MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
HonMembers, we have the Votes andProceedings of Friday, 15th July, 2016 forcorrection. Any correction? Pages 1…7 -- Mr Isaac Osei -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I see myname recorded as absent. I had actuallysought permission the day before, and hadhad consequential discussions with theRt Hon Speaker on the matter.
All right.Table Office, please, take note and effectthe necessary correction. Pages 8 … 20? Hon Members, in the absence of anyfurther corrections, the Votes andProceedings of Friday, 15th July, 2016, ascorrected is hereby adopted as the truerecord of proceedings. Hon Members, we have one OfficialReport; the Official Report of Monday,4th July, 2016 for correction. [No correction was made to theOfficial Report of Monday, 4thJuly, 2016.] Hon Members, there is a correspon-dence from the Office of the President. Itis dated 15th July, 2016.
Mr Speaker,item number 4 -- Presentation of Papers.
Very well. Hon Members, at the Commencementof Public Business. Item numbered 4 onthe Order Paper -- Presentation ofPapers. Which of them is ready?It is justone.
Mr Speaker, item numbered5 on the Order Paper -- Presentationand First Reading of Bills.
Very well. Hon Members, we have the Companies(Amendment) Bill, 2016, by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.
BILLS -- FIRST READING
Mr Speaker, item numbered7 on the Order Paper. The Hon DeputyMinister for Finance is available to movethe Motion for and on behalf of theMinister for Finance. I would want to seekyour kind permission and the indulgenceof my Hon Colleagues to allow the HonDeputy Minister to move the Motion forand on behalf of the Minister for Finance. Mr Speaker, the Minister for Financewas in my office earlier this morning toinform me that, there were some criticalinformation that the Finance Committeeis looking for, and he needs to be therepersonally. So, the Hon Minister is withthe Finance Committee now. That is whyhe is not present on the floor of the House.
Very well,Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
The plea isfair with us, Mr Speaker.
Hon DeputyMinister for Finance?
BILLS -- SECOND READING
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion moved by the HonDeputy Minister and in so doing, I presentyour Committee's Report. Introduction The Public Private Partnership Bill,2016, was presented to Parliament andread the First time on Tuesday, 17th May,2016. In accordance with article 106 (4)and (5) of the Constitution, and Orders169 and 179 of the Standing Orders of theHouse, Mr Speaker referred the Bill tothe joint Committee on Finance andConstitutional, Legal and ParliamentaryAffairs for consideration and report. The Committee had in attendance atits meetings, Ms Mona Ellen Quartey,Deputy Minister for Finance, and officialsfrom the Ministry. Also in attendancewere officials from the Legislative DraftingDivision of the Ministry of Justice andAttorney-General's Department. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing documents during itsdeliberations. i. 1992 Constitution of the Republicof Ghana ii. Standing Orders of Parliament iii. National Policy on Public PrivatePartnership (2011) iv. Minerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act 703) v. Public Procurement Act, 2003(Act 663) vi. Lands (Statutory Wayleaves)Act 1963 (Act 186) vii.Alternative Dispute ResolutionAct 2010 (Act 798) viii. Interpretation Act, 2009 (Act792). Background Experiences all over the world haveshown that, public infrastructure likeroads, electricity, transportation, waterand sanitation, seaports and airports,public educational and health facilitiesand services are essential and directlyrelated to economic output. They areconsidered pre-requisites for economicgrowth and development, therefore, ofparamount importance to every nation.
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MrSpeaker, thank you very much for theopportunity to associate myself with theMotion ably moved by the Hon DeputyMinister for Finance, that the PublicPrivate Partnership Bill, 2016 be now reada Second time. I believe that, the policyprinciple informing the decision tolegislate on it is followed by the fact that,Cabinet in 2011, gave policy approval forpublic private partnership. Therefore,this Bill seeks to give legal support to thepolicy so approved. Mr Speaker, we are told that, globally,and in Ghana, there is an infrastructuredeficit of US$ 2 billion per annum. Everyother year, the deficit in terms of how muchwe require to build a robust infrastructure,which is important to stimulate economicgrowth and allow for the delivery of publicgoods and services is in the region of US$2 billion. As rightly pointed out in thememorandum, there are fiscal constraintsand these fiscal constraints are that,Government is not able to provide for allthese infrastructure. Therefore, it isreaching out to the private sector whichwould be supportive. Now, we would need a legal framework. Mr Speaker, I have two issues to raise,one is procurement. It is establishedglobally that, the most veritable source ofcorruption in the world is procurementwithin the public processes. Therefore, aswe give meaning to this Bill, we shouldstrengthen the procurement role of thisparticular entity to ensure, first, Mr Speaker, I may give three practicalexamples. For instance, today, the countryhas an energy deficit in terms of powerand power generation. We need indepen-dent power producers (IPPs) thatobviously are private sector players. So,they would come under the ambit of a PPP.How do they build in order that theycontribute to our energy mix but areassured of affordable, realistic rate in termsof utility tariffs that would encourage themto invest more in that particular sector? Mr Speaker, I could also give theexample of the roads sector. For instance,if we would want to dualise the Accra-Kumasi or Accra-Takoradi Road, we maybe looking up to a private entity whichwould come in with Government to buildthat road. But Mr Speaker, what we havenot done in this country, to which onewould encourage the Ministry of Financeand other infrastructure Ministries, is toset up viable and functional roadinfrastructure. Many of us have travelled. When onegoes to the United States of America(USA) driving between New York and NewJersey, one pays road tolls. Some of theroad tolls are used to service some of whatwould go into this investment. That is whyit is such an important Bill that this Housemust support. Apart from the road infrastructure,maybe, we should be cautious when itcomes to social services, probably, in thearea of water. In other areas like housing,we can also cure a major national problemthrough a PPP. How do we provideaffordable housing scheme, either forteachers or for workers? This is animportant Bill. Mr Speaker, may I refer you to page 17of the Bill, even though we would dojustice to it when we get to theConsideration Stage. I am surprised that,the sponsoring Ministry is the Ministryof Finance which talks about theestablishment of a PPP fund; to do whatand for what purpose? We do not need a fund for this. Whatwe need is a relationship betweenGovernment and private sector personswho are providing for an investment ininfrastructure. We do not need a PPP fund.What are they going to do with that fund?I believe when we get there -- I can understand that, it is incorporatedin the Bill, but I am unconvinced that, weneed to set up a PPP fund. No! What weare looking for is that -- Mr Speaker, thisis very important because, investors havelong been looking for this opportunity. I had the privilege to travel with thePresident on many of his investment tours,and many of them said that, beyondpolicy, we need a legal framework thatwould govern the relationship betweenthe private sector and the public sector.We do have genuine difficulties with theestablishment of the Fund. Mr Speaker, my second concern is theAgency. What agency? When we cometo the Long Title, we would seek toimprove it, but the policy principle whichis Cabinet approval of a policy on PPPcannot be overemphasised. I would urge Hon Members to supportthis, and say we give a legal framework tosupport the policy that we have soapproved. There are many areas of ournational economy. It has been proved thatthe private sector is more efficient thanthe public one. What we need is tomanage the cost that would be associatedwith it. Again, to encourage the Ministry ofFinance; in feasibility studies. Forinstance, I am aware that they are doing aurology project at Korle Bu TeachingHospital, which is being funded by theprivate sector. On the basis of thefeasibility, we should be able to know thevalue of what goes into this project. Mr Speaker, I believe that, what isimportant is ensuring value for money,openness and competitiveness that allprivate sector players, regardless ofwhether they are national or external toour economy, have a free room in order tooperate in the environment. But we must check the value for moneyand ensure more transparency. With these few words, Mr Speaker, Isupport the Motion. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr Speaker,for giving me the opportunity to associatemyself with the Report of the JointCommittee on Finance and Constitutional,Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on thePublic Private Partnership Bill, 2016 beingdebated now. Mr Speaker, the issue of PPP is a mustdo thing for every country now. This isbecause, the demands on central fundsfor the provision of public infrastructureis growing, and government alone cannotbear the cost of the provision of publicstructures. So, it is incumbent onGovernment to find other means of fundingthe provision of public structures, andPPP has proved to be one of the best waysof funding public infrastructural cost. Mr Speaker, this is a modern way ofinjecting capital for the provision of publicgoods and it must be supported by all.
Thank youvery much, Hon Member. May I, therefore, call on the HonDeputy Minister to wind up. Mr Agbesi -- rose --
HonDeputy Majority Leader, do you want tomake a contribution?
Mr Speaker, I thank you for thisopportunity to contribute to this Motion. Mr Speaker, I deem this Bill soimportant. If I should say what PPP hasdone in some areas, particularly, in myconstituency, I would gladly welcome thisBill. I urge all of us to support it. Mr Speaker, I mentioned that because,recently, the PPP system was used ininvesting at a company called “Safi Sana”Project in Ashaiman. Under this project,people would be employed, fertiliser andgas would be produced in Asheiman. Thisis a fine example of what PPP can do. Mr Speaker, that is not all. Again, inAshaiman, there is a market structure -- Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah -- rose --
HonMember, are you up on a point of order?
Mr Speaker, rightly so. Mr Speaker, there is a Motion on thefloor on PPP, but our Hon Deputy Leaderhas moved to Ashaiman to talk about jobsand fertiliser. I do not know which page of the Reportwe can find that. He should speak to theReport. This is because, PPP did not starttoday. So, if he wants to go on that tangent, I believe, he would put us in atight corner. So, he should stick to theMotion and the Report. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I want to letmy Hon Colleague know that, I am givinga typical example of what PPP has done inthe economy of Ashaiman. This isevidence-based. It is for him to know that,it is very necessary. Mr Speaker, we should support thisidea of PPP. This is because it is a systemthat can elevate our economy to a certainlevel. Private people would bring theirfunds and join the public, the Governmentfor that matter, to undertake projects inwater, roads et cetera that we look up tothe Government to do. It is a fact that theGovernment alone cannot do it all. It is inthis vein that I gave the typical examplesof what happened in Ashaiman. Mr Speaker, with these words, I urgeall Hon Members to support this Motion.
Thank youvery much. After the Hon Majority Leader, wewould hear from the Hon Deputy Minister.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support theMotion, and to say that, the passage ofthe PPP Act is long overdue. Mr Speaker,Governments all over the world sign socialcontracts with the people to providesocial goods. To be able to do so, theyalso need to put in place the framework toprovide economic goods. In doing so, theGovernment is not the only stakeholder.There are so many stakeholders andpartners, and the private sector is one. Mr Speaker, this was recognised longago. As the Report of the Committeepointed out, as far back as the year 2001,there were some policy guidelines put in
Very well. Hon Deputy Minister, can you wind-up?
Mr Speaker, I wouldwant to thank all Hon Members who haveexpressed support for the Bill. All the comments have been noted andwould be incorporated to be consideredat the Consideration Stage. Mr Speaker, I would just want toaddress three issues raised. One is theissue of the establishment of an Agency.Currently, the work to be done by the Mr Speaker, we want to thank you forallowing us to bring this Bill here, todiscuss and consider all the comments thathave been made.
Thank youvery much. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Public Private Partnership Bill,2016 accordingly read a Second time.
Mr Speaker, sorry, we werejust consulting on the Business of theHouse. Mr Speaker, I think we can now takeitem numbered 12.
Very well. Hon Members, item numbered 12 onthe Order Paper -- Ghana AIDSCommission Bill, 2015. [Pause] --
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
HonMembers, my instructions are that, asregards clause 7, the proposed amendmenthas been withdrawn so, we need to putthe Question as regards clause 6 standingpart of the Bill. Hon Chairman of the Committee, areyou with me? Agency is done at the Ministry of Financeby the Public Investment Directorate. The role of the Agency is to promote,evaluate proposals, oversee and imple-ment them through technical support.More importantly, it is to coordinate thefiscal implications of some of thepartnerships and ensure that they arewithin the national plan. So, that role is very important;especially when we look at thedecentralised PPP projects at the DistrictAssembly stage. Mr Speaker, we need to make sure thatsome of them fall into the national planand they also do not result in any negativephysical implications. So, it is tocoordinate and ensure some level ofcentralisation to avoid any fragmentationof projects. Mr Speaker, in terms of the Fund, Ibelieve that, the Hon Member spoke aboutfunds not being needed but we do needthem for project preparation, feasibilityand to ensure that, experts are brought in,especially, for solicited projects. Those areprojects where by Government puts outthe projects and not the private sector.So, those experts and consultants mustbe paid to come up with the feasibilityprojects. Mr Speaker, most of the projects thatwould be looked at, would becommercially viable projects, therefore,the feasibility would be very important.With respect to unsolicited projects orproposals which would come from theprivate sector, there would be strictprocurement processes at Public Procure-ment Authority (PPA) that would beundertaken to make sure that they fallwithin the national procurement laws.
Mr Speaker, clause 7 is disclosure ofinterest. There is a binding constitutionalobligation on conflict of interest, and thereason clause 7 (b) is important is that, amember of the Board does not benefit asa result of the membership of the Boardon a matter in which he has an interest.Maybe, the wife's company or his ownentity or a matter before the Board. Mr Speaker, so, it is important that, theHon Member excuses himself from thatdeliberation so that, tomorrow, he is notaccused of influencing the Board to arriveat some decisions which may befavourable to him even to a genuine issue.We have provided this in many other Billsso, I am at a loss why the Hon Chairmanwants to delete clause 7 (b). Therefore, Istand opposed to it because it remains animportant part of strengthening disclosureof interest and ensuring that there is noconflict of interest.
Mr Speaker, I do not thinkthat the amendment proposed should besupported. This is because, thephraseology may change but in almost allthe laws that we have passed, we alwayshave that obligation of the person whohas that interest to recuse him or herselffrom the meeting or participating in it. Mr Speaker, the (b); “request to berecused from the deliberations of theBoard…” It is not even a request to bemade to that person. The person if he failsto recuse himself would be affected bythose who lose their membership of theCommittee or Board because of that. Mr Speaker, if we look at thecomposition of the Board and theconditions under which one ceases to bea member, one of them is that, one knowsof something, have an interest in it, onerefuses to recuse onerself and oneparticipates in the decision making. Mr Speaker, I do not know why the HonChairman is making --
Mr Speaker, yes, I agreethat the proposed amendment to clause 7was withdrawn.
Mr Speaker, that is so.
Yes, verywell. Clause 6 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 7 -- Disclosure of interest
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 7, subclause (1), paragraph(b), delete.
What is thereason for your proposal for deletion?
Mr Speaker, weconsidered that the Hon Member must dothe honourable thing and we think thatthe word used; “… to be recused from thedeliberations…” was not in the rightframe. Mr Speaker, so, we did make aprovision for it elsewhere but I cannot yetlay my hand on it here but we proposedthat clause (b) be deleted from the Bill.
Yes, HonMinister, after him, the Hon Member forWa West. Very well, I initially directed that theHon Minister should speak first, after himwe would have the Hon Member for WaWest. So, Hon Minister, you have the floor.
Mr Speaker, Ioppose the amendment proposed by theHon Chairman because it did notconvince me and other Hon Colleagues.
Mr Speaker, thank youfor the opportunity.
“7 (1) A member of the Board who hasan interest in a matter forconsideration shall (c) not participate in thedeliberations of the Board inrespect of the matter.” Mr Speaker, (b) would then becomesuperfluous because the person is notsupposed to even participate in themeeting. So, why do we talk aboutrecusing himself or herself? So, (b) issuperfluous and for that reason it mustbe deleted. I then support the amendmentproposed by the Hon Chairman.
Yes, HonMajority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I oppose theamendment proposed by the HonChairman. Mr Speaker, (b) and (c) aredifferent. In (b) the person would moveout but in (c) the person would stay inbut he or she would not participate. Thatis the difference. But the intention is tomove the person out, not to let the personeven sit in. This is because one could communicatewithout opening his or her mouth and theperson's presence alone could influencea lot of things. That is why it is importantthat, the person should move out. Theperson does not only disclose theinterest, but after he or she has disclosed the interest, the person does not have tobe requested -- the person would haveto move out of the meeting. That is why Ithought that the Hon Chairman shouldhave rather asked for an amendment toread as follows: “A member of the Board who hasan interest in a matter forconsideration shall (b) recuse himself/herself fromthe deliberations of the Boardin respect of the matter.” Mr Speaker, and (c) becomessuperfluous. That should be it. The personshall move out; he or she should not stayin. Once the person moved out he or shewould not be present to participate in thedeliberations. So, it is rather (c) that shouldbe taken out. Mr Speaker, I therefore beg to proposea further amendment that “7 (1) A member of the Board who hasan interest in a matter forconsideration shall (b) recuse himself/herself fromthe deliberations of the Boardin respect of the matter.” Mr Speaker, (c) would now be deleted.
Very well. Let us look at the first portion of youramendment. In other words, now it is notthe question of requesting to be recusedbut straight away, the person wouldrecuse himself or herself from furtherdeliberations as far as that matter isconcerned. Are Hon Members ad idem so that Icould put the Question with regard to thatone? After that we would come to (c) andsee how to deal with it. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Very well. I think it makes sense.
Mr Speaker, I support theproposed amendment but I thought thatwe should still capture “and participates”.
Did you saywe should?
Mr Speaker, we should stillcapture “and participates”. We should notleave that out. This is because, the HonChairman sought to delete “andparticipate”. We should not delete that because, theperson could be present but notparticipate. That is an offence. Now, if theperson is present and participates, thatwould exacerbate the gravity of theoffence.
HonMember can give us your final renditionof that particular amendment?
Mr Speaker, I beg topropose that, the clause should read: “7 (2) A member ceases to be a memberof the Board if that member has aninterest in a matter before the Boardand (b) fails to recuse himself orherself and participates in thedeliberations on the matter.”
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee, are you inagreement?
Mr Speaker, Iinadvertently left out “and participates”.Therefore, I accept it. Alhaji Abdul-Rashid H. Pelpuo --rose --
Very well. Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I believe that it is not fornothing that the penultimate clausedemands the disclosure of the interest forthe purpose of the records. So, this wouldnot be complete if we do not add that “ifhe refuses to disclose the interest andrecuse himself…”. So, that it would be --
I think thathas been taken care of.
In (a)? All right.
Yes. Hon Members, I would put theQuestion with regard to this proposedamendment. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 7 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 8 -- Establishment ofcommittees.
HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 8, subclause (4), line 1, delete“Board shall establish” and insert“Commission shall have”.
“Without limiting subsection (1), theCommission shall have thefollowing committees: (a) Programmes Committee; (b) Research, Monitoring andEvaluation Committee; (c) Legal and Ethics Committee; (d) Resource Mobilisation Com-mittee; and (e) HIV and AIDS Fund Manage-ment Committee.”
Did I hearyou right? Is it “Board” or “Commission”?
Mr Speaker, we aresubstituting “Commission” for “Board”.
Very well. Mr Haruna Iddrisu -- rose --
Mr Speaker,pursuant to our Standing Orders, whatwould be the Hon Chairman's reason orjustification for the use of ‘Commission'and not the ‘Board'? We are guided bythe headnote and it says “Establishmentof committees”, which is a function of theBoard. He is proceeding further to amend(4) when in (1), (2) and (3) he talks aboutthe Board. So, it should be the Board. Mr Speaker, in any case, let us go backto clause 4, “Governing body of theCommission”. It is the governing body,which is the Board, which shall make adetermination of these committees.
Mr Speaker, I would yieldto the further amendment proposed by theLeader.
Very well. Hon Members, I would put theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Now, let uscome to 1 (c) -- the Hon Majority Leaderproposed that it should be deleted. Hon Chairman of the Committee, doyou have a response to that?
Mr Speaker, it stands toreason that, if the member is recused fromthe deliberations, then, naturally he cannotparticipate. Therefore, I propose thatparagraph (c) should be deleted.
Very well. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonChairman of the Committee, we are still atclause 7.
Mr Speaker, I beg topropose a further amendment to theadvertised amendment so that it falls inline with the amendment we made in 7 (b).
“7 (2) A member ceases to be a memberof the Board, if that member has aninterest in a matter before the Boardand
Yes, HonChairman, how do you respond? Beforeyou respond, Hon Member for Wa West.
Mr Speaker, the reasonwe used” Commission” is that thesethings that are being established, by lawwe are trying to establish them for theCommission and these are committees thatmore or less function as departments ofthe Commission and not for the Board toestablish them or have them. But the Commission should have thembecause, functionally, they have specificthings to do. That is the reason the clausesays that, we are limiting the Board tosetting up its committees, but statutorily,we want these committees to be part ofthe Commission. The argument about the Board and thepersonality of the Commission, which isthe legal person and all that -- In fact, if we say “the Board”, it meansthat they report to the Board on regularbasis. But the issue is that these arefunctional committees of the Commission.That is why it is “the Commission” andnot “the Board”.
Mr Speaker,listening to my senior Colleague, if theHon Chairman has no objection,subclause 4 of clause 8 should have beencreated as directorates of the Commissionand not Committees of the Commission.Maybe, to further improve this Bill, weshould be looking at a ProgrammesDirectorate, Research, Monitoring andEvaluation Directorate, Legal and EthicsDirectorate, and Resource MobilisationDirectorate instead of reducing them tocommittees if that sits well with hisreasoning.
Mr Speaker, we alreadyhave ‘directorates' in the Commission.These are committees that involve otherpeople who may not necessarily be staffof the Commission but whose role in thefunctioning of these committees would beimportant. That is why they arecommittees. In fact, if there were no directoratesalready, then we could create more of thedirectorates. But here, administratively,the directorates would be created for thefunctioning of the secretariat. However, at this point, it is because ofthe nature of AIDS and the campaignagainst HIV that they would involveexperts and get people from variousaspects to participate in the committees.That is why they are committees of theCommission. Indeed, it is part of thesereasons that when members wanted theMembers of Parliament not to be part ofthe Board -- because some of theMembers of Parliament served on thecommittees of this Board and there isalways a standing committee more or lesson this. They are different from the directoratesof the Commission. The directorates arevery clearly spelt out.
Mr Speaker, if the intentionis what the Hon Member for Wa West hasstated, it is important that this technicalknowledge is tapped through the Board.This is because, the governing body ofthe Commission is the Board. So in termsof reporting, they should report to theBoard. They cannot deal with aCommission which is just a legal entity. Mr Speaker, as we have seen fromclause 8, they are talking aboutestablishment of committees and clause8(1) says:
HonMembers, may I draw your attention toclause 4 although we have someamendments to that particular clause. Itsays: “Governing body of the Commission The governing body of theCommission is a board consistingof …” In effect, what the Hon Majority Leadersaid appears to be in line with that kind ofprovision.
Mr Speaker, theresponsibility of running the place is thatof the Board. The way it is couched heredoes not mean that, these committeeswould work independently of the Board.Indeed, they would still work in advisorycapacity. So, I would not mind if we change it to‘Board'. All we are saying is that,sometimes, in the legislation, with theCommission as a legal entity, the Boardas the governing body and who carriesthe legal group -- The argument we aremaking in trying to change it from theBoard to the Commission is that these arenot to be set up by the Board. ‘They arealready in the law and we have mandatedthese committees to exist. It is not the Board that would decidebut we do not want to limit the Board interms of what they could do. At any timethe Board could set up any committee. Butthese committees that we are setting upare for the Commission. That is why wehave ‘the Commission'. If we wanted theBoard to do so, we would leave it and allowthe Board to establish it. I would not mind if we change andagree with what the Hon Majority Leadersaid. This is because, eventually, it is theBoard that takes the decisions. They could “The Board may establishcommittees consisting of membersof the Board or non-members orboth to perform a function.” Mr Speaker, even for the committeesystem of the Board, it is expected that,they would tap expert knowledge outsidethe membership of the Board. If they areminded to establish specilaisedcommittees that are permanent, notdepending on the Board setting them,they have to be committees reporting tothe Board and so they must be under theBoard. Mr Speaker, if we establish a body witha Commission and Board, and under thatboard, there are sub committees of theboard, then they are sub committees ofthe Commission. However, the governingbody of the Commission would be theBoard and there definitely would beproblems of authority, responsibility andthe whole due process would be mixedup. I think the concept would have to belooked at again. This is because, theyneed to report to somebody and thatcommittee cannot go past the Board andreport the Commission. This is because,the Board is reporting to the Commissionon programmes, research and monitoring.They would have departments on theseprogrammes, research, legal and ethics,resource management, HIV/AIDS. That iswhere the departments would work andthey would have to sieve their ideasthrough the Board to the Commission. Mr Speaker, I think that the HonMinister for Employment and LabourRelations is right. If we want to keep themas part of the directorates, we could do sobut not the way it is being formulated.
be standing committees but they aresupposed to assist the Board. I would notmind if the Hon Chairman agrees that itbe changed to “Board”.
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond to that?
Mr Speaker, I havelistened to the arguments by my seniorcolleagues. Mr Speaker, the structure, asyou drew our attention to in clause 4makes the Commission the super structurewith the Board as a subset under theCommission. Therefore, it is the Board thatwould establish these committees. Iperfectly understand that argument. I am also looking at clause 14(1) wherethe Commission establishes a secretariatto be the administrative wing of theorganisation. I am tempted to believe that,these committees are envisaged to beestablished by the administrative wing,which is the secretariat to the Commissionand not the super structure itself. That iswhy it said in subclause (4 ) of clause 8that “without limiting subsection (1)”, wepropose that, “the Commission shallestablish the following committees”. Mr Speaker, I may yield to the argumentto retain “the Board” over there andabandon the proposed amendment.
Very well. Hon Members, application to withdrawthe proposed amendment granted. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House] Clause 8 ordered to stand part of theBill.
Clause 9? Clause 9 -- Regional and districtcommittees of the Commission
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, subclause (2), paragraph (b), after“Health” add “Services”. Mr Speaker, it would read; “A regional committee of theCommission consists of theRegional Director for HealthServices”. That is the new nomenclature for thatorganisation. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 9, subclause (2), paragraph(d), after “organisation” add “that dealswith HIV and AIDS” Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldbe; “a regional committee for theCommission consists of one representativeof a civil society organisation that dealswith HIV and AIDS”. That is more specific. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 9, subclause (2), paragraph(h), delete and insert the following: “the Regional Director of Education;and”. Mr Speaker, the reason is that, broadly,it was one representative from arecognized youth organisation, but wethink that the Regional Director ofEducation would be a more appropriaterepresentative on the regional committee. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 9, subclause (3), paragraph(d), after “organisation” add “that dealswith HIV and AIDS”. Mr Speaker, this amendment isconsequential to what was carried on insubclause 2 (d). Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 9, subclause (3), paragraph(h), delete and insert the following: “the District Director of Education;and”. Mr Speaker, again, this is consequential.We would like to limit it to a DistrictDirector of Education, so that he wouldbe more relevant on the committee at thedistrict level. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 9, subclause (4), openingphrase, delete and insert the following: “The Board shall appoint members of”. Mr Speaker, your Committee felt thatleaving the appointment of the districtcommittee to the President would beasking for too much, and we should rathergive that responsibility to the Board ofthe Commission to exercise as a delegatedauthority from the President.
Mr Speaker, Ipartly agree with the Hon Chairman thatthe whole subclause (4) be deleted. As hefurther argues, article 195 of theConstitution, with all respect, read fromthe second line, and with your indulgenceI quote; “(1) Subject to the provisions of thisConstitution, the power toappoint persons to hold or to act in an office in the publicservices…” It did not say civil society orAhmadiyya or muslim federation or somechristian group, no! Therefore, wecannot purport that this sameconstitutional mandate be delegated.There is a constitutional difficulty here. I agree with him; to clean it up is to getthe President and article 195 completelyout of this clause, because article 195 isabout appointment to public services. The composition -- As he related, Ihave seen “district assembly”; that ispublic; civil society is not public, christiangroup is not public, federation of muslimsis not public. But again, to advise the HonChairman and to seek your indulgence,and to make this Bill cleaner, when wecome to clause 9 (1), (a) and (b), it mightsound too clumsy. We are creating regional committees;we have not finished it and we are creatingdistrict committees. Mr Speaker, for better elegance,regional committees of the Commission,it says “the Board shall establish regionalcommittees of the Commission in theregion”. So, we should say so and specifythe composition of the regionalcommittee, chairperson, and list all themembers. Then we would create districtcommittees and list all the members. Wewould not start from clause 9 (1); we haveregional committees mixed with districtcommittees. But my principal objection isto the deletion of subclause (4). Themandate under article 195 has nothing todo in respect of this. Mr Speaker, he should guide thedraftpersons that they should clean it upwell in terms of the establishment of theregional and district committees.
Mr Speaker, I do not getthe argument of the Hon Minister.Theissue is that, these are committees, andby the logic that we have alreadyestablished, it is the Board that establishescommittees. If we look at how we composelaws, we name the Commission or Board,and subsequently indicate who are goingto be the members. With this one, because it is a functionof the Board, we do not want to burdenthe President with that responsibility. Ofcourse, the argument that one is for publicservices is true, but for the members ofcommittees and all that, it is a delegatedfunction. Once we have already delegatedin this law that it is the Board thatestablishes the committees, including theregional committees, I do not see wherehis argument fits in. He needs to explainto us why we should agree with his furtheramendment.
Mr Speaker,my worry is the interpretation given bythe Hon Minister to the President's powerto appoint persons to the public services.It is to the public services. He can appointanybody to the public service. What we are doing here is torecommend people he would appoint. Itis to recommend that the President shallappoint the civil service organisation. Itdoes not mean that they are to beappointed to the public service. The President's power to appoint tothe public service does not limit him toappointing people from within the publicservices only, so, I do not think that thecriticism thereby is properly laid. I agreewith him, however, that we shouldsegregate the regional and district officessuch that it would be cleaner.
HonMembers, I would like to suggest that wedefer further Consideration of thisparticular clause for you to have theopportunity, especially, with regard to thecleaning up, to come up with somethingwhich would be acceptable to HonMembers. I do not know if Hon Memberswould agree with me. Hon Chairman of the Committee?Otherwise, the Hon Majority Leader is up.
Mr Speaker, I would notcontest your ruling, but you have not yetruled. I believe you are just throwing it upfor discussion. It is very clear. There is no need for usto stand it down and reconsider it. I amsure the Hon Minister for Employment andLabour Relations would reconsider hisposition. We have already conferred on theBoard, the power to appoint Committeesand sub-bodies. The Regional and DistrictCommittees are part of the Board and Ithink that the proposal by the HonChairman is in order; we should accept it. I also agree with the Hon “Joe Wise”on his -- [Interruption.] 11. 55 a.m.
HonMember, we do not know of any “JoeWise” in this House.
I prefer the name “JoeWise” to the “Osei-Owusu”, because itemphasises the wisdom of the gentleman.[Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, I think that we shouldaccept the proposed amendment by theHon Chairman and move on.
Mr Speaker, I donot intend to belabour the issues.All I amsaying is that, if the Hon Chairmansuggests that the power to see to thecomposition of these Committees, both atRegional and District levels be vested inthe Board, then I am in harmony with thatposition. In this Bill, clause 4 says: “The President shall in accordancewith article 195 of the Constitutionappoint members of (a) a regional committee of theCommission, and (b) a district committee of theCommission …” Mr Speaker, this, I insist, is wrongconstitutionally, and must be deleted. Mr Speaker, I say so because --
HonMinister, we would come back to that. Wehave not dealt with clause 4 yet. Thereare some proposed amendments to clause4, so when we get there, you can bring,this up.
Mr Speaker, theyare related. Mine is that, we should not say we are“suggesting” in this Bill, that theappointment would be done by thePresident in accordance with article 195,though I take the advice from -- to quotethe Hon Majority Leader, -- “Mr JoeWise”. May I also encourage him to read --
HonMember, you keep using this name, whichdoes not exist in our records.
Hon Osei-Owusu,you may want to read page 183 of theConstitution. Public service is definedunder the Constitution, therefore, itcannot be as you wish. It defines whogoes into the Public Service. With all respect, I would like to readpage 183 of the Constitution. which withyour permmission says: “ public service” includes servicein any civil office of Government,the emoluments attached to whichare paid directly from theConsolidated Fund or directly outof moneys provided by Parliamentand service with a publiccorporation;…” So, in reading article 195, we shouldborrow the words on public service inpage 183 of the Constitution and interpretit as provided in article 195. So, the Hon “Joe Wise” is wrong onthat, even though he has the support ofthe Hon Majority Leader.
Mr Speaker, I am notwrong at all. Indeed, his reading of page183 of theConstitution only confirms my position.The President can appoint me into thePublic Service. He can also appoint him,as he has already done, into the PublicServices. When I was appointed into the PublicService, I was a private Lawyer. So thePresident's power to appoint is not whatis being discussed here. The Hon Iddrisusuggested that it is “appoint to” -- thepower is “to appoint to”. But as to wherehe is not constrained he is to “appointfrom”.That is the argument.
Mr Speaker, by thestrength of the argument, I believe thatthe Hon Minister for Employment andLabour Relations has agreed to ourproposed amendment, that theappointment is not to be made by thePresident, under article 195, therefore, ouramendment stands. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 9 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 10 -- Allowances
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 10, line 1, delete“Commission” and insert “Board”.
“A member of the Board and amember of the Committee of theCommissions shall be paidallowances approved by theMinister in consultation with theMinister responsible for Finance.” Mr Speaker, the reason is that, we havemembers of the Board and non-membersof the Commission, who pay theallowances. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 10 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 11-- Executive oversight.
HonMembers, we have Hon Dr MatthewOpoku Prempeh and Mr Joseph YielehChireh as proponents of this amendment,but neither of them is in this House. Hon Chairman of the Committee, doyou have any opposition to this proposedamendment?
Mr Speaker, I was goingto do that, except that the Hon Ministersaid that he would want to move theamendment on their behalf subject to yourleave.
Very well. You may go ahead, Hon Minister. Mr Haruna Iddrisu (Minister forEmployment and Labour Relations) (onbehalf of Dr Matthew Opoku Prempehand Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh): MrSpeaker, I beg to move, clause 11 -- headnote, delete and insert “Policy directives”
“the Minister may give policydirectives to the Commission andthe Commission shall apply.”
Mr Speaker, there are fouramendments to clause 11. The first one --
HonMember, it is the first one that we dealtwith.
Mr Speaker, it says: “Headnote, delete and insert “Policy directives”. Mr Speaker, the headnote is“Executive oversight”.We would want todelete “Executive oversight” and insert“Policy directives”. Mr Speaker, I think that “Executiveoversight” is better. The intention is toput the Commission directly under thePresidency -- the Executive -- and notunder a Ministry. When we are dealing with policydirectives, the President does notpersonally give policy directives. Theyusually come from the sectors, but this is a special Commission they would want toput under the President, not under anyMinistry. So, we would realise that inclauses 1, 2, and 3 there are differentphraseologies that are being used. Clause 11 (1) says that the Commissionis responsible to the President and clause11 (2) says that the President may inwriting designate a Minister to haveoversight responsibility for theCommission. Most at times, we look at theMinistry of Health, dealing with someaspects of the Commission. So, thePresident can give that directive. I do not think that we should amendthe headnote. Instead of “Executiveoversight” to insert “Policy directives”. Ido not think that is a better rendition.
HonMinister, you moved the amendment, so,how would you respond to that?
Mr Speaker, Imoved the amendment on behalf of myColleagues, the Hons Dr Matthew OpokuPrempeh and Joseph Yieleh Chireh,believing strongly -- and to quote thewords of the Hon Majority Leader, hesays: “The President may in writingdesignate a Minister to haveoversight responsibility for theCommission”. Therefore our amendment is to avoidthis clause, being a recipe for policyconfusion. In one breath, you would wantthe President to Chair -- Mr Speaker, I will refer you to thegoverning Board of the Commission; itsays the President must chair. In chairing,
Mr Speaker, we are stilldealing with the headnote. When we getto that, we would know what to do. It isthe headnote we are still considering.
Mr Speaker, I havelistened to him. On page 4, clause 4, thegoverning Board of the Commission hasthe President as chairperson. Hon MajorityLeader, with respect, go to clause 11 (3) -- “The Minister designated undersubsection (2) shall carry out thedirectives of the President and shallreport to the President at least oncein every two months.” The essence of the amendment, if weare going for ministerial directive, let ussay so. If we would want the President toexercise oversight, let us say so but wecannot mix the two. There would beincoherence and confusion by way ofpolicy. Mr Speaker, in many experiences -- mysenior has been a Minister for Health --We must stop this attitude in the countrywhere every Agency and institution ofGovernment want to be under the ambitof the President. It does not make themfunctional and effective. Overall, thePresident supervises Government policy.Are we saying that HIV policy and relatedmatters cannot be handled by a competentMinister for Health? I strongly think aMinister can. I support the proposed amendmentbecause if we are dedicating -- Once Iheard the Hon Majority Leader right --The Commission is responsible to thePresident then we may as well say that,the President shall exercise oversight overthe Commission and delete the rest ofthe words. Then we know we are talkingabout headnote -- oversight. When you have the President chairingthe Board and you want him to appoint aMinister and say the Minister must reportto the President -- Mr Speaker, myargument is simply that, in this countryand with my little experience, there are toomany -- Maybe, I should give you apractical example. Ghana Investment Promotion Centre(GIPC) is under the Office of the President.Mr Speaker, constitutionally, for reportingpurposes, if there is a Question on GIPC,who will come and answer? Will it be thePresident of the Republic? It would be aMinister of State. For parliamentary oversight, reportingin terms of audit and report of the activitiesand operations, it must be supervised bya Minister. Sometimes, we are alwaysconvinced that, global best practice --That is what happens in the world. We want what is good for Ghana. Dowe need the Hon Minister for Health toexercise oversight responsibility or wewould want the President to exerciseoversight responsibility? This is why Iassociated myself with the proposedamendment of the two Hon Colleagues butif the Hon Chairman wants to give it tohim -- Mr Amoatey -- rose --
HonChairman, I would like you to have thelast bite. Let us hear from the Hon Memberfor Bekwai. He also wants to contribute.
Mr Speaker, theargument by the Hon Minister appears totalk about one thing while the amendmentis on another. If I understand correctly,we are now talking about the headnote --delete and insert “policy directives”. I wish to align myself with the Leaderof the House. At this point, the headnote-- Whether it is the President or theMinister, it is the Executive and theappropriate headnote is what is containedhere. Therefore, the amendment is notnecessary; the amendment should beaborted so that we can proceed to discussthe other one which I would align withthe Hon Minister for Employment andLabour Relations in that respect. Mr Speaker, the President should beleft alone. The headnote -- the “Executiveoversight” is appropriate and it should bemaintained.
Mr Speaker, I alignmyself with the submissions of the HonRanking Member of the Committee. Fornow, we are looking at the “Executiveoversight” and not policy issues. Maybe, when we get to subclause (2)which they have advertised to proposean amendment, we can argue on that. Fornow, Mr Speaker, I believe that, theamendment proposed by the HonMinister should be abandoned.
Mr Speaker, sincemy two Hon Colleagues have vacated thisvery important exercise --
You havedone your best.
I have laboured intheir absence. Mr Speaker, “Executiveoversight” but with further amendment --“The President shall exercise oversightresponsibility for the Commission.” Withthat amendment, I associate myself with“Executive oversight” but they should nottalk about designating a Minister. The amendment standing in the nameof my two Hon Colleagues is accordinglyabandoned. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
We havefurther proposed amendment to clause 11.Hon Minister, are you in a position tostand in for the Hon Members whoproposed the amendment? Let us look atthe second one.
Mr Speaker, amendmentnumbered (xv), the proponets of theamendment are not here. Since theCommittee does not support theamendment, I pray that we abandon it.
HonMember, the proponets are not here tomove their proposed amendments, so, itis considered abandoned. [Amendment abandoned by leave ofthe House.]
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 11, subclause (2), line 1,delete “may” and insert “shall”
“The President, shall, in writing,designate a Minister to haveoversight responsibility for theCommission.” Mr Speaker, the intention is to use theword that may be more compelling on thePresident to designate a Minister toperform that function.
The originalrendition would give the President somelatitude as to whether to delegate aparticular Minister to handle it or to handleit himself.
Mr Speaker, Iwould want to persuade the Hon Chairmanto abandon his amendment and leave“may”. This is because, the Presidentwould already be chairing.The HonChairman insisted that he wanted thePresident to chair because of global practice, so, let us give him some roomto decide whether he would want todesignate a Minister or not. Therefore,“shall” would be mandatory; “may” wouldbe more flexible and relaxed.
Mr Speaker,the Memorandum to the Bill, page 2,paragraph 2, the last but one sentencereads: “The President remains as thechairperson of the Board to ensurethat HIV continues to be an area ofhigh priority in a country ofcompeting priorities.” Mr Speaker, that sets out the policyunderpinning this Bill and we have in thecomposition of the governing bodyretained the President of the Republic asthe chairperson. For the Committee to saythat the President is obliged to designatea subordinate officer to have oversightresponsibility is inconsistent with thepolicy underpinning the issue. I believe that what is there may haveto be retained because first, it gives thePresident the flexibility. In any event, thePresident under the Constitution, onlyappoints Ministers to assist him in theefficient running of the State and to alsoassist him to evolve policies. If the President thinks that he iscapable of evolving policy, is he obligedunder any rule to appoint a Minister? No!So, Mr Speaker, I believe it would beprudent on the part of the CommitteeChairman to abandon that proposedamendment.
Mr Speaker, myargument is on the same line and afterthese positions that have beendemonstrated, I hope that the Hon
Chairman would simply abandon it. Thisis because it would have thrown the wholeconcept of getting the President to havean oversight of this very importantCommission. It would have thrown it offgear and it would have made nonsense ofthe idea of making the President to fightAIDS. So, I think we should just simplyabandon it.
Yes, HonChairman of Committee?
Mr Speaker, we withdraw.
Theapplication to withdraw the proposedamendment is granted. Yes, Hon Members, now, we move onto (xvii).
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 11, subclause (3), line 3,delete “two” and insert “three”. So that it would read, ‘The Minister designated under subsection two shall carry out thedirectives of the President and shallreport to the President at least oncein every three months' rather than once in every two months.
Yes, HonMinority Leader?
Mr Speaker,first, if we agree that the President onlymay designate a Minister to haveoversight responsibility, then thePresident retains the original responsi-bility. He may or may not do that and inthat case, you would not say that theMinister designated under subsection (2)shall carry out so, so and so. It only arises where the Presidentexercises that discretion. So, perhaps webegin the construction by saying ‘wherea Minister is designated and --
HonMinority Leader, can you propose someamendment which would take care of theconcern you have raised?
Mr Speaker,that is what I am saying, ‘where aMinister is designated under subsection(2), that Minister shall carry out thedirectives of the President.”
Precisely. Ithink that is in order. Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, I think tosolve the problem is to remove the definitearticle ‘the' and replace it with ‘a'. ‘AMinister designated under subsection(2)…' So, it should solve the problem.This is because, there is no specificmention of any Minister that should bedesignated.
The issuehas to do with, if the President decidesnot to delegate that responsibility to anyMinister and to carry it out himself. Yes, Hon Member for Bekwai?
Mr Speaker, thesubclause (3) arises only when thePresident has nominated somebody. So,if you read it in whole, you would come toa place where he is now -- I thinkamendment ‘shall' has been withdrawn,right?
Now he has beengiven a discretion. The third clause iswhen he has exercised that, then thatMinister designated under subsection (2)shall carry out the directives of thePresident and report. So it does not arisewhen the President has not designatedanybody, therefore, the amendmentproposed may not be necessary.
Mr Speaker, it is true thatwhere the President does not exercise thepower conferred on him in subclause (2)then subclause (3) would not arise. If hedoes, then that person has beendesignated and I think it stands as it is.
I aminterested in getting a rendition that wouldtake care of this dilemma we are facing.Well, we all agreed that, it is only whenthe President has exercised that discretionto delegate that responsibility that theperson assigned that responsibility wouldhave to report within a certain time frame.If he does not, it does not arise. So, howdo we -- Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker,the third dimension is when the Presidentdecides that, the Vice President shouldtake that role. In that case, he is not aMinister, and he is not the President. Howdo we cater for it? In the practical sense,sometimes, the Vice President is asked toact for the President and if he is asked toplay that role, is he covered by what weare proposing or we have to look for anoption for that?
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, theintendment of the sponsors of the Billclearly indicates that, there is no intentionto ever ask a Vice President to descend toact as a Minister. This is because, the responsibility here is a preserve ofMinisters and not the Vice President if thePresident himself is not exercising thatresponsibility. But my Hon Colleague, O. B. Amoah iscontemplating the situation where the VicePresident could be asked constitutionallyto act for the President. In this case, thissituation may arise.
Mr Speaker, it is truethat, the President in this Bill would bedesignating a Minister. But should therebe any reason why the President wouldnot be there and would want the VicePresident to be there, the Vice Presidentwould not be designated as representingthe President. So, it is still going to bethe Presidency in that sense. We know situations where the VicePresident acts on behalf of the Presidentin accordance with the Constitution. So,deriving from that, he would still be actingas the President. It would not bring anyconfusion at all. Let us get to a point wherewe can agree that, the designated Ministerwould be acting on behalf of the President.
I agree withyou but we still would not have solvedthe problem raised by the Hon MinorityLeader. The Vice President could be actingfor the President in his absence or in theevent of not being able to perform aparticular function. But we still have thatleeway the President has, if he does notdelegate the responsibility and he carriesit out himself. If he does, then the situation will arisewhere the person delegated to perform thefunction must report. I think it is just asimple situation of drafting it in such away that, we do not have that problemarising. Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker,just a minor typographical error, first, insubclause 2. I guess the first comma afterthe President ought not to be there. Itmust be deleted. Back to subclause (3), I believe that,because the President is not under anyobligation to designate a Minister,subclause (3) would arise only when thePresident has designated a Minister tohave oversight responsibility. That is whyI have said that, to satisfy better draftingstyle, if we start the construction with theword “where”. ‘Where a Minister isdesignated under subsection (2)”. I think that is how it is done .but ifothers think otherwise, we leave it to theentire House to decide. But I believe that,because subclause (3) does notautomatically arise, it only ensues wherethe President has designated a Ministerto act, then we would begin thatconstruction by saying, “where a Ministeris designated”. But if others disagree, Mr Speaker, Ibelieve --
HonMembers, would it be alright to refer it tothe draftspersons? The sense is clear, weneed to draft it in such a way for it to be intandem with our thinking now. Otherwise, Hon Chairman of theCommittee, what do you think?
Mr Speaker, I would gowith your directive that we ask thedraftsperson to look at it and construct itthe way that would convey the sense ofthe House. But we are asking for threemonths rather than two months.
Threemonths? That has not been put. All right. I would put the Question for threemonthly reporting. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, I would put the Question withregard to clause 11 as amended standingpart of the Bill. But before I do, I directthat the draftspersons use the appropriatelanguage to capture our thinking as far asthe situation where a Minister isappointed to perform that function thathe would have to report every threemonths. This is so that we take care of thesituation where the President decides notto delegate but do it himself or herself. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 11 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
There is noadvertised amendment to clause 12, so, Iwould put the Question. Alhaji Pelpuo -- rose --
Mr Speaker, just tomention something briefly. Subclause (3); “The Director-General shall holdoffice on the terms and conditionsspecified in the letter of appoint-ment.” We all know this letter would comefrom the President, but can we specify?because if we are talking about the letterof appointment, can we say “the letter ofappointment from the President”?
No, we haveindicated who would appoint him.
But this is the first timewe are hearing about the letter ofappointment.
Mr Speaker, we put it thisway in almost all the laws we make. Thisis because, the terms spelt out in theappointment letter would include what youare entitled to, which are administrative.How many days' leave you are entitledto, what your salary would be and others.Again, it is not the one where you arelooking at whether the person would servea full term of one or two years, et cetera.All that would be spelt out in the letter.So, it is better this way than put it in thelaw what conditions should obtain. Clause 12 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 13 -- Functions of the Director-General
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 13, subclause (1), paragraph(c), line 1, delete “the President or”. Mr Speaker, subclause (1) (c) wouldread; “(1) The Director General: (c) shall provide the Minister,through the Board,withtechnical advice on the HIVand AIDS epidemic as maybe required; and”.
Can you goover it again?
Mr Speaker, it is thethinking of the Committee that, it is thetechnical advice that the Director-Generalis expected to provide. That technicaladvice should go to the Minister and not the Minister designated. And where he isnot designated, then an issue arises. Inline with our decision in clause 11, I praythat you permit me to abandon theadvertised amendment.
Mr Speaker,it seems I misread what was written. Ithought you were going to delete “or theMinister” and not “the President”. Thisis because, you cannot have the Presidentas Chairperson of the Board, then, maybethe advice is given by the Director-Generaland it goes to the President who Chairsthe Board and the President now has togive the advice to a Minister. Up there,you have deleted the obligation, so as faras I am concerned, it should be: “The Director-General shall providethe Board with Technical advice onHIV and AIDS epidemic as may berequired.”
No! HonMinority Leader, in the original rendition,it is either the President or the Minister.Which would in effect take care of thesituation which we discussed earlier,whether it is the President or a delegatedMinister. Do you not think that it wouldbe a better rendition, therefore, the needto abandon the proposed amendment?
Mr Speaker,the advice is to be provided to the Board.The President is the Chairman of theBoard and if the President is overlysaddled, he may designate a Minister totake responsibility. So, if the Board takesit, the person who is supposed to act forthe President would be there. So, I do notsee why we should say the Board shouldprovide for the President or Minister. The President in what capacity? As theChairperson of the Board; If he shoulddesignate a Minister, he also chairs theBoard. So, I am not too sure theintendment of this.
Mr Speaker, because wemaintained it in an earlier clause that theMinister should regularly report to thePresident, you have to delete the Presidentfrom this one. This is so that, the Ministerwould be the one reported to, and he, afterassessing the situation, would then reportto the President. That is why the deletionof the President -- First of all, the President would be toobusy to receive these everyday things.So it would be better for the Minister that,he be designated to receive the things onbehalf of the President then, later on briefhim.
Mr Speaker, it is better welegislate for the Director-General to reportto the Board and not the Minister orPresident. The Director-General is aMember of the Board. When you giveDirector-Generals opportunities to dealdirectly with the President, you wouldsometimes elevate them above the Board.When they leave the Board and deal withthe President and get instructions ordirectives from the President and thencome to the Board and say that they havereferred this to President and the Presidentsaid this, then the Board is caught. As a Member of the Board, he shouldreport to the Board and not to thePresident or the Minister. So, a betterrendition would be; “The Director-General: (c) shall provide technical adviceon the HIV and AIDSepidemic to the Board.”
As the Hon MajorityLeader said, if you look at the amendment,it is just the deletion of ‘the President:' “The Director-General: (c) shall provide the President orthe Minister, through theBoard”. It is very important. You are not goingto go directly to the President or theMinister. You must do so through theBoard.
Who is now giving theadvice? It would not be the Director-General. If it is through the Board, it is theBoard advising the President but not theDirector-General. So, we do not need to.The Director-General is just making inputsto the deliberations of the Board and theBoard gives the advice to the President.The Director-General cannot be advisingthrough the Board to the President. No!
Mr Speaker, that is true.What we said is that, the Board wouldtake the report. All Members of the Boardcannot go and brief an Hon Minister orthe President on an issue. It has to be thereport that was considered maybe, in awritten form the Board has considered andthinks that, that is it. That is the one thathe should go and brief the President on. Practically, the fear that the Hon Leaderis expressing, I know has happened in hislife and he knows that, some Director-Generals or some people who have directaccess to the President do not respectHon Ministers. But the important thing is that --[Interruption] -- Not my experience buthis experience. Mr Speaker, in this particular case, atechnical person is needed. The thing isemphasis. The word “technical” is not justtalking about any report or recommen-dation. So, the technical person must beable to explain to the President or the HonMinister. Let us leave the word “President” outand do what should be done.
Yes, HonMember for Bekwai, then Hon Member forAkatsi. Is it North or South?
Mr Speaker, it is AkatsiSouth.
Mr Speaker, thechallenge we have here is that, we arediscussing this Board as any othercorporate entity. But by this legislationwe are creating a Board that is peculiar.Peculiar in the sense that, we are makingthe President the Chairman of the Board --To that extent, when we say that technicaladvice should be given to the President,are we taking him outside the Board orwhere? The President is now part of the Board-- Every decision related to HIV and AIDSis going to be taken at this position. Whenhe is not present, an Hon Minister hedesignates would sit in his place. So, any information that is importantin coming to a conclusion one way or theother, should be directed at the Boardwhere either the President or the HonMinister sits. And one does not need togo beyond the Board to provide anyfurther information. So, I agree with the Hon Leader of theHouse that, we should delete the wordsthe “President” and the “Minister” andsubstitute that with the word “Board”.
Mr Speaker, I am lookingat the definition of a Minister at page 20of the Bill.
“Minister means the persondesignated by the President undersection 11 (2) to have oversightresponsibility for the Commission”. If we look at clause 11 (2) and I beg toquote; “The President, may, in writing,designate a Minister to haveoversight responsibility for theCommission”. Mr Speaker, this means that, thePresident may either choose to designatea Minister or not. Mr Speaker, if we delete the word“President” in clause 13 (1) (c), in the eventthat the President decides not to designatea Minister what happens?
Mr Speaker, we are dealingwith functions of the Director-General andthe Director-General is a Member of theBoard. The Board is actually theCommission and the Commission is just alegal entity. But the Members of the Boardconstitute the Commission. That is thereality. The Director-General is a Member ofthat Board and has technical knowledge.So, where would that technical knowledgeexhibit itself? It is at the Board level andthe President is chairing that Board. Thatis why the term “a Board” is not used butthe legal entity is created “Commission”because the President is Chairing. So, the Director-General cannot begiving technical advice to another Body;that is, a Minister standing as a Ministeror the President standing as a Presidentoutside that. Mr Speaker, it is no! The Director-General may be explaining some issuesthat the Board has deliberated upon. Thisis because, it is at the Board level that the
Director-General would have to show histechnical capacity. So, we are not creatingany other organ above the Board.
“The Director-General shall providetechnical advice on the HIV andAIDS epidemic to the Board”.
Yes, HonMinority Leader, then the Hon Memberfor Wa West.
Mr Speaker,if we look at section 4 and I believe therehas not been any fundamental changesto that clause. Section 4 just says; ‘theresponsibly of the Board:' “The Board shall ensure the properand effective performance of thefunctions of the Commission”. Mr Speaker, that is all that it says. The Commission has been chargedwith the responsibility enumerated underclause 3. This includes: “(g) generate strategic informationto influence policy, strategies,planning and the use ofresources”; And “(h) Promote research anddissemination of information onHIV and AIDS and documentationof persons living with HIV orAIDS”; Mr Speaker, I would want to believethat when we got there, they made some changes. This is because, in clause 3 (h),there is the use of a conjunct and adisjunct; “HIV and AIDS”, and “HIV orAIDS”. I believe it should be consistent. Ido not know what surgery they performedon that, but is should be consistent --Either “HIV or AIDS”and “HIV and AIDS”.I do not know what that is.
HonMinority Leader, I believe it is HIV andAIDS. Am I right?
Mr Speaker,that was why I said that they should beconsistent. I do not know what they didthere.
Mr Speaker, we wereadvised that a person may have HIV, butnot necessarily AIDS. But when it has todo with information, it is information onHIV and AIDS. But when specifically oneis talking about persons living with - Aperson may live with HIV but may not beliving with AIDS. That is why we have“HIV or AIDS” in the second instance.
So, whenyou are talking about information it isboth.
Mr Speaker, that is so.
That is allright.
Mr Speaker,I have the brief now. The Hon Chairman isright. Mr Speaker, coming back to clause 13(c), the point I would want to make is, inthe opening of clause 3, the Director-General is responsible for the day to dayadministration and operations of theSecretariat and these are responsible forthe implementation of the decision of theBoard. So, he responds to the Board. Andonce we have the President being part ofthe Board, he would be privy to theinformation that he says. That is why Iproposed that we should delete the words“President” or the “Minister” and make it‘reporting to the Board' simplicita. Mr Speaker, I believe that is where weshould end and the Hon Majority Leaderhas endorsed the proposition. I do notbelieve we have to further litigate thismatter.
HonMinority Leader, from what you have saidit looks like you agree with the HonMajority Leader. I am trying to get thesense of the House.
Mr Speaker,I believe the Hon Majority Leader agreedwith me. [Laughter.]
Whicheverway, there is an agreement.
Mr Speaker, the two HonLeaders on this occasion talked aboutcorporate governance but did not look atthe peculiarity of the AIDS Commission.The point about it is that, the Minister orthe President has another existenceoutside being a Member of the Board. So, when there is an action to be taken,somebody needs to be definite about whatthe President or the Minister should do.They are not ignoring their Board — No!They pass on that information, but on dayto day basis, who do Ministers relate to;Board Chairpersons, the Board, theDirector-Generals or the Chief Executivesof institutions? Mr Speaker, we are talking abouttechnical advice — Unless we are sayingthat anybody who —
HonMember, are you aware of the fact that, itcould be possible that — We are lookingat all sorts of scenarios. The Director-General might decide to abandon theBoard and just go straight to the Presidentor the Minister and give the kind of advicethat he or she feels right. Meanwhile, itmight not be in tandem with the decisionsof the Board. How about that?
Mr Speaker, I entirely agreewith that, but that is why they say,“through the Board”. In this particularcase, when it is through the Board, stillthe one he has reported, giving thistechnical advice could call him directlyand then listen to the person why thatadvice. But if we say that corporate gover-nance requires that one deals with — HonMajority Leader has been a Ministerbefore. Was he dealing with BoardChairpersons or a Chief Executive of theinstitutions under the Ministry? Mr Speaker, the point I am making isthat, the functions of the person is theday to day administration of the place, so,the issue may not have been the Boardmeeting, but that, there is a technicaladvice he needs to give and it needs topass through the Board.
It isbecoming more interesting.
Mr Speaker, I believevery strongly that, the position of the HonMajority Chief Whip is very clear andshould settle it. The reason being that,technical advice from the Director-Generalthrough the Board is to the Minister, tohelp him make policy decision. So, whenit comes from the Board, it is not a day today activity that the person wants to take.We want to take a decision that has anumbrella effect on the Commission and onthe fight against HIV/AIDS in general. So, it has to be sent to somebody ofthat stature and that should be thePresident, through the Minister. So Ibelieve the amendment is apt and weshould go by it.
Mr Speaker, I thought thiswas quite simple but it looks like many ofus are not getting the concept right. Mr Speaker, if a Director-General givestechnical advice to the Board and theBoard deliberates on it, it becomes theadvice of the Board to whoever and notthe Director-General. Again, we are not looking at the issueof ultimate responsibility. It is important— What we are trying to cure is what theHon Member for Wa West and myselfexperienced at the Ministry of Health; toprevent Director-Generals jumping overBoards and Ministers and advising thePresident. Decisions are taken and we are asked to implement the decisions, andthere are problems with it. That is whatwe are trying to prevent. Mr Speaker, technical advice —[Interruption] —The Minister is part ofthe Board, and so is the President. Whenthe President acts, he does so as theChairperson of the Board. The Director-General is a technical Member of theBoard. If the President acts as Presidentdifferently from Chairing the Board, thatis a different matter, but so far as technicaladvice is concerned, we should not allowDirector-Generals to go to the Presidencywithout passing through the Board.
HonMajority Leader, their argument is that, itgoes to the Presidency through the Board.
Mr Speaker, no! It cannotbe through the Board. This is because,when that advice leaves the Board, itbecomes the advice of the Board and notthe Director-General. The Director-General cannot be all in all. He would havea view on a technical matter, send it to theBoard and would meet other experts at theBoard and they would improve on thatdraft. So, it becomes a technical adviceof the Board when it leaves it and not theDirector-General's.
Very well. Hon Members, I believe that thePresident is a member of the Board if hedoes not delegate — he is the Chairman.If he delegates, it is the Minister, and theMinister is supposed to be reporting tohim once in three months.
Mr Speaker, Ithought we have been belabouring thispoint probably needlessly. The twopersons who are named here; the Ministeror the President are members of the Board.If the President is not sitting, as you rightly pointed out, the Minister isrequired to report to him every threemonths. Every information, technical orotherwise would be carried through theBoard to the President and that would bepart of his report. Mr Speaker, so, I believe the technicaladvice of the Director-General shouldterminate at the Board so that there is nofurther —
HonMembers, I am beginning to get the senseof the House so, I would put theQuestion. But we would need a proposedamendment to take care of this situation.
Mr Speaker, I beg to moveclause 13 subclause (1), paragraph (c), line1 should read, and I beg to quote: “The Director-General: c) shall provide the Board withtechnical advice on the HIVand AIDS epidemic as may berequired; and”.
Mr Speaker,I beg to move, clause 13, subclause (1),paragraph (a), line 3, insert “the”between, “of” and “functions”.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 13 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 14 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 15 -- Appointment of otherstaff
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 15, subclause (3), line 2,delete “to perform its functions” andinsert “as the Board considersnecessary”.
“The Board may on the advice ofthe Director-General engage theservices of consultants andadvisers as the Board considersnecessary”.
Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 15 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 16 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 17 -- Funds of the Commission
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 17, paragraph (c), after“contracted” insert “by the Commission”,and also delete “Government” and insert“Government; and”.
The sources of funds for theCommission include. “loans contracted by the Commis-sion and guaranteed by Govern-ment”.
Chairmanof the Committee, go over it again.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 17, paragraph (c), after“contracted” insert “by the Commission”,and also delete “Government” and insert“Government; and”.
“Loans contracted by the Commis-sion and guaranteed by theGovernment; and…”
Where willthe “and” at the end lead us to?
Mr Speaker, we haveanother amendment coming as (d) with anew subclause.
Very well. Yes?
Mr Speaker,I am just flashing back to what we havebeen doing in the other Bills. Are we sayingthat, the Commission in this case cannotcontract any loan that is not guaranteedby Government?
Mr Speaker, yes. That isthe intendment. It is that the Commissionis not a commercial entity to be permittedto contract loans by itself. It is a publicservice organisation and its loans, I thinkby policy of the Ministry of Finance, mustbe guaranteed by Government.
Mr Speaker,we are talking about “donations andgrants”. And on the account of thequantum of “donations and grants”, theycould raise loans even if it is for a verylimited period to fulfill maybe a pressingresponsibility. That is why I askedwhether it is not possible for them tocontract loans, however, the duration, ifsuch loans are not guaranteed by theGovernment. But if it is a policy --[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, theintention by the Hon Minority Leaderlooks good, but the challenge is that, ifwe are not careful and we put it there withthe explanation of for short-term measuresor to just close a gap, it becomes a caveatfor them to be able to use it to contractloans. But the policy of Government is that,because they are fully funded by theState, the State would want to take a loanon their behalf but not for them to be ableto do it. So, it is a matter of policy thatthey do not intend to let Ghana AIDSCommission take loans with its ownbalance sheets or on its own accounts.That was the reason there was a need forit to be deleted. Thank you.
Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 17, add the following newparagraph: “(d) donations and grants”. Mr Speaker, that becomes anothersource of income for the Commission. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker,just a minor correction. Mr Speaker, now that the Chairman hasintroduced a conjunct at subclause (c),we ought to have deleted the “and” inclause 17, subclause (b).
They areintroducing a new clause.
Mr Speaker,if I may, last week, we spent quite a whiledebating the proper construction in theuse of the phrase “in relation to them”that is clause 18 (1). I do not rememberwhat we settled on eventually. But Ibelieve if that is the new path that wewould want to tread, then I guess it shouldapply to clause 18 (1). Mr Speaker, I have really forgottenwhat language we finally settled on.
Mr Speaker, I proposethat you direct the draftsperson to take alook at the use of that language andmaybe adopt what this House has used inother Bills.
Mr Speaker,I guess for reasons of consistency, wemay have to compare notes with what wedid last week. I think that is the new linethat we want to pursue. Maybe, the Table Office could helpwith what language we specificallyadopted. Then we can move on.
HonMembers, I therefore, direct that, thatexercise be carried out to ensure that weare consistent with the way we present it. Hon Members, we would now moveon to clause 19. Clause 19 -- Annual report and otherreports
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 19, subclause (2), line 3,delete “report of the Auditor-General” andinsert “audited accounts of theCommission”.
Yes, MrSpeaker. The “and” is in subclause (b) and weought to have deleted it.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinority Leader is right. Mr Speaker, I therefore, move that wedelete “and” after “Parliament” insubclause (b).
Very well. I will put the Question before I comeback to the amendment on clause 17. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 17 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 18 -- Accounts and Audit
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 18, subclause (3), line 3,delete “Minister” and insert “Board”.
“The Auditor-General shall, not laterthan three months, after the receiptof the accounts audit the accountsand forward a copy of the auditreport to the Board.”
Very well. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 18 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, thereis no question of placing emphasis here. I quite remember when this issuecropped up, an Hon Member had to definewhat an Annual Report contains. AnAnnual Report can never be completewithout an audited Report. It is part of it.The Annual report is given to the Board. So, if they are saying that, “The annualreport shall include the audited report”,they are just repeating and not puttingemphasis. Mr Speaker, it should be,“Submit the annual report to the Board”.The Annual Report would have theaudited report included in it. I think that we should take, “auditedreport” away.
Mr Speaker,the Hon Colleague is referring to a positionthe House took on a similar provision in aBill the House considered. Again, I am not sure because, perhaps,I was not in the Chamber. Mr Speaker, if what the Hon Memberwho just spoke said is true, I have nocause to disbelieve him. Then forpurposes of consistency, let us look atwhat we adopted and then move on. Thatis the first issue. Mr Speaker, the second issue relatesto clause 19 (1). Line 2 reads; “The Board shall within one monthafter the receipt of the audited reportsubmit to the Minister an AnnualReport…” Mr Speaker, the position we adoptedearlier would seem to conflict with this.Which Hon Minister are we talking about?It is where the President designates anHon Minister to act on his behalf. If hedoes not, does it have to be routedthrough an Hon Minister? Not necessarily.So, we should look at this construction. Iguess in clause 19, we would meet thesame thing in subclauses (3) and (4). Ithought the Hon Chairman was going todraw our attention to that. Let us look at how we can make theprovisions in subclauses (1), (3) and (4)consistent with the earlier positions takenby the House.
Mr Speaker, the AnnualReport includes the audited accounts ofthe Commission. Indeed, it is because we are adding theword “audited”, but the Commission itselfneeds to have their accounts before it. If we are talking about “auditedaccounts”, auditing can only happen andafter three months, it is submitted to theAuditor-General. The Annual Report canonly refer to the previous year's auditedaccounts. What we need here is that theCommission itself must have its accountsin its Annual Report. The Commissionwould look at how well their accountsdepartment is performing; are theypreparing the right things or are thecorrect things done? It is because we have added the word“audited” that it has become a problem. Otherwise, audits do not happen theyear Annual Reports are prepared. So, weneed to consider that. Mr Speaker, I wanted to rise on a pointof order. This is because I havenoticed that when the Hon MinorityLeader raises an issue, instead of usfinishing with it, he jumps to another one. If he does that in the ConsiderationStage, we would lose the trend of whatwe are doing. When he raises the issueon one thing, he should let us resolve thatbefore we go on. Mr Speaker, with the issue he wasraising, in all -- [Interruption] -- Thisone does not apply. The way he wantedto change it to have the issue of the HonMinister debated here again; no. Here, we would need an Hon Ministerto bring the Annual Report to Parliamentas we are saying. In that case, some HonMembers of this House want to say that,The Hon Minister should be the HonMinister for Health. This is because theissue of discretion of the President toappoint any Hon Minister should not begiven. Mr Speaker, but we should not eversee the need for the President not toappoint; he would do so. This is becausethe law says he should appoint. MrSpeaker, but we need an Hon Ministerhere, who would forward such a report toParliament. In that case, he is not actingas a Member of the Board; so that it wouldend at the Board.
Mr Speaker,the Hon Member for Wa West has fallenfoul to the same charge that he waslevelling at me. Mr Speaker, if that is thecase and we still want the Hon Ministerto have the responsibility of reporting onthe operations of the Ghana AIDSCommission to Parliament, then, perhaps,we have to look at the meaning of“Minister” in the interpretation section.
“The Annual Report shall includethe audited accounts of theCommission”.
MrSpeaker, I remember this issue cropped upthe last time. The Annual Report is not complete ifthe audited report is not included. So,there is no need including that it should“include the audited report”. This isbecause we cannot have the AnnualReport without the audited report. It mustbe included. Last time, there was the same debatewhen we were considering one of the Billshere. We had to agree that, we take “theaudited report” away. This is because, wecannot have an Annual Report withoutan audited report. It is part of it. So, if they say that, “The AnnualReport shall include the audited report”,perhaps, it is tautology. [Interruption.] There is no need for emphasis. We cannever have an Annual Report without anaudited report; never.
I wouldlisten to Hon Baffour Awuah since thishas to do with some accountingprinciples.
Mr Speaker, for thepurposes of emphasis, it should includeit. Otherwise, then at the interpretationlevel, there should be an interpretation ofAnnual Report, which would include, likethe Hon Member rightly said, “the auditedreport”.
Yes, HonMember, I will come to you. I will giveeverybody the chance; you have been upfor quite some time now.
Mr Speaker, my point is onthe use of either a financial report oraudited report. I was just trying to makethis contribution. Mr Speaker, usually an institution'sreport will include financial report as theHon Member said, but this is not audited.The audited report is a verified financialstatement that is more or less a finalfinancial statement. Mr Speaker, we just have to be sure ofwhich one we want to be part of this reportthat we are talking about, but we cannotsay they are the same.
Very well. Iwill come to you Hon Member.
Mr Speaker, perhaps, wecan best understand this thing when weknow the content of the annual report. Ifit has to do with the Report on the activities Mr Speaker, looking at the programme,we have stated here that at the end of thefinancial year, the Board will have to comeout with its own financial report after threemonths at the end of the year, and thenthe Auditor-General will also have threemonths to do the audits. Then it is afterthis that the Auditor-General's Reportgoes to the Hon Minister within onemonth, and they should bring the reportto Parliament. Mr Speaker, that will mean that theReport will reach Parliament at the seventhmonth. If there are issues that have to beconsidered for the year in which the reportwill be considered, then the seventhmonth within the year will be too far withinthe year to look at that. Mr Speaker, for all other programmes,especially, for appropriation and otherthings, but for election year, we doconsider them before the beginning of thefinancial year. Mr Speaker, if I had my own way,perhaps what will delay the Report will bethe aspect of the audited reports thatshould be included. If there could be away where we will de-couple the auditedreport from the annual report and still havea way of getting the audited report comeback later in the year, I think that will bebetter. Otherwise the Report will alwayscome in the seventh month of the yearwhich perhaps will not be too useful atthat time.
Yes, Hon(Alhaji) Dey Abubakari, after thatprobably we will have to stand this downand have further consultations. Iremember that we dealt with a similar issuewith one of the Bills, I have forgotten howwe treated it.
Mr Speaker, we aregetting it wrong. Once we say annualreports, there is no way -- Annual Reportcontains a report which the Boardprepares for the shareholders. In thissense, we are the shareholders becausewe are the representatives of the people. Mr Speaker, when you take the AnnualReport, it contains so many activities;operational reports, policy guidelines,auditors report, et cetera, and we mustlay it here. We cannot have annual reportwithout audited report, never, and I standby that fact and you can check anywhere. Mr Speaker, when we talk of financialreport, that is different. We are talking ofthe, ‘annual report'. The audited reportthat we have here is what the Auditor-General prepares and lays in Parliamentbecause the Auditor-General reports toParliament. That is different. But when wetalk of the Annual Report, it comes fromthe company's shareholders or the Boardwhich prepares it and brings it to us. Mr Speaker, so once we say AnnualReport, it includes audited reports. Thereis nothing we can do about that so if hesays “annual report” it includes “auditedreports”, he is just repeating it and thereis no need. Let us take the word ‘audited'away and say, “we must have annualreports which must be brought to theshareholders”. In this case, we representthe shareholders which is Parliament. It isas simple as that.
HonMembers, we can go on and on. I want todirect and I so direct that, we defer furtherconsideration of this particular clause until the Committee has taken a closerlook at it to come up with something thatwill be acceptable to the House. Hon Members, we now move on toclause 20. Clauses 20 to 25 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 26 -- Secretariat of the Fund.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 26, lines 1 and 2, delete“be responsible for the day to dayadministrative matters of” and insert“provide administrative support for”.
“The Secretariat of the Commissionshall provide administrative supportfor the fund”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 26 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 27 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 28 -- Non-discrimination.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 28, subclause (2), line 3,delete “or AIDS status”.
“A person shall not directly orindirectly discriminate against aperson infected or affected by HIVor AIDS based on the actual orperceived HIV status of that personor of a close associate of thatperson”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 28, subclause (7), line 4,delete “or AIDS status”. Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read; “A person shall not deny burial fora deceased person who sufferedfrom HIV and AIDS or was known,suspected or perceived to be an HIVor AIDS patient on the grounds ofthe actual or perceived HIV statusof the deceased person.”
So, you areleaving out the AIDS portion?
Mr Speaker, we areleaving out “or AIDS status” so that theHIV takes care of it. We are advised thatAIDS naturally develops out of HIVstatus. So, that is the primary situationbefore the AIDS would follow. So, as longas we have “HIV status”, we are covered.It conveys the same meaning.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 29, subclause (1), line 2,before “services” insert “care”.
“A person living with HIV or AIDShas the right to a reasonablestandard of health which includesaccess to healthcare services.” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 29, subclause (2), deleteand insert the following: “A person shall not give medicaltreatment or carry out a medicalresearch on a person living with HIVor AIDS without the consent of theperson living with HIV or AIDSexcept where the person with HIVand AIDS is unable to giveconsent.” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 29, subclause (4), line 4,delete “education or any other social oreconomic benefit”.
“A person living with HIV or AIDSwho is unable to give consent to amedical treatment or a medicalresearch to be carried out on thatperson shall not be deprived by
Mr Speaker,what I said was that clause 29 (2), even inthe new construction that the Committeehas provided reads and with your kindpermmission, I beg to quote: “A person shall not give medicaltreatment or carry out a medicalresearch on a person living with HIVor AIDS without the consent of theperson living with HIV or AIDSexcept where the person with HIVand AIDS is unable to giveconsent.” That should have been “… exceptwhere the person with HIV or AIDS isunable to give consent.” That is the firstobservation.
“Where subsection (2) applies”. Butwe are talking about two distinct scenariosand that was why I said I know that hemeant the second scenario where theperson with HIV or AIDS is unable to giveconsent. That was why I said that justleaving it the way they have left it --“Where subsection (2) applies”. But thereare two strands that applies in subsection(2).
“Where a person with HIV or AIDSis unable to give consent, a guardianof the person living with HIV orAIDS may consent to the medicaltreatment.” Mr Speaker, that is how it should be.
HonChairman of the Committee, I think theproblem has to do with this new rendition.Given the leeway, if the person is not ableto give consent, then it means that wecould go ahead. But in subclause (3), weare talking about that kind of authoritywhich could be translated. Do you followit? The person may have a guardian of a another person of medical treatmentbased on religious or other beliefs.” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker,there is no amendment to clause 29 (3)but 29 (2) provides that: “A person shall not give medicaltreatment or carry out a medicalresearch on a person living with HIVor AIDS without the consent of theperson living with HIV or AIDSexcept where the person with HIVand AIDS is unable to giveconsent.”
“Wheresubsection (2) applies …”. Mr Speaker, I believe that this appliesto where the person is unable to giveconsent. Mr Speaker, but the way it hasbeen captured, it is like it is applying tothe two legs, but in reality it is just thesecond leg that we are concerned with.That is, “where the person is unable togive consent”. So, I am not too sure of thisconstruction and would it not be tidier ifwe just said that “Where a person withHIV and AIDS is unable to give consent,a guardian of the person living with HIVor AIDS may give consent.” Mr Speaker, because it is not tidy inthe way it has been captured in (3).
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond to that?
Mr Speaker, unfortu-nately I did not hear the Hon MinorityLeader clearly. If he may repeat.
Mr Speaker,if the Hon Chairman would repeat the lastline of the new provision: “Where a person with HIV or AIDSis unable to give consent …” Mr Speaker, he should use his ownwords.
Mr Speaker, “Where a person with HIV or AIDSis unable to give consent asprovided for under subsection (2),a guardian of the person may giveconsent to the medical treatment ormedical research in accordance withthe Patients' Rights and Charter ofthe Ghana Health Service.”
Are we allright with it?
Yes. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 29 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 30 -- Right to privacy andconfidentiality.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 30, subclause (1), line 2,delete “or AIDS status”. Mr Speaker, this amendment isconsequential to what we have earlierdone. The new subclause (1) reads: it may not manifest in the personmanifesting the symptoms, which is theAIDS. That is the distinction that theywant us to make. So one can have thevirus but would not be an AIDS patient. Mr Speaker, when it develops into thesymptoms being shown, then the personhas AIDS. So, there is HIV, which is thevirus stage and the fully blown AIDScondition. That is why they linked the twothings but they are not the same.
Mr Speaker, in additionto what Hon Yieleh Chireh said, one comesbefore the other. HIV comes before theAIDS status. So, in the clauses we areconsidering, whatever we are sayingrelates to HIV status, which is the primarystatus.
Is it possiblefor somebody to have HIV which wouldnot develop into AIDS?
That is so, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker,I appreciate the rationalisation, butconsidering what we just dealt with, “Aperson living with HIV or AIDS who isunable to give consent to a medicaltreatment …” the difficulty in thatrationalisation is that, in that regard,because one must necessarily contractHIV to have it develop into AIDS, thenperhaps we say that we do not even havethe description of AIDS in all cases. This is because once a person gets tothe level of AIDS definitely, he has passedthrough the stage of HIV. Mr Speaker, but it is not as simple asthat. Otherwise, wherever we see “AIDS”,we may have to delete it. That is why I amsaying that, even though I am trying tofollow what he is saying, I believe it wouldnot have universal implication. I do not sort, under the charter that you havereferred to in that particular clause. Itwould appear as if it does not end at thepatient not being able to give consent butit goes further than that. So, how do you--
Mr Speaker, I pray thatwe defer this clause so that the Committeecould take a closer look at it and come outwith a corrected version?
Very well. Hon Members, in that case furtherconsideration of clause 29 is deferred.
Mr Speaker,I do not really see the necessity for thedeferment. If we just say, as I haveindicated, and I believe he has effectedthe correction in 29 (2),
“Where a person with HIV or AIDSis unable to give consent asprovided for in subsection (2) ofclause 29, a guardian of the personliving with HIV or AIDS may giveconsent …” Mr Speaker, I do not see why we shoulddefer this.
HonMembers, I prefer treading cautiously. Itis there in subclause (3) that a guardiancould give the consent where it isnecessary, unless we want to put thatsubclause 3 together with this new clause.[Interruption.] Is that what you aresaying? Very well. “Every person shall enjoy a right toprivacy and confidentiality asregards HIV status of that person.”
Mr Speaker,simply, “a person”. Not “every person”. “A person shall enjoy a right toprivacy and confidentiality asregards the HIV status or AIDSstatus of that person.”
Mr Speaker, unfortunately,I did not hear my senior Colleague.
HonMinority Leader, could you go over, hesays he did not hear you.
Mr Speaker,I just said that, the opening word shouldbe “A person” not “Every person”.
Mr Speaker, that is inorder. We accede to that.
Mr Speaker, the HonChairman gave explanation as to why thewords “or AIDS status” should be takenout. I just want to know from him whetherit goes through in all cases. Perhaps if hecould explain to us why in this case toohe wants to take it out.
Mr Speaker, I did explainthat we were technically advised thatbefore a person reaches the AIDS status,he might already have developed HIV sowherever we have HIV, which is the firststage, it is to be concluded that AIDS maynot necessarily --
Mr Speaker, to supportwhat the Hon Chairman is said, one mustfirst have the virus. When he has the virus,
Mr Speaker, we arereferring to clause 30, subclause (1), line2, that was where the issue arose. Thatwas where the Hon Minority Leader'sissue arose, and I am suggesting that, itfollows through to the end of item (xxxiv).It is the same amendment, therefore Ipropose that, we look at themsequentially, so that we may agree ordisagree to carry the amendment through.
Do youintend to further amend the proposedamendment to item (xxxi)?
Mr Speaker,I would like to appeal to the Hon Chairmanto have the Committee go through it againand advise the House before we do theThird Reading, so that we know that whatwe are doing is positive. I honestly donot share the tinkering at all, but theCommittee had technical people advisingthem. I am not privy to the informationthat they might have given them. So, let them reconsider it, then, if wehave to do all of them before the ThirdReading, or pass it through a SecondConsideration, we could do that.
Very well. Hon Members, I believe we might haveto defer further Consideration of clause30 for the Committee to take a Secondlook at it and come back to the House. I so direct.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.We are much obliged.
HonMembers, we move on to clause 31. Clause 31 -- Insurance benefits andother benefits
Mr Speaker, clause 31,subclause (1) is the same as the clauseswe deferred in clause 30, so, I seek yourindulgence to defer clause 31 as well.
Very well. I accordingly direct that Considerationof Clause 31 be deferred. [Amendment deferred by leave of theHouse.]
Clause 32? Clause 32 -- Right to work
Mr Speaker, clause 32 isthe same amendment, so, I propose that-- [Pause.] Mr Speaker, it is so through till clause36.
So, wedefer all of that?
That is so, Mr Speaker.
HonMembers, as matters stand, could webring proceedings to a close here so thatthey, as a Committee would look at allthose areas that relate to this particularissue and then get us --
Mr Speaker,earlier there was an amendment that stoodin the names of the Hon Members for WaWest and Manhyia South. Because they were not in the Chamber,the Hon Member who mounted a spiriteddefence for them had to abandon thatcause mid-stream, but now we have theHon Member for Wa West here. If we could deal with those clauses,clauses 40 and 41. Hon Yieleh Chireh ishere, if he could take the matter up onbehalf of the proposers, he and Hon DrMatthew Opoku Prempeh. So, we coulddeal with them. Those ones do not havethe same --
HonMember, one of them was withdrawn.
Not by them.
Yes, by theperson who stood in for them.
Mr Speaker,the Hon Member is here. I do not evenknow whether he authorised him to dothat.
HonMember, they are not precluded frombringing it up again.
I am notsaying we should go back. What I amsaying is that, we could handle clauses40 and 41 now, because they do not havethe same ailment, I should say. We couldisolate and deal with those ones.
HonChairman of the Committee, what do yousay?
Mr Speaker, in order thatwe follow a trend, I would crave theindulgence of the Hon Minority Leaderto allow us to take your earlier directionto defer further Consideration so thatwhen we come back we could take itthrough.
I agree withyou, so, we would toe that line. really see anything wrong withmaintaining the status quo, which is whatwe have in the Bill. It is just to giveemphasis that, the person has transcendedthis stage and now the affliction of agreater degree. So, I do not really see therelevance in deleting “or AIDS status”. Ido not really understand.
HonChairman, how do you respond to that?
Mr Speaker, I agree withhim in the sense that even if we have itthere, it does not spoil anything.
So, whatwould the final rendition be if you agreewith him?
Mr Speaker, the finalrendition would be that we abandon theadvertised amendment to delete “or AIDSstatus”. Therefore, the original renditionin the clauses would stand as it is in theBill.
Mr Speaker,further to the admission of the HonChairman, this whole Bill is about AIDS.It is known scientifically that it is a fullblown aspect of HIV that develops intoAIDS, so, once we start tinkering theway we are doing, it may lose its essence.In my view, wherever possible, we shouldplace emphasis on AIDS as well. That surgery that he is performing, Ido not believe that it would serve muchpurpose for this Bill.
Mr Speaker, under thecircumstances, we may want to look atthem clause by clause.
Thank you verymuch, Mr Speaker. After a very hectic weekend, I believeHon Members have done very well. Itherefore beg to move, that we bring proceedings to an end here till tomorrow,at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.