somebody who ceases tobe a member of the body. If you belong tothe Chartered Institute of --
Stop there; it means thatthere is no single authority that declaressomebody qualified. So we can say “arelevant” because there are several ofthem.
That was why we used“relevant”.
Basically,what the Hon Member said -- The grammar is wrong. It is not aboutsubstance; it is about grammar. Theconstruction of the sentence gives theimpression that there is only one authority.You have made it clear that there is morethan one authority. Let the draftspersonsdecide whether it should be “the” or “a”.
Mr Speaker, on thissame matter, it also reflects on subclause(c); “ceases to be a member of aprofessional body”.
My proposal is, after “not”,insert “declared” so that it would read,“is not declared bankrupt”.
Is yoursecond problem on the same line?
It is on the same line, MrSpeaker.
Thentake that as well.
My second problem has todo with the clarification as to how thesubsequent provision has been crafted.If we say “indebted”, Mr Speaker, it is notclear as to whom that person is indebtedto. Is he indebted to the bank or anindividual? Mr Speaker, if the Hon Chairman canbetter clarify that provision, because it istoo vague. If you say “indebted”, nothinghas been said. It has to be clarified so thatit can be understood better.
Mr Speaker, I do not have aproblem with the first portion of thisamendment. If he says that we shouldinsert “not” after “is”, I am all right withthat; “is not declared bankrupt”. It doesnot change anything. The second leg of his amendment aboutthe indebtedness here, we cannotdifferentiate between whether one isindebted to a bank, an individual or thecompany. One is indebted and as anemployee who wants to hold the positionof Chief Internal Auditor, one has todisclose all those things. If you are indebted and you disclosethat you have made these arrangementsto satisfy the indebtedness, by saying “Iam indebted, but this is the arrangementto pay the money”, you qualify. Once youare indebted, whether to an individual, a Mr Speaker, that actually refers to theperson qualified to be appointed. It says; “A person ceases to be a Chiefinternal Auditor if that person (a) ceases to be an employee ofthe Bank; (b) is disqualified from practiceas a Chartered Accountant byan order of the relevantcompetent authority; (c) ceases to be a member of theprofessional body. The addition of “otherwise than at themember's own request” does not apply inthis case. Once you cease to be a memberof a professional body, you lose yourposition as Chief Internal Auditor of theBank. So we are deleting those words after“body”.
Mr Speaker, I would wantthe Hon Chairman to answer thisquestion: If the person is a member of aprofessional body but does not maintainhis membership and he has not left theorganisation, but for maybe four or fiveyears, he is not in good standing, does helose his position?
Beforethe Hon Chairman answers, HonQuaittoo.
Mr Speaker,I have a problem with what the HonChairman just read, that is; subsection (b),which states: “is disqualified from practice as achartered accountant by an orderof the relevant competentauthority”. Mr Speaker, with respect, it is not clear.What is professional body”? It will bebetter if it is rather “ceases to be a memberof the professional body” so that therewould be relevance to that particular --
I do notintend to litigate this further. Let us referit to the draftsperson. He will take note ofall our comments. I direct that thedraftsperson takes into account ourcomments and draft accordingly. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 14 section 22, add the followingnew subsection: “(4) The Chief Internal Auditor shallbe an employee of the Bank.”
This isnot controversial. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonBanda, your proposed amendment?
Mr Speaker, my proposedamendment is in relation to subclause (c).After “not” I would want to propose thatthere should be insertion of the word“declared” so that it would read, “is notdeclared bankrupt”. Immediately after“not”, there should be “declared”. So itwill read “is not declared bankrupt”. Mr Speaker, quite apart from that, I alsohave an issue.
What isyour proposal?
Mr Speaker, inview of the foregoing, I propose that, theauditor should declare his or herindebtedness as part of the qualificationfor the appointment of staying in thatoffice. So considering where he is comingfrom, everybody would be clear. Otherwise, even if the person isindebted to his family for not payingfuneral dues, somebody might use itagainst him that he owes his family; hehas not paid the funeral dues andtherefore he should be disqualified. Ibelieve that the declaration ofindebtedness by the Internal Auditorshould be considered as part of theprocess for this particular section.
Mr Speaker, theindebtedness is not so much a problembut the failure to make arrangements forthe payment of the debt. So if you owefamily dues and you have madearrangements -- [Laughter.] Once you have made arrangements topay, then the making of arrangements forthe payment of the debt is by itself asignal that you have accepted that youowe. So by making arrangements to paythe debt, that is fine. Otherwise, if youstretch this, then there could be lots ofdebts all over.
Let meput the Question on the first proposedamendment. Otherwise, if we are notcareful we will all get confused. So, HonBanda restate your first amendmentplease.
Mr Speaker, my proposedamendment is, after “not” insert“declared”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Is thereany proposed amendment to clause 14?
Mr Speaker, I proposethat, clause 14 or sections 22 and 23 ofthe parent Act 612 be subject to article195 of the Constitution. Mr Speaker, the appointments of theGovernor and the Deputy Governors aresubject to this Constitution. The Presidentis to appoint nine members of the Boardand article 195 of the 1992 Constitution isclear with regard to Councils and Boardsand other employees.That is why Hon W.O. Boafo asked that the question,it isgermane. We have to subject theappointment of all other members to article195 as it so deserves.
Mr Speaker, I oppose thisamendment. I say this because, we aredealing with an appointment for a ChiefInternal Auditor. Mr Speaker, what theHon Member for Manhyia South hasproposed relates to appointment of publicofficers who are very much regulated bythe Public Services Commission. This appointment does not go throughthe Public Services Commission. It is doneby the Bank of Ghana and cannot berouted through the Public ServicesCommission.
Article 195 talks aboutpublic services, councils, boards andhigher -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, if the Governor himself orherself is appointed subject to theConstitution, then it means the you read, if the Hon Colleague would careto read, when you go to (b), (c), (d), (2)and (3), there are other services or otherconstituent parts that are not part of theones listed. I think the Bank of Ghana isfound in “and those set up not ascommercial ventures”[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, it is as the Act mayprescribe. So even the Act subjects thoseappointments; and other seniorappointments to the Presidency as it isallowed in the Constitution.
Thosewho want to amend it further, please letus take it at a Second Consideration stage. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 15 -- Section 27 of Act 612amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 15 section 27, subsection (3),paragraph (c), line 2, delete “research oreconomics” and insert “economicresearch” Mr Speaker, the department that isbeing referred to would be responsible foreconomic research. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 15 section 27, subsection (3),paragraph (e), line 3, delete “nominatedby the Bank and appointed by theMinister” and insert “appointed by theBoard”. Mr Speaker, the Monetary PolicyCommittee is appointed by the Board;it isnot nominated by the Board. Question put and amendment agreedto. appointment of all officers of the Bankshould be subject to the Constitution.
Mr Speaker, what he istrying to say is not exactly correct. Here,it talks about the public services. The Bankof Ghana, as defined by the Constitution,is not part of the public services. So it isnot the council that we are talking about. The Public services are under article195 and in the Constitution, the Bank ofGhana is not part of the public services --[Interruptions] It is not part of the public service atleast as defined in the Constitution.[Interruption.] Does my Hon Colleaguewant me to define “public services” forhim? He should check that article. Mr Speaker, if he insists, I will find ithere.
It isarticle 190 (1).
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, it says; “The Public Services of Ghana shallinclude…”Then it goes on to list theinstitutions. He should please referto the 1992 Constitution.
HonMembers, let us put the Question onclause 14 as variously amended.Ifsomebody wants any further amendmentswe can hold the Second Considerationstage.
Mr Speaker, I ampleading with you, the article 190 (1) that
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 15 section 27, subsection (5),delete. Mr Speaker, this refers to the HonMinister appointing members of theMonetary Policy Committee. This hasbeen taken care of by the earlier one wherethe appointment would be done by theBoard. So we are completely deleting thesubsection 5.
Mr Speaker, I would wantit to go on record that I oppose thisamendment. We copied the MonetaryPolicy Committee from the Bank ofEngland. The Bank of England had ten membersof its Monetary Policy Committee. Fivewere from the Central Bank; the Governor,the two Deputy Governors and then twoother new persons. The five others werefrom the Chancellor of the Exchequer andthe fifth one had a non-voting ambit. It was to bring external perspective intothe decision making of the MonetaryPolicy Committee. So there wereindustrialists, economists et cetera.Evenat the Bank of England, as we speak now,Britain has done away with this MonetaryPolicy Committee because of its failings.It has established the Financial ConductAuthority and the Financial StandardsAuthority. Mr Speaker, I do not know why we noweven want to make sure our MonetaryPolicy Committee consists of only Bankof Ghana. I do not have a problem with thenumber, but no external advisors orexternal inputs into the decision which isfundamental in this country.
HonDeputy Minister for Finance?
Mr Speaker, the issue ofthe independence of the Central Bankwas heavily debated at the SecondReading. The Monetary Policy Committeeis the single most important committee ofthe Bank. It is not a committee of the Boardbut a committee of the Bank that dealswith monetary policy issues. Mr Speaker, looking at the functionsof the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC),it is important that we signal some level ofindependence that would show to theinternational community, especially themarket, that the MPC is independent. In doing so, we proposed that theMinister for Finance should not be seeninfluencing the outcomes of the monetarypolicies. It is for that reason that we aredeleting subsection (5), to give thatconfidence, particularly to theinternational community and marketsignaling the importance, particularlyrelating to the role that the MPC of theBank plays. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I know myHon Nephew does not like so muchindependence for the Bank of Ghana. Butwe cannot say that because we borrowedfrom the United Kingdom (UK), we shouldtake exactly what they do. I would alsonot take it that we are trying to satisfy theinternational community. Mr Speaker, the MPC does monetarypolicy for the Central Bank. That is thesingle act that they do which is separate Mr Speaker, at any point in time, theMPC can invite someone from theMinistry of Finance to appear beforethem, obviously, by providing someinformation. And I believe that everysingle information that they might require,the Ministry of Finance would be able togive them, but not necessarily to have arepresentative from the Ministry ofFinance sitting on the MPC. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Iask Hon Members to support the idea thatthe MPC should be seen as independent.This is particularly so for the fact that theMonetary Policy Committee of the Bankis the one that has been mandated to dealwith monetary policy issues forGovernment.
Mr Speaker, whatpertained in the Bank of Ghana Act wasthat, the Monetary Policy Committee hadseven members; five from the Bank andtwo appointed by the Minister forFinance. What we seek to do now is to removethe ministerial influence on theappointment process. So now we wouldhave five members of the MPC from theBank and two bringing in externalperspective but appointed by the Board,this time around, not appointed by theMinister. I think that is fine, so I supportthe Chairman's amendment.
Mr Speaker, I tendto go towards where Hon MatthewPrempeh is leaning. He talked about theUK -- [Interruption] -- We are talkingabout independence and from what wehave seen here, the independence fromthe Ministry or Government is very clear,which we are all right with. But the idea is that, the perspectiveswe bring from outside, not necessarilyfrom Government, but maybe from thinktanks and industry, to what extent do we from anything else that makes themunique. You can have external peoplethere to help them, but they do not comefrom the Ministry of Finance. That is whyyou have the two other persons withknowledge there. It is useful for them to have the insightsof a Ministry person; non-voting. But ifthey do not want them there, fine. It isjust like I do not want any Bank of Ghanaperson sitting at the Ministry of Finance,dictating fiscal policy, even thoughhaving them there gives richness to thework. So, it is safe to keep this like it is beingproposed, so that the perception ofindependence is there but they may losein terms of quality and that uniqueness.So if that is what they want to do, I do nothave a difficulty. It gives the impressionthat on monetary policy, Bank of Ghana isin charge. It may lose a lot of richknowledge and information from theMinistry to the Board. Recently, Mr Speaker, the Bank ofGhana Monetary Policy Committee gavea report for the first time in its historywithout any knowledge on publicfinances. That is absurd. That is why youneed some finance person giving youinsight to inform your work. But if theythink that they can do it on their own, it isall right, I do not have a problem. But weshould not put them there because of theUK or any other reason. It should satisfythe fact that we want them to do their ownwork.
Mr Speaker, just to addressthe issues raised by the Hon RankingMember for the Finance Committee, theissues raised, are examples where the MPCmay require some information from theMinistry of Finance.
Mr Speaker, I think thatthe amendment proposed by the HonChairman is in order, that we should not --[Interruption] If you even look at the wayit has been captured, that the Hon Ministershould appoint a member who would notvote but be an observer,you cannot be anobserver and at the same time a member.But it is the independence and totalcontrol by the Bank itself that we areseeking to do. Anybody who knows what theConstitution says about the Bank ofGhana thinks that we should allow it freerange to be able to decide on thesematters. So I support what the HonChairman is proposing and we should allsupport it.
HonMembers, I would allow just one morecomment and we would put the Question.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that they did not understand mevery well. If you take the Board of the Bankof Ghana, the President, by politicalinfluence, appoints nine persons on thatBoard. So, if that Board is appointing anextra two persons to the MPC naturally, ifwe are sure about politics, we should knowwhere those appointments are going tocome from. Our argument is clear and is simply that-- [Interruption] But the Board issupposed to appoint the extra two, whichyou have sent. And the Board is made upof nine appointees from the President,which is political. So what we are sayingis that, we should look for new ways ofbringing external perspective to bear onour monetary policy to enrich it. Therefore, we feel that we should makespace for some institutional represen-tation which would bring externalinfluence or perspective to MonetaryPolicy so that it becomes solid. For instance, the Hon Member justmentioned that for the first time in thehistory of this country, the MonetaryPolicy Conference which was heldrecently never mentioned public finances. I believe that if there were peopleproperly representing the public interest,those questions would not be allowed toescape the public view. They would havebeen answered; they would have beenmade in those statements that were made. So I strongly feel that we need to lookat it again.
Mr Speaker, in my opinion,this amendment proposed by the HonChairman is Consequential. Clause 3 ofthe Bill guarantees the independence ofthe Central Bank. And if we have agreedthat we should give the Central Bank somelevel of independence, then we should aswell agree that the Monetary PolicyCommittee, which performs a corefunction of the Central Bank should beindependent. Mr Speaker, they should not only beseen as independent, but also practiceindependence. And clearly, that is whatwe are trying to do here. Mr Speaker, I believe that the issuesraised by the Hon Member for ManhyiaSouth relating to the United Kingdom'sPractice -- [Interruption]The bestpractice for Monetary Policy Committee,is where the Ministry of Finance does nothave any influence on the membership. feel that in here? The Bank of Ghana is aninstitution on its own, more like atechnocrat and not an industry. Thereforeit feels that we need to find a way to bringsome external perspective to the policiesor the thinking of the MPC -- [Interruption.]-- He said two, but two is not enough.
On a Point of Order. Mr Speaker, the amendment weproposed earlier, that two other personswith knowledge and experience is relevantto the functions of monetary policyappointed by the Board, it does not meanthat those people should come from withinthe Bank. They are from outside. So theargument that we need outside knowledgeis already catered for.
My Hon Colleague islosing track of the amendment we aredoing. He forgot about the two personscoming from outside. The only differencehere is that, instead of the Ministerappointing them, the Board is appointingthem for their own sake. They shouldknow who they want. In practice, that is what happens all thetime. Nii Sowa and Dr Kwakye are fromoutside, they would not come from theBank of Ghana. The majority would stillbe from the Bank of Ghana. All that isrequired is that, they are from outside. Thequestion is, who appoints them? Theproblem was that, if the Minister appointsthem, it is as though he is interfering. So ifthe Board wants people from outside.They should know who is best. But this thing about UK we areappointing for, I do not know where it iscoming from. For the UK as you said, theyhave changed and also done some things.Their central bank does not do all that ourcentral bank does. They have the -- [Pause] Dr Prempeh -- rose --
HonMembers, I would have to put theQuestion. Hon Prempeh, you have made yourpoint;you made it more than once. I wouldgive you the opportunity to speak,afterwhich I would have to put the Question.
Mr Speaker, from theamendment they have done, they did notstate that those persons should comefrom outside the Central Bank. I believe that the best compromisewould have been the Board nominatingtwo persons from outside so that they donot nominate two other persons fromwithin the Board. I believe that would bea fair comprise. That is all I would want tosay.
Mr Speaker, let us leave itopen. If they cannot find a suitablecandidate from outside, they can pick itfrom within the Bank. So they are notrestricted.
HonChairman, how is it possible that Ghana,with 25 million people cannot find twopeople from outside?
Mr Speaker, then theywould definitely get the two from outside.So let us leave it this way.
HonChairman, so why do you not want to putit there? Hon Chairman, what you just said hasfrightened me. [Interruption.] All right.The Hon Chairman says, I should not befrightened.
Mr Speaker, subclause4 implies that they are coming fromoutside.
HonMember, can you please read it to us?
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission I beg to quote; “The members of the MonetaryPolicy Committee other than the fulltime members shall be paid theallowance...” Those two are coming from outside.The rest are all full time employees fromthe Central Bank. Those are the only two.
HonMember, if it is by implication, then whatis wrong if it is stated?
Mr Speaker, I did notsay “what is wrong”. But we would haveto focus on what it is we would want toachieve.
HonMember, if what we would want to achieveis “two” from outside, why do we notstate it?
Mr Speaker, I do nothave a problem. But the focus is on the“independence”.
Mr Speaker, we amendedwhat the Hon Ranking Member read, toread; “members of the Monetary PolicyCommittee other than employees ofthe Bank shall be paid allowancesdetermined by the Board”. This means that for the membership asstipulated, those other two are not goingto be employees of the Bank.
HonChairman, so we are now on clause 15 (xx).But I have already put the Question onclause 15 (xix) which says; delete “full timemembers” and insert “employees of theBank”. Hon Members, let us read this thing asa whole. [Pause]
Mr Speaker, given whatseems to be your preference --[Interruption] -- I would want topropose an amendment that might perhapsmove us forward.
HonMember, what clause are you proposingthe amendment to?
Mr Speaker, I amproposing an amendment to clause 15 (3). “two other persons with knowledgeand experience which is relevant tothe functions of the MonetaryPolicy Committee, nominated by theBank and appointed by the Boardwho are not employees of theBank”.
HonMember, where are you inserting “notemployees of the Bank”?
Mr Speaker, I aminserting it at the end; “…appointed by the Board who arenot employees of the Bank”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Parliament on the remedialmeasures to be taken.” Mr Speaker, the reason is that theproposal in the Bill for “Temporaryadvances”, by the Bank of Ghana to theGovernment says, “The Bank shall notmake an advance in the form of a loan,overdraft to Government, or purchaseGovernment treasury Bills, cashmanagement or purchase any security”.
Mr Speaker, and the Bankcan only do an amount not exceeding two(2) per cent of government revenue forthe previous year and be extended for morethan 30 days in times of emergencies,which means, during war or naturaldisaster. Mr Speaker, the Committee is of theview that this provision should be deletedcompletely and a new provision beprovided. And the new provision is that,the original clause in the principalenactment, subsection (2) should bedeleted and be replaced with a new onethat provides that; “the total loansadvances, purchase of Treasury Bills…”— [Interruption. Mr Speaker, this is avery important one and that is why I amexplaining it.
HonChairman, everybody can see it. It is onthe Order Paper. You have explained whyit is there and so why are you —
Mr Speaker, just not longago, we heard that that is what the Bankwants and that is what they get even whenwe are trying to treat small amendments.We have been told that if they do not wantexternal people, let them have it and if theywant the Board to do, let them have it.
HonChairman, we are taking the lastamendment of clause 15 now. [Pause] --Hon Members, for the avoidance ofdoubt, I would put the Question again onthe amendment advertised as 15 (xx). Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 15 as variously amendedordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 16 -- Section 30 of Act 612amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 16 delete and insert the following: “16. The principal enactment isamended by the substitution forsection 30 (2) of ...” A “Temporary advances 30. (2) the total loans, advances,purchase of treasury bills andsecurities made under sub-section (1) shall not at any timeexceed five per cent (5%) of thetotal revenue of the previousfiscal year.” B. Section 30 is further amended bythe addition of new sub-section(7) to read: “(7) where the total of loans,advances, purchases of treasurybills and securities made undersubsection (1) is 5 per cent ofthe previous fiscal year's totalrevenue, the Governor shallnotify the Minister andParliament of the attainment ofthe limit under sub-section (2)and the Minister upon thenotification shall report to
Mr Speaker, I believethat he should speak for himself. Hecannot just say Parliament does not. Heshould please limit it to himself and I wouldaccept that. He cannot speak for all of us.
Mr Speaker, Parliamentof Ghana as a body does not have peopleadvising us. It does not have, unless I amtold which is competent. Mr Speaker, as far as we are concernedin this Bill, I do not know why ourgovernment would go to IMF and say thatis what they want — zero per cent. The Minister for Finance comes to thispodium and says; I am living by the zeroper cent and so I am not even going to theCentral Bank again. I am going to theGhana Stock Exchange. And we inParliament say, we want to give you fiveper cent. Mr Avedzi — On a Point of Order. it from zero per cent to two per cent, whichwas part of the Bill and we considered thisthoroughly before finally agreeing to thefive per cent. And so he cannot say thatthe Bank of Ghana wants zero per centand so we should give it to them. That iscompletely not correct.
Mr Speaker, we have tobe careful not to mislead each other. TheBank of Ghana never brought two per cent.The two per cent was on short termadvances — emergency, and that isdifferent. Mr Speaker, secondly, to say that Bankof Ghana wants this and therefore weshould give it to them is also not proper.For the fact that we opposed them in oneplace does not mean that we should usethe same logic everywhere. What is thisissue about? The current law puts it at 10per cent, the sponsors of the Bill areputting it at zero per cent. What does it mean? — God forbid —should we have a calamity in this country,what it says is that, government, which isthe shareholder of Bank of Ghana shouldnot go to the Bank of Ghana. It should goto a commercial bank or a non-bankingfinancial institution to borrow. Mr Speaker, we are a non-developedmarket. We are not as developed as otherplaces. The word “Commercial” means itwould be more expensive. That same lawpronounced Bank of Ghana to helpcommercial banks when they are introuble. It simply does not make sensethat as a shareholder, when I am in troubleI cannot come to you, but when othersare in trouble, I should go to you. Mr Speaker, secondly, it is not free atthe commercial bank and one would paysome interest at the Bank of Ghana.MrSpeaker, let us please look at whathappened in Maryland last night — Mr Speaker, if the Bank comes to saythat they would not give and that theywant zero per cent, why do we want togive them five per cent? Mr Speaker, I amdriving at a point.
Are youopposing the amendment?
Mr Speaker, yes.
So justsay that and give your reasons.
Mr Speaker, it wouldcome in my argument.
HonMember, I am directing that if an HonMember stands up and opposes anamendment, he or she should state doingso and give reasons. This is because, HonMembers are speaking at cross-purposesand the Table-Office is finding it difficultto follow what is being done and so am I.
Mr Speaker, thank you. Iam opposing the amendment simply forfew reasons, which I would want to state.Mr Speaker, firstly, we are being told thatBank of Ghana has come here with a Billand we should give them as they like. Ifwe should follow that logic, then weshould give them zero per cent if they wantzero per cent. Mr Speaker, the Committee is advisingthis House not to give them because theywant to live in the reality of the situation. Mr Speaker, when the Minister forFinance came to read the supplementarybudget,they told us that they werefulfilling the zero per cent borrowing buthas rather gone to the Ghana StockExchange. And so are we now going to Mr Speaker, the five per cent beingproposed by the Committee is that, theamount should not exceed five per cent,which means that we can even do zeroper cent. And so that is a point of orderand he should take that on board.
Mr Speaker, the Bankthat brought the Bill said, zero per cent,the Minister for Finance who came to thisHouse said zero per cent and thegovernment which went to IMF tonegotiate said zero per cent. I have notheard any reason by the Committee thatis technically resourceful to advise thisHouse that we should give them five percent, except to say that we should givethem up to five per cent. Mr Speaker, what are the reasons forthe government of Ghana, with all theresources at its disposal went to agree onzero per cent, the Minister for Finance,with all his technical competence also saidzero per cent. And the Hon Minister comesto tell us that they have even stoppedborrowing from Bank of Ghana and havegone to the Ghana Stock Exchange, andnow the Finance Committee of Parliamentsays we should give them five per cent.MrSpeaker, we are giving them what they donot need. We should stay with the zeroper cent.
Mr Speaker, I believe myHon Colleague from Manhyia South ismisleading the House. The Bank of Ghanafirst proposed zero per cent to be includedin the law, down from the 10 per cent. Butthey brought it to two per cent before wecould consider the Bill. They submitted adocument for further amendment and it ispart of the Bill. Mr Speaker, if my Hon Colleague doesnot have knowledge about it, he shouldsay so. They brought a proposal raising
Mr Speaker, I do notknow what point of order it is. I referred to the BREXIT and thestatement the Governor of the Bank ofGhana made. He said that Britain is inbusiness and as a central bank, they wereready to put money into the economy. Mr Speaker, because of suchemergencies, you should not completelycut the Government from monetary policy,and that was where the Chairman of theCommittee made the point. But should that window arise, weshould have the option of going there;we should not throw our arms in the airand say that we cannot go there. Thealternative is more expensive and wemight not get it. That is why theCommittee is suggesting that we shouldoppose it.
HonMembers, two views have beenexpressed; one view is that we should givethe Bank of Ghana what they want.Another view has been expressedeloquently by Hon Akoto Osei. He opinedthat we should open a window after atleast five per cent so that we can go tothem when we are in distress. Unless youhave a different view, I am going to putthe Question. But before that, I will tellyou my own experience. I went to court and was arguing acertain point. The judge said that I couldhold us under virtual house arrest untilwe agree with you. We have heard yourpoint and we thank you. So I am not goingto allow anybody to arrest us. If any HonMember gets the opportunity to state hisview, he should state it to the best of hisor her ability because there would be nosecond chance -- The time is already 7.22p.m.. is ending next year, but this law willcontinue to stay. So it is not for the IMF.For that matter, if the provision is notexceeding five per cent and if theprogramme says that they should do zeroper cent, they can continue to do the zeroper cent until the programme is ended. Sothe law is not being amended for IMF.
Mr Speaker, myposition is very clear. I believe that if theyare opposing you of zero and five per cent,then we should go for two per cent.
I thoughtyou were going to say ten per cent.
No. Mr Speaker, you know I have been theFinance Committee Chairman of theMetropolitan Assembly of Sekondi --[Laughter]Sekondi Takoradi MetropolitanAssembly (STMA), the third largest cityin Ghana. [Laughter.] I know for a factthat the District Assemblies havedifficulties when there is a crunch.
HonMember, I did not hear your position.
Mr Speaker, I wasthe Committee Chairman --
MetropolitanAssembly of Sekondi [Laughter.]
So youhave been an Assembly member before?
Mr Speaker, yes.[Laughter.] Mr Speaker, and I believe thatsince the Ministry of Finance is here, theyshould be able to tell us whether they areopposed to the zero per cent or they likemy two per cent. I believe they are here floods. Looking for GH¢20 million was aproblem when we had that small problemat Tetteh-Quashie. And we are saying thatif we accept this, it means that when, Godforbid, such a thing happens, we shouldgo and borrow commercially or beg thedonors to help us. That is simply not right. Mr Speaker, the so-called UnitedKingdom (UK) that we are following, whenthey had the BREXIT votes, the Governorof the Central Bank came to say, “Britainis on the move — we are in business, weare going to put in money”, and we aresaying that that is the best practice.
On a point of Order. Mr Speaker, when Parliament waspassing the Bank of Ghana Act (Act 612(2002), the Hansard, which I have copiesin my office, was replete with statementson where we were copying theCommittee's Monetary Policy, especially,by the Minister for Finance. And so it isnot so-called. In our Hansard, we wereborrowing from the best practice at thattime because monetary policy —
HonMember, did you hear what he said?
Mr Speaker, yes I heard.He said the so-called UK that we arefollowing —
He said,when they had their so-called BREXIT —
Mr Speaker, no. It wasbefore that. I am not coming in because ofthe BREXIT issue. We copied theMonetary Policy Committee verbatim fromthe Bank of England, and our Hansardwould bear me out.
HonChireh, is it a different point?
Mr Speaker, I would wantto support the --
Mr Speaker, Ihave a different view altogether. Ibelieve that --
HonMember, there is an amendment so do yousupport the amendment or you opposeit?
Mr Speaker, Ioppose the amendment.
Say thatfirst. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, Ioppose the amendment. My amendment is that first of all, thereis a known saying in Akan that goes likethis: woara akofa aba, twero ho. MrSpeaker, what it means is that if you havebrought your problem, you should find asolution to it. We know that by 2008,Ghana had left the International MonetaryFund (IMF). Today, we have signed a newamendment to the IMF and we are in thisdifficulty. Mr Speaker, this Bill was brought tothis House by the Ministry of Finance.The Minister for Finance is here --
HonMember, do you have a point of order?
Mr Speaker, I have a pointof order, which is that, this law is beingamended not for the three-year programmeGhana has with the IMF.The programme and I strongly believe that they shouldbe able to support me if we are havingdifficulty in moving this forward.
Mr Speaker, thankyou for the opportunity to giveinformation to inform our choice ofwhether we are going for zero per cent orfor anything above zero per cent.
Do youoppose the amendment?
Mr Speaker, no. I am forthe amendment.
Yousupport the amendment?
Exactly, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I am putting it on recordthat as we move forward, if we do notsupport the Motion, that five per cent ormore is good for the country, we risk ourtreasury bills; that is Governmentinstruments that come from the marketswhich give confidence to investors. Werisk Government defaulting one day if wedo not give Government a room of lastresort, the Central Bank to borrow. Mr Speaker, at the moment, if we lookat Government's borrowing on weeklybasis, you would see that it is close to abillion dollars in weekly issues. The riskis that if treasury bills would be theinstruments that they stand for, we needa window for the Government to be ableto liquidate its position when it comes toredeeming its treasury bills. Mr Speaker, I have heard the argumentfrom Hon Ato Forson which says we havea bond market where Government can takethat leverage and get financing from in times of difficulty. I dare say that our bondmarket is so shallow, it is not at the depthof the kind of market that we arecomparing ourselves with, such that ifGovernment has to get funds to run itsbusiness, or redeem its treasury billsholding as they fall due, our market willbe able to support the kind of need theGovernment has. In this case, we should not darecompare ourselves with the developedmarkets where their securities market isso deep for the market to readily supportgovernment position in times of liquidityneeds. Mr Speaker, for this reason, I thinkthat we should support the amendment tothe Motion. Thank you.
Thankyou. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 16 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 17 -- Section 34 of Act 612amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 17 -- delete. Mr Speaker, clause 17 is amendingsection 34 of the principal enactment andsection 34 is on managing the monetoryand banking system. Mr Speaker, clause 17 says that theprincipal enactment is amended by thesubstitution for paragraph (c). Nowparagraph (c) of section 34 is to buy orsell in the open market commercial bills,government bonds and securitiesguaranteed by the Government. Now, the amendment being proposedthat we are refusing the amendment tomaintain the original rendition in theprincipal enactment is sufficient for theintention and for that matter, we aredeleting completely the proposedamendment in clause 17. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 17 accordingly deleted by leaveof the House. Clause 18 -- Section 46 A inserted
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 18 -- section 46, subsection (1),lines 2 and 3, delete “non-bank financialinstitution” and insert “specialiseddeposit-taking institutions”.
Chairmanof the Committee, propose further thatanywhere that the amendment appearsin --
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 18 -- section 46, subsection (3),lines 1 and 2, delete “non-bank financialinstitution” and insert “specialiseddeposit-taking institutions”.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 18 -- section 46, subsection (4),line 3, delete “non-bank financialinstitution” and insert “specialiseddeposit-taking institutions”.
HonMembers, I am putting the Question onthe three proposed amendments to clause18.
Mr Speaker, theHon Chairman of the Committee seeks tochange ‘bank and non-bank financial institutions' to ‘specialised deposit-taking financial institutions', but theintendment of the amendment here is todelete ‘non-bank financial institutions'entirely.
“The Bank of Ghana may provideliquidity to banks.” And not ‘non-bank financial institu-tions'. [Interruption] Non-bank financialinstitutions should not qualify. Otherwise,sooner than later, the Bank of Ghana willbe going round giving moneys to DKMMicrofinance Company Ltd and the rest.So, the intendment of this amendment isto take out ‘non-bank financialinstitutions' and not the name change asthe Hon Chairman of the Committee seeksto do. If he says the Bank of Ghana may giveassistance to non-bank financialinstitutions, where are we going to stopat? The Bank of Ghana would be all overthe place. So the Bank of Ghana cannotgo to the aid of non-bank financialinstitutions. It is fine with “banks”, butnot “non-bank financial institutions”.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinister for Finance needs to come backto us and tell us which of the specialiseddeposit-taking institutions are involvedand not all of them. This is because someof them are big enough. Savings andLoans companies for example, are bigenough that if we do not go to theirassistance, there would be financialtrouble. DKM Microfinance Ltd should beexcluded, but there is a definition of thespecialised deposit-taking institutionsthat some of us are targeting, and I knowsavings and loans companies are one ofthem. So we cannot exclude all of them. Itwould not work.
Mr Speaker, I support theamendment on the basis that theamendment was a name change as anHon Member said. Indeed, it is and that iswhy in the recent law that we passed onBanks and Specialised Deposit-takingInstitutions, the bank is mentioned there.That is why the bank is not again affected. But it is more important that apart fromthat law we passed, there is also the otherone which we passed to ensure that thepeople are secured when they go to dothis business with non-bank financialinstitutions. That is where we would haveto address our minds to and it is importantthat we support this amendment.[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, we havepassed an Act that has barred the term,‘non-bank financial institutions' and hekeeps using it. [Interruption] Specialiseddeposit-taking institutions.Non-bankfinancial institutions do not existanymore, so we can be clear in our mindsabout that.
Mr Speaker, that is whythere is a change in this law; that isspecialised deposit-taking institutionwhich is still reflecting some aspects ofthe earlier one and also the security thatwe would want insurance against, andsetting up the corporation to take accountof all the deposits and insurance, suchthat when people are duped, we wouldhave a way of relieving them of theirdistress.
Mr Speaker, I think theHon Minister for Finance would help thisHouse greatly if he comes to tell us whatexactly he means by the specialiseddeposit-taking institutions. Then, it wouldbring some clarity. I buy his arguments that if somebodyis to be helped, it would be one of theselocal institutions, and so we shouldaddress our minds to the fact that it is notthe foreign banks that most of the timesthey would help. They are well capitalised.It would be either some local bank orspecialised deposit-taking institution. So,it should be in our interest to know whichones are involved. We may agree that we should not helpall of them but we need his help to bringthat definition back here. I am sure mostpeople have forgotten what it meant andit would help us on this matter.
Mr Speaker, the intentionhere is to provide liquidity assistance tothose specialised deposit-takinginstitutions that are too big to fall. Mr Speaker, that is the term used bythe Central Bank. Among the category, theones that fall within that group are someof the savings and loans companies andthe finance houses. Mr Speaker, I agree that the definitionof “specialised deposit-taking institutions”goes beyond savings and loans companiesand the finance houses. Maybe, we would take the amendment but we would comeand define what we mean by those onesthat would qualify under savings andloans and the finance houses.
We deferthe Question on clause 18. Clause 19 -- Section 49 of Act 612amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 19 section 49, paragraph (c),subsection (1A), line 3, after “institution”insert “that the Bank regulates”.
You arereferring to the institutions that the banksregulate in this section. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I would wantthe Hon Chairman of the Committee toexplain further. He is putting a smallchange; ‘the institutions that the bankregulates'. This is talking aboutguarantees. Why should we allow this to pass anddrop the previous amendment? The powerto borrow and guarantee is taken to allthe institutions the bank regulates andthat includes all specialised deposit-takinginstitutions. So, I am just saying that weshould have taken that amendment andsupported it because this is a similar thingwe are doing here.
Mr Speaker, this particularlyrefers to -- The clause is saying that after theamendment, the bank shall dispose of allshares that the bank is holding in thefinancial institutions. We are saying thatonce the bank is a regulator they can onlydispose off shares in institutions that theyregulate.
Mr Speaker, the intentionhere is for the Central Bank to provideliquidity support not only to banks but tosome of the non-bank financialinstitutions. Mr Speaker, this relates tosome of the finance houses and thesavings and loans companies. Mr Speaker, it is important for us tonote that some of them are big enoughthat, in case they fall into trouble andCentral Bank failed to support themliquidity wise, they may cause a majorproblem to the economy. Mr Speaker, if we look at the bankscarefully, in terms of proportion, a goodnumber of them belong to foreigncompanies. But if the Central Bank is in aposition to support some of these foreigncompanies why are they not going to bein a position to support local companies? Mr Speaker, the rendition here does notinclude microfinance companies. It is forsavings and loans companies, and financehouses. Some of the savings and loanscompanies and finance houses aresomehow bigger than some of the banks,but they are comfortable staying wherethey are, for the purposes of business.For that reason, we cannot just assumethat we are neglecting them. If something happens to thosecompanies, the Central Bank should be ina position to support them anyway. It isfor that reason that we proposed thatamendment at the Committee level toinclude specialised and deposit-takinginstitutions. Mr Speaker, I submit.
Mr Speaker, wewould hardly hear a bank fail because theyare well supervised. These non-bankfinancial institutions are not wellsupervised.
Mr Speaker, theamendment Bill was in a rather tricky waytrying to stop the Government fromholding shares in the Ghana InternationalBank (GIB) in England, which hasshareholders like the Social Security andNational Insurance Trust (SSNIT), StateInsurance Company (SIC) and the Bankof Ghana. Mr Speaker, if we do not regulate it,there is no inherent conflict of interest.The GIB is regulated by the authorities inthe United Kingdom (UK). So why shouldanybody tell us to take our shares off? If we are talking about the AgricultureDevelopment Bank (ADB) and theNational Investment Bank (NIB), which theBank of Ghana regulates in Ghana, thereis a conflict of interest. So, we are trying to make thedistinction that if we regulate it, as theydo in Ghana, then they should sell theshares; but if we do not regulate it, thereis no conflict of interest.
So, yousupport the amendment?
Mr Speaker, very muchso. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 19 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 20 -- Section 50 of Act 612amended. Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Is it onclause 20?
Mr Speaker, my “clause20” is to sound something to the HonLeadership. The time is getting to 8.00 p.m.We should have an indication as to whenwe are ending. Question put and amendment agreedto.
It is notall matters that are spoken into themicrophone. If you want an indicationfrom the Hon Leadership as to where wewould end, please communicate to them. I stand clause 21 down.
Mr Speaker, we have to goto clause 21.
I said Ihave stood it down. It is the same as clause18.
Mr Speaker, this is different.It is just a change of the name from “non-bank financial institution” to “specialdeposit-taking institution”. Clause 21 -- Section 54 of Act 612amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 21 -- section 54, subsection (1),lines 2 and 3, delete “non-bank financialinstitutions” and insert “specialiseddeposit-taking institutions”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 21 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 22 -- Section 57A inserted.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 22 --57A, line 3, delete “approved”and insert “adopted”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 23 -- Section 68A inserted.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 23 -- delete. Mr Speaker, my reason is that, I do notthink any Parliament can legislate to bindits successor or successive Parliament.That is what clause 23 seeks to do.
HonMember, do you want to delete clause 23?
Mr Speaker, yes. Theyare trying to bind successive Parliaments,so that they cannot make any lawscontrary to the existing banking law. Mr Speaker, that is dangerous.
Mr Speaker, when I look atit carefully, since we are working on thePublic Financial Management Bill, 2016, itis critical that we delete “finance”; but Ihave no objection against the one thatrelates to “banking”. Mr Speaker, maybe we would restrictourselves to “banking” and delete“finance”. This is because the PublicFinancial Management Bill, 2016, dealswith financial issues and we have said thatthat would be the law which wouldsupersede any other enactment. Mr Speaker, I submit that we delete“finance” and allow “banking” to stay. So,we would say, “…banking and relatedmatters…”.
When welook at the Banking Act, in section 1, itsays that where there is any conflictbetween this Act and the Companies Act,the Banking Act shall prevail. So, this is not a strange clause.It is justfor the avoidance of doubt. The BankingAct says in section1 that where there isany conflict between it and theCompanies Act, the Banking Act shallprevail. So, for example, under the Banking Act,one can become a director of a bank at 18years, but under the Companies Act, onecan become a director of a bank at 21 years.So, when we are incorporating a bank, theBanking Act prevails. I guess that this is the same kind ofprovision that they want to insert here;that where there is a conflict between thislaw and any other law, this law wouldprevail. Am I right?
Mr Speaker, yes.
HonDeputy Minister, but would you want totake out “finance”?
Mr Speaker, thedropping of the word “finance” does notsolve the problem. The objection is basedon the principle of law that no Parliamentcan bind its successor.
HonMember, but it does not bind it. This isbecause any other Parliament can amendit by the normal rules of amendment,anything we do here, regardless of whatwe write. This is because every Act wepass here, this or another Parliament canrepeal, amend or rubbish it. That is theposition. [Pause.] I do not understand, “subject to theprovisions of this Constitution…” Thisis because every Act is subject to theprovisions of the Constitution. TheConstitution states quite clearly that it isthe supreme law of the land. [Pause.] Hon Members, the Banking Act, 2004(Act 673), sections1 and 2 says, and withyour permission I quote: “(1) This Act shall be in addition tothe Companies Code, 1963 (Act179) and shall not, except asotherwise provided in this Act,derogate from that Code. (2) Where there is a conflict orinconsistency between theCompanies Code and this Act,the provisions of this Act shallprevail”. We have done it in this Parliamentbefore; we said that where there is aninconsistency between one Act andanother Act, one would prevail. For the avoidance of doubt, evenwithout stating it, because this is a latterAct, the principle is that the latter Actamends the earlier Act. So, when the Committee says, “Subjectto the provisions of the Constitution…”Tell me, what part of the Act is not subjectto the provisions of the Constitution?
Mr Speaker, I want to, ifthe Hon Chairman agrees,amend that partto say that; “…where there is any conflictbetween this Act and any otherenactment relating to banking, theprovisions of this Act shall prevail”.
HonChairman, do you have any objection?
Mr Speaker, I do not haveany objection. But what of the “relatedmatters,” if we are taking out finance, So,it should be banking and related matters.
Mr Speaker, my difficultyis that, the Bank of Ghana Act is separatefrom the Banking Act which we recentlyconsidered. So, do we want this tosupercede the Banking Act? I do notbelieve so. Mr Speaker, the two serve differentpurposes. What we are doing affects thework of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and theMonetary Policy Committee. Mr Speaker, the Banking Act which werecently passed is the latest Act and thismuch should not supercede that. I have aproblem, we need to think about it.
Are thereconflicts in the bank? -- This one --
Mr Speaker, there is aBanking Act and this is the BoG Act. Thetwo are not the same.
I agree.The Banking Act deals with bankinggenerally; the BoG Act deals with thatspecialised body or Constitutionalcreature known as the Bank of Ghanawhich is the Central Bank. It deals withthe responsibilities, duties and functionsof the Central Bank. What they are saying here is that,where there is a conflict between this Actand any other Act of banking, this Actmust prevail. And you do not want that tohappen. You are not happy.
Mr Speaker, I am notvery comfortable with that because we justchanged the Banking Act and I am notsure that just having changed it, we cansay that this Bank of Ghana (Amendment)Act supercedes that Act.
But theremay not be any conflicts or inconsistencies.
Mr Speaker, there couldbe. We should not be guessing. That ismy point.
Mr Speaker, any otherenactment relating to banking mustprevail over this Act because this Act isrestricted, but any other enactment whichis related to banking is general. So it is thegeneral Act that must prevail over this onewhich is restricted to the BoG. Mr Speaker, I disagree with thatposition.The one which is related tobanking generally should be the one whichprevails.
Mr Speaker, I agree with youthat there is the need for us to interrogatethis matter further on the basic principlethat the provisions of a latter Act prevailsover an earlier Act if there is a conflict.
There isno advertised amendment to clause 23. Asit were, we are arguing in a vacuum. Thosewho want to propose amendments toclause 23 have the opportunity to bring itto the Order Paper tomorrow. So, I will stand down clause 23 and goto clause 24. Hon Yieleh Chireh, they say youproposed one. I am saying, that there areno advertised amendments to clause 23 --
Mr Speaker, so am I nowproposing the amendment?
No, I amstanding it down. You can propose it sothat it is part of the Order Paper tomorrowbecause there are no advertisedamendments. The amendment you are proposing isvery deep. So please, put it on the OrderPaper tomorrow so that people will havenotice and be able to fully debate it. I havestood down clause 23. Clause 24 -- Section 69 of Act 612amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove,clause 24 -- Definition of“distributable earnings”, delete. Mr Speaker, because we deleted anumber of clauses, their definition of“disputable earnings” is no more relevant. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 24 -- definition of “unrealisedloss”, delete. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 24 -- definition of “unrealisedprofit”, delete. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 24 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 25 ordered to stand part of theBill.
We havethe new clauses, should we take themtoday? All right. One is in the name of the Hon Chairmanand the other is in the name of the Hon(Dr) Matthew Opoku Prempeh. New Clause -- Section 53 of Act 612amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,new clause -- add the following newprovision: 53. “Section 53 of Act 612 amended The principal enactment is amended bythe substitution of section 53: “The Bank shall hold all foreignexchange of Ghana and submit areport to Parliament on allforeign exchange receipts andpayments or transfers of theBank in and outside Ghana onceevery six months.”
It is inline with the provision in the Constitutionthat requires the BoG to report every sixmonths. Question put and amendment agreedto. New Clause -- Reporting to Parliament.
Mr Speaker, I will startby dropping the amendments in subclause(3) (b). This is because it is the same asthe Hon Chairman of the FinanceCommittee or the Committee just agreedto.
“Reporting to Parliament (1) The Governor shall report toParliament; (a) at least two times a year; and (b) any time Parliament sorequests. (2) The report shall include; (a) the conduct of activities in theexercise of the mandate of theCentral Bank under section 4; (b) any other relevant functionsbeing exercised by the CentralBank under various Acts ofParliament. Mr Speaker, this is a new clause onreporting to Parliament which I had timeto discuss with Hon Members on my sideand on the opposite Side of the House. Mr Speaker, you realised in section 4of Act 612, that the Governor has beengiven a lot of functions. This amendmenthas given the Governor more functions.
“Support the general economicpolicy of Government, promoteeconomic growth and effective andefficient operation of the bankingand credit system, contribute topromotion and maintenance offinancial stability in the country”. Mr Speaker, apart from those already inthe Act 612, if you consider that theGovernor's action has serious repercussionson the economy, then the people'srepresentatives must be reported toperiodically. Mr Speaker, I do not think there isanything in the Constitution that preventsthat. So I propose that: “The Governor shall report toParliament. (a) at least two times a year; (b) and any time Parliament sorequests”. Mr Speaker, secondly; “The report shall include: (a) the conduct of activities in theexercise of the mandate of theCentral Bank under section 4; (b) any other relevant functionsbeing exercised by the CentralBank under various Acts ofParliament.” So, when the Governor performs hisfunctions, he comes to Parliament, ifParliament so requires to give an accountof what he has done. Mr Speaker, not long ago, the Governorcame up with certain Regulations thataffected the whole country and Parliamentexercised in our thoughts why thatshould happen? Mr Speaker, we were told that Cabinetcalled the Governor-In the State of theNation Address of the President andtalked about failures in the Regulation ofthe Central Bank contributing to a lot ofthese malfunctions. Mr Speaker, probably apart fromGhana's Parliament, in almost every othercountry the Governor reports toParliament and not to the Executive or anyother institution. Mr Speaker, so after every MonetaryPolicy Committee meeting, if the Governorcomes to the Finance Committee to briefthem on the trends in the country, I donot think it is wrong. This is because inthe last Session we tried to invite theGovernor here and that becameproblematic as it is with this currentParliament too. So I thought this is the chance, if HonMembers so desire to put it in the law thatwhen Parliament requests the Governorto appear before it, the law should allowthe Governor to do so and he should notonly appear before the Public AccountsCommittee.
TheGovernor came to brief us on the DKMmatter and so nothing prohibits theGovernor from appearing before theHouse.
What areyou holding in your hand?
Mr Speaker, the BankingAct, (Act 612).
So youthink that anybody who comes toParliament there must be a definite lawasking the person to do so?
Mr Speaker, if the law isnot quite clear that Parliament couldrequest a person to appear before it, thenit sometimes becomes a tango as towhether the person should do so or not. Alhaji Fuseini -- rose --
Yes, HonMinister for Roads and Highways?
Mr Speaker, we makethe laws. The Executive initiates theprocedure but we make the laws. So whenwe direct any official of State to appearbefore us, it is by a Resolution ofParliament. That person ignores thedirection at his own peril. We do not needa law. This is the House of law. If you say my Hon Colleagues were tosay that it is for the abundance of caution,then that would be all right, but we do notneed the law. The second issue is that theexercise of the Central Bank or theGovernor of the Central Bank --
HonMembers,Order! Order! Hon Dr Prempeh's amendmentdeserves some attention.
Mr Speaker, theexercise of the functions of the CentralBank is an exercise in execution, theexecution of the policies of State to ensurethat our money maintains a certain valueand to ensure that the money supply isnot -- It is an executive function and thatis why they report to the Executive. Mr Speaker, except that the lawinsulates them from manipulation andsays that, for the performance of theirfunction, they are independent. So, we should not lose sight of the factthat the exercise of the functions of theCentral Bank is executive in nature andthat is why they report. Mr Speaker, we have the power as aHouse to summon not only the Governorof the Central Bank -- In fact, we havethe power to summon any official of Stateon matters of public interest to come andbrief us on the performance of thosefunctions. So it is absolutely notnecessary to put it in the law.
Hon DrAkoto Osei?
Mr Speaker, Hon DrPrempeh's amendment -- if you look atthe (3) (b); it has been taken care of by theamendment the Hon Chairman introducedon page 39. So, that is no problem. Whatthat seeks to do is to operationalise aconstitutional mandate which theCommittee on Finance has not been ableto do. In the current law, the Bank of Ghanawas able to get away by saying that it isresponsible to Parliament, but nobodydefined that type of responsibility. Now, as the Constitution says, we areasking the Governor to submit a report onthe inflows and outflows of forex so thatthe Committee can officially do our joband report to the House. I do not have aproblem with that. Per item number (1); “The Governorshall report to Parliament” -- Section 4. If you read Section 4 of the current Act,the Bank of Ghana has all these functions.I suspect -- and he could correct me if Iam wrong -- he wants the Bank to tell usthe extent that it is performing itsfunctions and how it is doing. There isnothing wrong with that. So I do not havea problem with (1) (a). Mr Speaker, but Ihave a problem with (1) (b) --
Is it (2)(a)?
It says “at least twotimes a year” in section 4. What form ofreport are we talking about? Are we goingto call him here, like he came the last timeor we are going to ask him to submit anaccount of what he is supposed to dounder section 4? It is not stated here. Mr Speaker, but any time Parliament sorequests, any time we want the Governorto appear before us, he would come --nothing stops us. So, I do not think thatwe should legislate that part. If we want aspecific report so that we could beinformed -- This is because we reallycannot do anything about what he does,except to inform us. I think that is whatHon Dr Prempeh seeks to do. Twice a year,he reports on his activities. I think it is fair enough. Why do I saythat? Not too long ago, I believe that itwas in 2014, the Bank of Ghana tookcertain decisions regarding our currency,even the Hon Minister for Finance wasshocked. We were all shocked but it hadhappened. So at least, we would want to beinformed so that if there is something wecan do -- But we do not want them to come through the Hon Minister forFinance; we would want them to comedirectly. I believe that is what HonPrempeh seeks to do. I would want to plead with him that weshould leave out (1) (b) because that isour right -- At any time we could call him.But the former might be some reports thatthe Governor is to submit. For this, I would want him to look at itand perhaps amend it to include a reporton those activities. Then I believe I wouldbe in favour. I said, the (3) (b) is alreadycaptured under the Hon Chairman'samendment. So it is not a problem. If hecould amend it to say “a report on theactivities” I believe we could take out (1)(b) and everything would be in order. Mr Richard M. Quashigah -- rose --
Mr Speaker, thesuggestions made by the Hon RankingMember sits very well with what wouldnormally happen in Parliament. MrSpeaker, but again, I believe that what HonDr Prempeh has proposed would have tobe looked at a bit deeper than we have.The (b), which he has suggested that itmust be taken out, I would say that it shouldremain. Any time we so request -- As a member of the Public AccountsCommittee, we have had instances wherethe Bank of Ghana was supposed toappear before us, but they kept deferringuntil we actually gave a stern warningbefore the Governor appeared. So thoughwe are saying that any time we request -- As Parliament, this is a House of law,the Governor would come before us -- Ido not think that it is automatic. MrSpeaker, if this is enshrined in law then heknows that he is bound to be here. If he is unable to come, then he mustbe able to give us very convincingreasons. This is the reason for which Ibelieve that the amendment proposed byHon Dr Prempeh should remain. This isbecause the Governor could choose notto come to Parliament and give reasonswhy he cannot come. It has happenedbefore. It was the Public AccountsCommittee not Parliament. So if he coulddefy Public Accounts Committeesometimes, then is it not the same thing?
What Iwould do is that -- Hon Dr Prempeh'samendment has been taken care of in partby an amendment we considered earlier. There are interesting views on theamendment but it falls within the categoryof proposed amendments that meet thethreshold for today for standing it down.So I would step it down and then we wouldconsider it tomorrow. Please put it on the Order Paper, takinginto account the amendmet that has beendone previously. Mr Kpodo -- rose --
Dopeople want to still comment after I havestood it down? I have stood it down andso why do you not caucus with Hon DrPrempeh and convince him to drop it orimprove upon it? The new clause, theproposed amendment by Hon Dr MatthewOpoku Prempeh, has been stepped down. Hon Members, we would continue withthe Bank of Ghana (Amendment) Bill, 2016at the Consideration Stage on the OrderPaper addendum 2. New clause -- Section 29 of Act 612amended.
HonChairman of the Committee, I would stepdown the two amendments. It is like youare confused. It is written, “the Chairmanof the Committee”. That is what isadvertised.
Mr Speaker, it is a mistake.This amendment stands in my name.
What isyour name?
Mr Speaker, my name isCassiel Ato Forson, Member of Parliamentfor Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam.
Oh, soyou are not moving it as the Hon DeputyMinister for Finance; you are moving it inyour name. All right, Hon Forson, moveit.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,new clause -- add the following newprovision: “Section 29 of Act 612 amended. The principal enactment is amendedin section 29 by the deletion ofsubsection (6).” Mr Speaker, the subsection (6) of theprincipal enactment says the Central Bankcannot pay interest on government'sdeposit. Mr Speaker, the Public FinancialManagement Bill which is beingconsidered by this House has clause 50,which has already been adopted. It says the Minister for Finance couldauthorise the Controller and Accountant-General to invest moneys standing in thecredit of Government in the ConsolidatedFund at any time the Minister instructs. Mr Speaker, it is for that reason that Iam proposing this amendment to deletesubsection 6 of section 29 of the principalenactment.
Mr Speaker, I do notobject to the Hon Minister's amendment,especially, if we are now going to appointeither the Central Bank or another fiscalagent to invest surplus funds. So wecannot say the Bank of Ghana (BoG)should not pay interest on Government'saccount. It would be totally inconsistentwith what they would want to do. Mr Speaker, I do not know whether ornot they have discussed it with the BoG.That is the only issue, but I support theamendment. Question put amendment agreed to. New clause ordered to stand part ofthe Bill. New Clause -- Investment of balanceson the Consolidated Fund.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,new clause -- add the following newclause: “Investment of balances on theConsolidated Fund; The Minister may authorise theBank of Ghana through theController and Accountant Generalto invest any sum standing to thecredit of the Consolidated Fund orGovernment Account position.”
Mr Speaker, I wouldalso like to propose an amendment to hisamendment by adding, “except that, theamount so invested may not bereinvested in Government's treasurybills”. This is to avoid the situation whereby government's funds might beinvested in “say” a bank or a financialinstitution. These moneys might beinvested at a lower interest rate and thesefinancial institutions might reinvest thesefunds or they might buy treasury bills at ahigher interest rate. We had a similar experience quiterecently concerning that US$250 million.In order to avoid the reoccurrence of thissituation, it would be better and prudenton our part to probably amend theproposed new clause by adding “exceptthat, the fund so invested shall not beused to purchase government's assets.”
HonMinister, do you have any objection tothat?
Mr Speaker, I believe theway the rendition goes is appropriateenough. Since the authority is coming fromthe Minister for Finance, there is no wayhe is going to authorise the Central Bankto invest in government's securities. Thathas never happened.
Mr Speaker,I believe the Hon (Dr) Appiah-Kubi has avalid point. These funds cannot beinvested in government's treasuries. So,if we could stand this one down, we couldadd the provision that, maybe, inovernight placement, the governmentcould replace this and earn something.Then, we are sure it is not going intoTreasury Bills. We remember recently that Govern-ment invested US$250 million at the UnitedBank for Africa (UBA) and the UBA inturn lent the money to Government.Whereas Government earned 12 per cent,UBA made 25 per cent. Does he rememberthat one?
Wewould stand it down. The Hon Ato Forsonproposed two new clauses; one wentthrough without any opposition. Theother one has faced fierce resistance. So,Hon Ato Forson, I would stand that down. Hon Members, that brings us to theend of the Consideration Stage of the Bankof Ghana (Amendment) Bill, 2016 fortoday. Hon Agbesi?
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, if we could take item 4(a) --Presentation of Papers. Item 4(a) (i) and(ii).
HonMembers, you said, item 4(a). We havedone it.
Mr Speaker, again, withyour permission and the indulgence of myHon Colleagues who have stayed all thistime, item 31. We promise this is going tobe the last item. Page 16, item 31.
BILLS -- SECOND READING
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that theLocal Governance Bill, 2016 be now reada second time. Mr Speaker, this Bill seeks to review,amend and consolidate the majorlegislations that affect local governanceand decentralization in Ghana. Mr Speaker, in 1988, the governmentembarked on a process of decentralisation,drawing on earlier attempts and experiences.The aim of the decentralisation programmewas to promote popular participation byshifting the process of governance fromone of command to one of consultation.It was also to devolve the functions,powers, competencies, skills and resour-ces to district assemblies, to empowerthem as the executive, legislative,administrative, planning, service delivery,rating and budgeting authorities at thelocal level. This was meant to effect a qualitativechange in the living conditions of thepeople, particularly, in the rural commu-nities and led to the enactment of variouslaws to support the decentralisationprogrammes. Key among them was the LocalGovernment Law of 1988, PNDCL 207.Further impetus was given to thedecentralisation programme with thepromulgation of the 1992 Constitution,which has devoted chapter 20 todecentralisation and local government. Mr Speaker, 18 years later, Governmentundertook a major review of thedecentralisation programme, through theorganisation of 10 regional fora and a National Stakeholders' Conference onDecentralization. The outcomes were aDecentralisation Policy Framework and aNational Decentralisation Action Planwhich run from 2010 to 2014. Mr Speaker, these policies and lawswere rolled out piecemeal, and as with mostfeatures of governance, they culminatedinto a multiplicity of laws in the LocalGovernance System that has created manyopportunities and challenges. Key amongthese challenges is that, over time and withchanges in society, some of the laws havebecome obsolete. Others have alsobecome anachronistic. Mr Speaker, at the operational level, thepriority of legislation on local governmentand decentralisation has madeimplementation very difficult for localgovernment and decentralisationpractitioners, especially, District ChiefExecutives and District CoordinatingDirectors who have to apply andimplement the laws on a daily basis. Mr Speaker, this Bill thereforeconsolidates five major laws on localgovernment and decentralisation. Theseare: The District Assemblies CommonFund Act, 1993 (Act 455); The LocalGovernment Act, 1993 (Act 462) and theNational Development Planning(Systems) Act, 1994 (Act 480). Mr Speaker, the others are the LocalGovernment Service Act, 2003, (Act 656)and the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003(Act 658). Mr Speaker, the Bill removes previousinconsistencies and updates the law bythe inclusion of new developments inlocal government and decentralisation. Major highlights in the Bill include thepromotion of popular participation in locallevel decision making. Although this wasa major aim of the 1988 decentralisationprogramme, none of the laws since then,with the possible exception of the NationalDevelopment Planning (Systems) Act 1994(Act 480), with its public hearingrequirement provision, has had provisionson popular participation. Mr Speaker, in this Bill, clauses 40 to48 seek to address the problem. Theseclauses provide for the participation ofthe people in by-laws and fee-fixingresolutions, modalities and platforms forparticipation and right of stakeholders topetition. Mr Speaker, other participatorygovernance provisions cover thecommunication by district assemblies andcitizens' access to information from adistrict assembly and its department. Mr Speaker, given the difficulties thatministers responsible for local govern-ment have had in the past in drivingdecentralisation on account of their equalstatus with other Ministers whose powerand authority are affected by decentralisa-tion, a novel inter-ministerial coordinatingcommittee on decentralization, chaired bythe President, or a representative of thePresident is proposed to be establishedin part nine. Mr Speaker, this Bill satisfies theprovision of article 106 (2) --
HonMinister, I believe most of what you aresaying is from the memorandum to theBill.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Thememorandum to the Bill is available to us.
I am concluding, MrSpeaker.
I giveyou two or three lines.
Mr Speaker, the Billsatisfies the provision of article 106 (2) ofthe Constitution. On that basis, I urge myHon Colleagues to support this Motionmassively. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the Motion, and in sodoing, with your kind permission, I wouldconclude --
HonChairman of the Committee, mypermission is not granted. Just let theHansard capture the whole Report.
Mr Speaker, I present theReport of your Committee. Introduction The Local Governance Bill, 2016 waslaid before the House by the Hon Ministerfor Transport, Mr Franklin Fifi FiaviKwetey on behalf of the Hon Minister forLocal Government and Rural Develop-ment, Alhaji Collins Dauda, on the 26thFebruary, 2016 and was subsequentlyreferred to the Committee on LocalGovernment and Rural Development forconsideration and report in accordancewith article 103 of the 1992 Constitutionand standing order No. 188 of the House. Background Information Ghana has since 1988, embarked on adecentralisation programme with the ultimate aim of promoting popularparticipation in governance by devolvingsome powers, functions, competences,skills and funds to District Assemblies toenable them formulate, legislate andexecute plans and programmes at the locallevel. This was meant to bring about aqualitative change in the living conditionsof the people and to scale down theburden of decision making on centralgovernment. The decentralisation process led to theformulation of policies and the enactmentof various legislations. Prominent amongthe laws to support the process was thepassage of the Local Government Law of1988 (PNDCL, 207). The process was further strengthenedby the promulgation of the 1992Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.Chapter 20 of the Constitution is devotedto decentralisation and local governance. In 2010, the Government of Ghanaundertook yet another major review of thedecentralisation programme through theorganisation of regional fora and aNational Stakeholder Conference onDecentralisation. Subsequently, theoutcome was a Decentralisation PolicyFramework and a National Decentralisa-tion Action Plan 2010 - 2014 and bothwere launched by the then Vice Presidentof Ghana, H.E. Mr John Dramani Mahamain November, 2010. The policies and the laws relating tolocal governance were rolled out inpiecemeal culminating into multiplicity oflaws that have created many opportunitiesas well as challenges over time and withchanges in society, some of the laws havebecome obsolete and anachronistic. The implementation of such legislationson decentralisation and local governancehas created many difficulties andchallenges for practitioners andimplementing institutions and agencies. The Purpose of the Bill The Bill seeks to review, amend andconsolidate five major laws on localgovernance and decentralisation. Theseare the District Assemblies Common FundAct, 1993 (Act 455), the Local GovernmentAct, 1993 (Act 462), the NationalDevelopment Planning (Systems) Act,1994 (Act 480), the Local GovernmentService Act, 2003 (Act 656) and the InternalAudit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658). Reference Document The Committee made reference to thefollowing documents in the course of itsdeliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana; ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament; iii. The District Assemblies CommonFund Act, 1993 (Act 455); iv. The Local Government Act, 1993(Act 462); v. The National DevelopmentPlanning (Systems) Act, 1994(Act 480); vi. The Local Government ServiceAct, 2003 (Act656); vii.The Internal Audit Agency Act,2003 (Act 658) and viii. The Civil Service Act, 1993(PNDCL 327). Acknowledgement The Committee, in the course of itsdeliberations, interacted with severalstakeholders, but wishes to acknowledgethe immense contribution of the HonMinister for Local Government and Ruraldevelopment, Alhaji Collins Dauda andthe officials of the Ministry; the ExecutiveSecretary, Inter- Ministerial CoordinatingCommittee on Decentralisation, DrCallistus Mahama and his officials; theConsultant and Leader of the LegislativeReview Taskforce of the Inter-MinisterialCoordinating Committee, Prof. KwamenaAhwoi and his team; the Administrator ofthe District Assemblies Common Fund,Mr Kojo Fynn; the Director General of theNational Development PlanningCommission, Dr Nii Moi Thompson andhis team; and officials of the AttorneyGeneral's Department. The Committee appreciates theirsupport and contributions. The Committeealso acknowledges the participation andcontribution of Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh,MP for Wa West in the course of itsdeliberations. Deliberations The Committee held several meetings,consulted widely and received memorandafrom stakeholders in the course of itsdeliberations. Observation and Recommendations The Committee observed that the Billseeks to consolidate laws which are criticalcomponents of decentralisation asprovided in article 240 of the 1992Constitution. These are FiscalDecentralisation (Act 455, 462 and 458);Political decentralisation (Act 462);Decentralised Planning (Act 480) as wellas Administrative Decentralisation (Act656).
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I havedeferred the debate. It is so important thatwe should not do it at this time. Weshould do it when we are fresh. -- [Pause.] Hon Deputy Majority Leader, shouldwe have the debate?
Mr Speaker, originally theidea was to take one contributor from eachSide of the House, but your ruling is inplace.
If youthink we should do it, perhaps two each? Hon Baffour Awuah, one each?
Mr Speaker, this Bill is soimportant. Let us do it tomorrow morning.
HonMembers, the Members who are willingto contribute to this Motion are more thanone on each Side, so let the record showthat the people of Ghana, through theirrepresentatives, are fully interested indecentralisation. Hon Minister and Hon Chairman of theCommittee, history would judge us well ifwe have a full debate on this issue.
Mr Speaker, I oblige butif you would allow two Hon Members fromeach Side to contribute, we would havedone justice to the people of this countryin discussing it.
I havegot the sense of the House and also thedirection from the Leadership. They havethe view that we defer to tomorrow.
Mr Speaker, the time is farspent. It is 8:35 p.m. We are in your hands,Mr Speaker.
HonAgbesi, I know Hon Members have beenhere for a long time -- I am not in chargeof Government Business, but there is asmall matter with the Petroleum(Exploration & Production) Bill, 2016which has been outstanding for sometime. I can see some officers from there sithere from morning to evening. The reasonI mentioned it also is that, we should notkeep investment specific laws outstandingfor too long. I do not know when youintend to do that. Hon Agbesi, you are in charge of theBusiness of the House. I just mentionedit so that you keep it in mind that theofficers have been here. My view is that,if you think you can hear a matter, let it beclear to the persons in charge so that theydo not wait ad infinitum. Mr Afenyo-Markin -- rose --
HonAfenyo-Markin, do you want tocontribute?
Mr Speaker, Iwanted clarification on something said bythe Hon Minister for Local Governmentand Rural Development.
No, wehave passed that stage so you cannothave your clarification. Mr Agbesi -- rose --
I have tohear from you. What is your pleasure?
Mr Speaker, we have hadenough for the day. I believe that in theabsence of anything, the House is in your hands and my Brother is urging me tomove for adjournment, but I leave thedecision to you.
Mr Speaker, I did not hearthe last bit of what he said. My HonMembers are ready to debate provided heis ready for us to debate.
If they are ready to debate,we are ever ready to continue. Mr Speaker,we can take the Local Governance Bill,2016 and debate it.
We areready to debate but the front bench andthe back bench are not at beauty of minds.The front bench cannot see behind them.Luckily, I can see both the front and theback. I would want to inform the Leadersthat the sense of the House is that theyare ready to debate but the back benchersare not ready -- [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, what theMinority Deputy Chief Whip should tellyou is that our lead debater will notofficially be here tomorrow so he soughtpermission to be allowed to start his sothat he can -- [Interruption.] He is the Hon Ranking Member andtomorrow he would not be here.[Interruption.] He is your Hon RankingMember; respect him. He would not behere tomorrow so we are seeking that ifwe could get one contribution each -- atleast, since he will not be here tomorrow -- the debate can continue --[Interruption.] Officially, he has to beelsewhere. The Hon Chairman has spoken,the Hon Ranking Member will speak andthen we defer the debate.
Mr Speaker, theMotion has been moved and seconded.So if we start the debate, then it will bedeferred and we will continue tomorrow. You can permit the Hon Ranking Memberto contribute to the debate so that wecontinue tomorrow.
HonMembers, we must be capable of changingour minds. Having regard to theinformation given us that the Hon RankingMember will not be available tomorrow,let us listen to him. After that, we cantake --
Mr Speaker,I just want to draw attention to howurgent the issue of the Petroleum(Exploration & Production) Bill, 2016 is.This House has been criticised for holdingthis Bill for so many years --[Interruption.] Please, I am talking aboutthe Petroleum (Exploration & Production)Bill, 2016 -- [Interruption.]
HonMembers, let me decide whether he is outof order. Before I recognise the Hon RankingMember, I will recognise the Hon Ministeragain. I will decide whether he is out oforder or not. Nobody can tell me he is outof order.
Mr Speaker, the Petroleum(Exploration & Production) Bill, 2016 hasbeen here for a while. We have startedand it is very important, Mr Speaker, thatwe have a commitment here that at least,we will consider the Bill before thisHouse --
HonMinister, I have noticed your people andraised it with your Leadership. I am surethat luck will smile upon you favourablytomorrow. Hon Ranking Member, we havereopened the debate on the LocalGovernance Bill, 2016.
Ranking Member (Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh): Thank you, Mr Speaker, forthe opportunity to contribute to theMotion for the Second Reading of theLocal Governance Bill, 2016. Mr Speaker, the existing law on localgovernment, Act 462 of 1993, is LocalGovernment Act. What we have beforethe House is Local Governance Bill, 2016.That in itself suggests that there is achange from emphasis on localgovernment institutions to bothinstitutions and processes, which Ibelieve is a good idea. Mr Speaker, the Bill seeks toconsolidate five principal laws that touchon local governance with a view toharmonising them and removinginconsistencies. I do not think that all thelaws on local government have beenconsolidated in this Bill. There are someother legislations that have not been fullycaptured. Mr Speaker, one of the cardinalprinciples of local governance isparticipation as amply demonstrated bythe Hon Minister for Local Governmentand Rural Development. Within this Bill,there is a framework for collaboration andalso participation by stakeholders andindividuals including civil societyorganisations. I believe that it is a verygood thing; it is very healthy for localgovernance in this country. Mr Speaker, one of the strands ofdecentralisation is fiscal decentralisationand is anchored on the principle thatfinances must follow functions. The mostcritical aspects of funding localgovernance have been provided for in thisBill. Unfortunately, borrowing by localgovernments has been taken out inanticipation that, there would be a Municipal Financing Bill, which is noteven before this House. I think that maybein the course of consideration, we wouldre-take that decision and includeborrowing. We can make a generalprovision so that later, if this House passesa Local Finance Bill, then it can take careof that aspect. Mr Speaker, the relationship betweenthe local, the regional and the central havealso been provided for. Even in this Bill,the Regional Coordinating Councils havebeen given a better role or a more clarifiedrole to play in the whole scheme ofdecentralisation; unlike the previousregime where they were only to coordinateand monitor the activities of our districtassemblies. People over the years, have not beentoo comfortable with certain provisionsin our laws that empower the Presidentsto intrude rightly or wrongly, into activitiesof the districts or local governments.These powers are still with them, and Ithink they would exercise their discretionfor the betterment of our localgovernments. I think that, many provisions in theexisting laws could be changed ormodified but for constitutional inhibitions.One would have thought that, theconstitutional amendments would happenbefore an amendment to the legislation.Unfortunately, that has not been the case.After the passage of this Bill, if we haveto change the Constitution, it means thatwe have to come back and also effect someamendments in the law. Mr Speaker, in the past, a PresidentialOversight Committee was set up to ensurethat, actors complied with policy and thelaw. In the past seven or eight years, anInter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee(IMCC) on Centralisation has been set upand for the first time, this is also finding
Thank you Mr Speaker, Isupport this Motion because this is a veryimportant development in ourdecentralisation effort and it is inaccordance with the policies andframeworks that were carried out in 2010,leading to the Action Programme and ofcourse, the setting up of the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee(IMCC), chaired by the President. The consolidation of these laws is soimportant that we have all the laws relatingto decentralisation consolidated in thisAct. Beyond that, the objective again isto get all the decentralised Ministries andDepartments properly defined to beincluded in this Bill. Key among this isthe Ministry of Education and the also,the Ministry of Health. The fact is that, these Ministries havetheir services rendered in and across thedistricts and the municipalities but the reporting system is vertical so that, whenyou have a District Director of Educationor a Health Director in the district notdoing what the district assembly wantsthem to do, or they are misconductingthemselves, it becomes difficult for youto discipline them. So, they are all now,based on this Bill, to be under the controlof this Act. Beyond that, the subsequent thingwould be for the Ghana Education Serviceand the Ghana Health Service Laws to beamended for effective integration into thisarrangement. Because of LI 1961, whichalso created the various departments ofthe district assembly, it is important that,we also get these institutions under it. The IMCC has already been mentionedbut it is chaired by the President and thekey Ministries and the key Ministers areinvolved. So, it does not look like it is theHon Minister for Local Government whois a super Minister directing everybody.You would go to this Committee, and theywould tell you what your role is in termsof your functions in your Ministry. One of the important things is that, withthis law passing, the Ministries,particularly, those who have decentralisedfunctions, would be concentrating onpolicy and standard setting at theMinistries' level. It would be moreimportant for them to familiarisethemselves with policy formulation. If youlook at the fact that the Civil Service andLocal Government Servants Associationof Ghana (CLOSSAG) or the LocalGovernment Service itself is already inplace, this law would consolidate andensure that, we decentralise effectively. I believe that, all of you should supportit and look at critical areas. There arefundamental changes in it but as my goodFriend, the Hon Ranking Member alreadyobserved, if we had done the constitu-
HonKwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah?
Thank you MrSpeaker for the opportunity to add myvoice to the Second Reading of the LocalGovernance Bill, 2016. Mr Speaker, if you take thedevelopment of this country, not until1900, the British Government nevercontrolled what is called modern dayGhana. If you take from 1900 to 1950 andthen 1951 when President Nkrumahbecame the Head of Government business,you would realise that, the Britishcontrolled Ghana for fifty years and wehave also done more than fifty years.Unfortunately, we still have not been ableto bridge the divide between the Northand the South. Secondly, Mr Speaker, we all know that,in the last two decades, Africa has beenrising and we have been growing at a minimum of five per cent over Africa.Today, Africa is also being considered asthe youthful continent in the world, but ifyou look at the demographics, you wouldrealise that, young persons between theages of 20 to 24 are about 50 per cent inmost African countries with the exceptionof Ghana and a few other countries. Clearly, it shows that the urgency todevelop our local communities is now.That is when we can give opportunitiesto more of our young people. Mr Speaker, as we speak, we have hada lot of problems with local leadership.Leadership that is elected so that they candrive the growth of our districts, so thatmore young people would have access todecent work. If we take this Bill, eventhough I am supporting it because thereare a few things that are good, I believethat the major issues that we should havetackled have not been tackled. Mr Speaker, the election of DistrictChief Executives (DCEs) which has beena major concern for all Ghanaians has notbeen tackled. Ghanaians are sensibleenough to elect their President, Membersof Parliament (MPs), Assemblymen andUnit Committee Members. Unfortunately,we have left only the DCE out. Meanwhile,the DCE controls so much resources andpower that their constituency is rather theFlagstaff House instead of being withtheir own people at the local level. Mr Speaker, this is creating a lot of gapsbetween the development and respon-siveness of our elected leaders at the locallevel, therefore, we continue as a countrythat is not developing. Currently, we allknow that Ghana is only growing around3.9 per cent, which is not even equal tothe African average. It clearly shows thatif we are able to give power for our DCEsto be elected, they would be responsive.In the responsiveness, growth wouldnaturally come up. Mr Speaker, if we also take even ourAssemblymen, immediately they areelected into the Assembly, 30 per cent oftheir power is taken from them becauseGovernment also appoints 30 per cent ofthe people in there. The excuse we alwaysgive is that, it is for capacity. All the regions of this country haveuniversities, therefore, we are expected tobe producing quality manpower to servethese districts. I believe that this Billshould have been strategic enough toinsist that even if you are employing orco-opting Government appointees, theyshould not have voting rights. This is sothat the political power and will that havebeen invested in our people through theAssemblymen, would be expressed fully. Mr Speaker, it is very clear that theseare some of the little things that we needto change in this Bill, such that ourAssemblies would be fully responsive tothe needs of our people. If you also takethe Unit Committees, they are alwaysbeing starved of resources to work at theunit committee local level. It is time thatwe consider some direct transfers to thesetown councils and the Unit Committeesso that common clean-up exercises canbe activated. Mr Speaker, the National SanitationDay, after the normal fanfare ones, itbecame so difficult for Unit Committeesto do them. This is because we know thatall the resources at the local level havebeen captured by political appointees. So,even if it is toilets or pipe borne water thatthey could sell and use the money to dosimple local economic activities, UnitCommittee activities, these resources arenot available because among the peopletaking the decisions at the Assembly, 30per cent of that power has been takenaway from them. Mr Speaker, this also brings to lightthe issue of local economic development.If you take Act 462, it is very practical. Itsays that the Assembly should beresponsible and should be the head orleadership in the area of political andadministrative issues. But the issue oflocal economic development is not clearlyspelt out. So, even when Ministers givedirectives, even through the way theyallocate the Common Fund, even foreconomic purposes, the Assemblies arenot able to deploy those resources foreconomic development. Therefore, youwould realise that our districts continueto lag behind when it comes to localeconomic development. Mr Speaker, you know my positon onGhana, that we have consistently beendeveloping like kwashiorkor, where onlyAccra is developing and the rest of ourtowns are not. If we take a place like HonYieleh Chireh's constituency, Wa West, itis the poorest district in this country.[Interruption.] It is national statistics andnot something new. [Interruption.] He ishere, you can ask him. Mr Speaker, it is very important --[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I wouldhave been silent if the Hon Member forWa West was in his chair because I knowhe would have jumped up. The HonMember cannot just make this sweepingstatement and believe that it must befactual. Until he substantiates what hesaid with facts -- This is a House ofrecords and he cannot just get up --[Interruption.] What statistics? What arethe records for you to just say that WaWest is the poorest district in the country?
Mr Speaker, that is a dangerousstatement to make. Can he tell us theindices that he used to measure so thatwe can all know? There are other areas --[Interruption] He cannot just say that,he must prove it or withdraw. He cannotjust get up and say that Wa West is thepoorest district in the whole country. Interms of what? That is dangerous.[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, he must substantiate orwithdraw because it is not correct. It isnot based on facts.
Mr Speaker, my HonColleague Hon Sorogho has the right todisagree with the point made by HonDarko-Mensah. But to describe hisstatement as sweeping is too strong.[Interruption.]
HonMembers, I am happy that Hon YielehChireh is back in the Chamber. All that wasgoing on, I was just waiting for him tocome back. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, there are twotypes of descriptions and indicators ofpoverty and it is one such report. Howauthentic it is, nobody knows. But it hasbeen reported that it is the poorest andfor the whole -- [interruption.]Whatever the indicators are, nobodyknows. I know that we are a very rich districtand the potentials are yet to be exploited.[Uproar.]
I cannotbelieve what the back bench does to someof our Hon Colleagues. Some of them arecharged at 9 o'clock, pointing, calling towithdraw and do apologise and so on. Ido not think that Hon Sorogho said anything wonderful. He just said that thatwas too sweeping. But we all waited forHon Yieleh Chireh. He has cleared theissue so let us make progress.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that we have a fine opportunity toinclude local economic development aspart of the mandate of the Assembly. Ihave seen that on page 3 of the Report, Igot the opportunity to attend theirmeeting and they have made an additionof promoting local economic developmentas part of the mandate of the Assembly,and I believe that it is in the right direction. Unfortunately Mr Speaker, it is notenough. I believe that it should promoteand facilitate. These two words are veryimportant. The idea is that we want localgovernment to be active and not justpassive. Mr Speaker, if the Government goes ona tour to “say” England or Qatar, and heis promoting Ghana and they tell him “weneed a feasibility report for plantationfarming in Ghana”, and for two years thereport is not sent in, it shows that thePresident has promoted but has not beenable to facilitate. Therefore, I believe that it is importantthat our Assemblies are given thatmandate to be able to not just promotebut also facilitate local economicdevelopment. Mr Speaker, in doing so, what wouldhappen is that, the Assemblies would beable to steer the population toproductivity, wealth creation andprosperity. Mr Speaker, moving forward, one of theareas I believed we should have touchedon was the relationship between HonMembers of Parliament (MPs) and District
HonOkyere Darko, I hope you are winding up.
Yes, Mr Speaker, Iam winding up. I also believe that the idea of the InterMinisterial Committee as a StandingCommittee more or less, is not a good idea.Even though it places the President at the centre of it, I believe that we are belittlingthe Hon Minister for Local Governmentand Rural Development. Mr Speaker, the population of Ghanais in the Districts and not in Accra. Ibelieve that, it is time we raised the statusof the Hon Minister for Local Governmentand Rural Development who touches thelife of all of us to the status of a seniorminister. So when the President is makingthat selection of a Hon Minister for LocalGovernment and Rural Development, hepicks the person, gives him that position,so that that position can be used inchanging and improving the lives of ourpeople. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Ibelieve that we should support the Reportwith the amendments that I havementioned. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, Ithank you for the opportunity tocontribute to the debate on the floor ofthe House, and to support the Report ofthe Committee on Local Government andRural Development on the LocalGovernance Bill. Mr Speaker, as it has been captured inthe title of this Bill, this Bill is quiteexpansive. Indeed, that has been capturedeven in the Memorandum of the Billbecause it seeks to review, amend andconsolidate: To review the existing lawsand bring them in accord with practicesand look into future. As it has been said in the suggestionthat, Ministers for Local Government andRural Development find it very difficult tomanage the Local Governance apparatus,it is important to set up a Committee forthe purpose of dealing with localgovernment institutions. And I believethat is in the right direction.
MrSpeaker, I thank you for the opportunityto contribute to the Motion on the floor. Mr Speaker, first of all, I support theMotion. There have been lot of laws as faras decentralisation and local governmentis concerned since 1988, from PNDC Law207, come to Act 462 of 1993, and so manyothers. Today, we see that we are going to havesome kind of consolidation. Mr Speaker, debates about decentralisationand local government have centered onpolitical accountability of local actors.
HonMembers, please let us have some Order. Alhaji Fuseini —On a Point of Order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Colleague isgrossly misleading this House. There isno election in the local governancestructure which is conducted on a politicalplatform basis[Uproar] So to say that onewould find NPP and NDC in the localgovernance system is to suggest thatlocal government elections are conductedon political frontlines and that is the normand practice.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinister did not listen to me well and if hedid, then he did not understand what Iwas saying.
So pleasesay it again.
Mr Speaker, practically,what is on the ground today? To everyassembly that one goes today, one canhave such persons in the Assemblies, andresearch in Ghana has shown that in everyassembly, one would get to realise thatpractically — [Uproar] Mr Speaker, weshould not behave like ostriches.
Hon DrStephen Nana Ato Arthur, Hon Memberof Parliament for Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem;four paramount areas.You couldrephrase your suggestion better. This isbecause you are putting it as if it is amatter of fact. And they are saying that ifyou say you find NPP and NDCassemblymen, per an objective test, whatthe ordinary man sitting in a trotro goingto Essikado would believe is that onewould see persons who stood on NPP andNDC tickets. Hon Member, I know that is not whatyou mean and so rephrase it.
Mr Speaker, I earlier onreferred to the Constitution. Mr Speaker, I believe we should —
HonMembers, Order! If you are sitting at theback bench, that does not mean I cannothear you.
Mr Speaker, today whenone goes to Accra Metropolitan Assembly(AMA), they have NPP and NDCcaucuses. [Uproar] I am talking aboutwhat is practically on the grounds. Mr Speaker, what prevails is what I amtalking about. And so I was of the viewthat the new Bill would attempt —[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I would wantmy good Friend, Hon Dr Stephen NanaAto Arthur to officially withdraw thataspect so that it does not stay in theHansard. He was a Regional Minister. Ishe telling us today that he establishedthose caucuses in all the districts in theregion that he was?
He wasalso a District Chief Executive (DCE), aDeputy Regional Minister, a RegionalMinister and then an Hon Member ofParliament.
Mr Speaker, I am so happythe current Central Regional Minister, HonGeorge Kweku Ricketts-Hagan is in ourmidst. He is the Member of Parliament forCape Coast South. Mr Speaker, just recently, in a numberof MMDAs in Central Region where theyhad appointed new Metropolitan,Municipal and District Chief Executives(MMDCEs), I do not need to go far to lethim know that one would get this groupbelonging to this particular party andothers — [Uproar.] But Mr Speaker, please let me go ahead.The point that I am making is that--
HonMember, are you saying that some of theassembly members are sympathetictowards some particular political parties?
Mr Speaker that is a fact.
But isthat the same as they — They do notstand on the ticket of any party? But youare saying that they are sympathetictowards certain parties.
Mr Speaker, if I need toquote Mr Asiedu Nketia, the GeneralSecretary of the ruling government, NDC, and I would quote him well. Immediatelywe had the 2010 District AssemblyElections, he came out and said —
Where, where? [Interruption] Mr Speaker, he said“over 60 per cent of the district assemblymembers elected were NDC”. How did heget the figure? Mr Speaker, I am building on this withthe view that the new Bill I thought mighthave considered some of these challengesfacing our decentralisation and localgovernment procedures. Mr Speaker,today, over 80 per cent of developingcountries have chosen —
Mr Speaker, we aredebating this report and it is not for anypolitical party. This is because my HonColleague on his feet has mentioned aname which is not in this House. He hasalso not told us where and when the saidperson made that statement. Mr Speaker, I would want to plead withmy Hon Colleague that we are debatingthis report which is for Ghana. After all,NPP has been in power and NDC is alsoin power. Let us be very objective anddebate this report for the betterment ofGhana, so that mentioning a name whichis not here and not telling us where andwhen that person said so, is not astatement to be entertained. Mr Speaker, and so if he cannot gofurther to prove when that person said itand where it was said and for whatpurpose, he should please withdraw sothat we would debate this objectively inthe interest of Ghana.
Mr Speaker, what I said —
Can Iplease have the opportunity to speak? Hon Dr Stephen Nana Ato Arthur, youhave stated your opinion and in it yousaid, there are some NPP assemblymembers and NDC assembly members andso you are not singling out a particularparty. Once you have mentioned a namethe practice in this House is that, whenyou mention the name of a person who isoutside the House, then you would haveto substantiate. Hon Member, you can make your pointwithout mentioning names. And sowithdraw that part. I cannot tell you whatto say, but you can make the same pointin a way which is not controversial.
Mr Speaker, I can cite andgive you to check; Arthur 2012 —hss.ulb.uni-bonne.de[Uproar.] Mr Speaker, I believe that when we arehere —
HonMember, what is your source?
Mr Speaker, I have to giveyou the source.
Mr Speaker, I am forcedto rise again and to request of you torestrain the Hon Member from embarkingon that path. It is a dangerous path. Mr Speaker, it flies in the face of all thelaws of this country. Mr Speaker, the fact that one getsselected or stands as an Assemblymandoes not operate to rob him of his right tobelong to a political party; it does not.They are two different things; just asJustices of the Supreme Court vote, the
Mr Speaker, I am very muchaware of article 248 (1) and (2).
HonMember, maybe, just withdraw the thirdpart. Or do you want to lay it on the Table?
Mr Speaker, I think I haveto make it clear that the district assemblyelections --
Hon AtoArthur, that is your message please. Asan Hon Member, you are an authority inyour own right. The problem with it is that,
Mr Speaker, thank you.
DrArthur, wait and let me finish with mystatement. I am saying this for the guidance of allof us; earlier this morning Papa Owusu-Ankomah googled Wikipedia and readfrom his phone. Hon Richard Anane, onthe interpretation of “politically exposedperson”, also googled with the help of histablet and read it. You have also googledsomething and you have read it. Thequestion is that, when they ask you for asource and it is on your telephone, thepractice is that if they challenge youfurther, you must lay it on the Table. Hon Member, I asked you of yoursource and you said it is Daily Graphicof 25th April. Where is the newspaper soas to lay it on the Table? I cannot ask theHon Member to lay his mobile phone onthe Table. And he has not printed a copyof that page of the newspaper. For me thisis a serious matter because we are not eventhinking about just this. The question isthat --
Mr Speaker, I thinkI would not go there again but if it is thename, I withdraw.
Wouldthe Hon Ato Arthur not let me finish? What is agitating my mind is that whena person's source is electronic, Hon K. T.Hammond, what do we do? Do we justaccept it?
That person simplygives you the reference and I thought thatis exactly what the Hon Member has triedto do.
So is thereference sufficient?
Yes, it is sufficientbecause that would lead you to where thedocument is.
HonAgbesi, when somebody's source iselectronic -- In this House, Hon Memberssay that Hon Joe Ghartey said this atEsikodo -- [Interruption.] Hon Members, let us have some order. Yes, Hon Agbesi, what do we do if thesource is electronic?
Mr Speaker, if he goeselectronic, I cannot check him. He takeshis mobile phone and says that he hasgoogled something --
HonAgbesi, I am asking, that what do we do ifthe source is electronic?
Mr Speaker, if he goeselectronic, then he must bring the sourcefor the House to see. In this case, it iswith him.
But if hegives us the source, as he has mentioned,other people can access it and seewhether he is right or wrong. Hon Bryan Acheampong, I know thatyou are not electronically challenged sohow do we access electronic documentshere?
Mr Speaker, I think this day andage, if a source is quoted and it iselectronic, most Hon Members havedevices that they can check. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, however -- [Interruption.]
HonMembers, do not let us get excited aboutthis. Hon Members, let us recognise that inevery parliament in this world, when anHon Member is making his maidenstatement, we keep quiet and listen to him.This is the first time the Hon Member isspeaking. Let us keep quiet, please. Yes, Hon Acheampong, continue.
Mr Speaker, I thinkI am just about half way through theStanding Orders. But I listened to you andif, when a statement is made it has to bereferenced, then it has to be laid on theTable. However, with my background inElectronic Communications, I think thatin this day and age, if something isreferenced online, most Hon Members cango through their gadgets. It is just a recommendation, that mostHon Members who have tablets and smartphones can easily access it to promotethe conversation, discussion and debate.Most Hon Members can quickly accessthe reference on their smart phones tohelp the debate go on. Mr Speaker, however, should it benecessary that some Hon Members do nothave access to devices at the time of thedebate, then I think Hon Members Sittingnext to them can pass on their device. Ithink that we just did one here when HonAto Arthur was on the floor and needed areference; the Hon Member did a quickresearch and passed the device to HonAto Arthur to continue with the debate. Thank you. [Hear! Hear!]
Thankyou. I think that as we go forward, we areconstructing a new Standing Order andso on. We would be looking at how theelectronic matters become -- Hon Nana Ato Arthur, continue.
Mr Speaker, I willbe concluding very soon. I am alsolooking at the fact that in this new Bill,how do we --
Hon AtoArthur, we have not come to a conclusion.So, just take out Hon Asiedu Nketia'sname.
Yes, I have droppedthat one. Mr Speaker, I was going to citewww.modernghana.com. He said it; it isvery clear; 11th July, 2011. But I would dropit, if you so wish.
Mr Speaker, www.modern-ghana.com. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, it ishere. It is official. “NDC won District Assembly elect-ions” -- Asiedu Nketia. He said that during the Sunyanimeeting and reported on 11th July, 2011. Ican just lay it on the Table. This is anofficial publication. I am laying it and I believe thataccording to Order 7 of our StandingOrders, official publication -- [Inter-ruption.] It is here: www.modernghana.com Mr Speaker, I would also want to talkabout the fact that public access toinformation at the district assembly levelis a constraint. How do we ensure thatlocal people, for instance, get to know theassemblies' share of the Common Fund?
I believe that recently it has beenpublished in the newspapers. I am verymuch aware of that. How do we circulatefor people to get to know about that?[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, again, another area thathas been of concern is the frequency ofthe local actors being available to theirconstituents. That for me is equallyimportant. For instance, if something is going onat the district assembly, how does theDistrict Chief Executive get closer to theelectorates? That is the reason we compareDistrict Chief Executives to Members ofParliament who are elected. Access to the people is moreprominent as compared to that of DistrictChief Executives. That also affects politicalaccountability. Is the District ChiefExecutive upwardly accountable to theappointing authority or downwardlyaccountable to the constituents? For me,these are issues that are very important. So, Mr Speaker, going forward, I wouldlook for a day that District Chief Executiveswould be elected. Mr Speaker, secondly, even thenomenclature “District Chief Executives”-- there are times one travels outside andthe person calls himself Municipal ChiefExecutive. People do not even want tounderstand who a Municipal ChiefExecutive is. This is because all over theworld, they are called Mayors. So, if I go to a conference in Kenyaand someone comes from a city and sayshe is a Mayor of the place, but then I callmyself a District or Municipal ChiefExecutive -- I believe that if we want tobe part of the whole wide world, we wouldneed to reconsider some of these issues.
Hon AtoArthur, what were you relying on? Tell meagain because I am writing a ruling.
Mr Speaker, I have giventwo sources here. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, the first one, the author isArthur, 2012. When I say 2012, I mean theyear. The source is hss.ulb.uni-bonn.de --[Uproar!]
And thesecond one?
Mr Speaker, the second oneis www.modernghana.com. The date of publication is 11th July,2011. [Interruption.] The headline is, “NDC won DistrictAssembly Elections -- Asiedu Nketia”;the story is here. Mr Speaker, these are researchable. Ifone researches he can access the story.[Interruption.] The first one was a publication; Arthur2012 is a publication.
HonNana Ato Arthur, you have finished. I justasked you a simple question and you haveanswered. Thank you. Hon Members, I am going to rule onthis issue. So, do you want to commenton this issue? [Interruption.] Should I notrule? [Interruption.] I am being urgednot to rule but I will. [Laughter.] -- [LongPause.] Hon Majority Leader, have we endedthe debate?
Mr Speaker, you can putthe Question now.
HonMembers, have we finished the debate?[Interruption.] All right. Hon Members, the Hon Dr Nana AtoArthur, in his contribution to a Motion,made a suggestion that the GeneralSecretary of the NDC, Mr Asiedu Nketiamade a public statement which was reliedupon. This elicited responses from other HonMembers, which can basically be dividedinto two, the first being that, since HonAseidu Nketia was not present in theHouse, it was not proper to raise his namein matters relating to the debate.[Interruption.] Hon Members, if you want to read theruling, I would stand up so that you cancome and do so. The second question was whether anHon Member could rely on an electronicsource, so to speak, in supporting astatement. The practice has developed in theHouse, where Hon Members,when askedto substantiate what they have said havebeen asked to state the source. Hon Members, this House is intransition. I say so because we aretransitioning from a House of paper to apaperless one. Indeed, today, it is not allHon Members who are supplied the OrderPaper, the Votes and Proceedings andother documents. The reason is that it issuggested that a lot of these are providedfor us electronically. I cannot refuse to take note of the factthat we are moving into an electronic era.[Hear! Hear!] Hon Members, but we havestill not completely left the era of papers. Standing Order 6 says: “In all cases not provided for inthese Orders, Mr Speaker shall makeprovisions as he deems fit.” Hon Members, for the avoidance ofdoubt, Standing Order 7 says: “…Mr Speaker includes a Memberpresiding at a Sitting.” Sitting as the Hon Speaker, I direct thatelectronic evidence is not provided for byour rules. So, I request Hon Dr Nana AtoArthur to make a printed copy availableto the Table Office tomorrow by 2.00p.m.,by which time we would rise in theafternoon. Otherwise, what he has said would beexpunged from the record. Thank you. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Local Governance Bill, 2016 wasaccordingly read a Second time.
HonMembers, the House is adjourned tilltomorrow at 10 o'clock in the forenoon.