Debates of 11 October 2016

MR SPEAKER

PRAYERS

WELCOME ADDRESS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, let mewelcome you to the Fourth Meeting -- tothe Third Meeting of the Fourth Sessionof the Sixth Parliament of the FourthRepublic. I thank the Almighty God for seeing toyour wellbeing during the recess andbringing you all safely back to the Housethis morning. It is my prayer that theAlmighty God would continue to extendhis hand of favour and divine mercies overthis House during the course of thisMeeting. Hon Members, this is an election year,and though the time available to theHouse is limited, the agenda is relativelypacked. I hope that Hon Members would give the Chair and Leadership themaximum cooperation and improve upontheir attendance in the House to enableus complete our Business on time. I would also urge the Leadership of theMajority to impress upon the Ministries,Departments and Agencies (MDA) ofGovernment to respect the timetable of theHouse and prioritise the legislativeBusiness and other proposals they intendto introduce for the consideration andapproval of Parliament. On this note, I once again welcome HonMembers to the House. It is my prayerthat the good Lord would guide us in ourdeliberations. Hon Members, thank you.

Speaker
Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu)

Mr Speaker, in yourwelcome statement, I heard you say thatyou were welcoming us to the FourthMeeting. You later changed it to the ThirdMeeting. I would want to know whatMeeting it is, for the records.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Is it the fourth or thethird? Guide the Chair. Yes, I did not know whether to countthe one day as a Meeting. So, if onecounts it, this is the Fourth Meeting.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,that is my opinion. It was a Sitting andagain a Meeting.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

It is the Fourth Meeting. Thank you, Hon Minority Leader. Ihave “Fourth” on my script, but I was nottoo sure. Hon Members, before we go to theVotes and Proceedings, we have abouteleven editions of the Official Report forcorrection. Do we correct them or wedefer them to tomorrow? Anyway, Hon Members, correction ofVotes and Proceedings of Friday, 5thAugust, 2016. Votes and Proceedings and theOfficial Report [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Friday, 5th August,2016.] [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Thursday, 1stSeptember, 2016.]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, we haveabout 11 editions of the Official Report.Do we defer the correction to tomorrowor we take it today? Let me get the sense of the House. Very well. We will take it.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, consideration of thecorrection of editions of the OfficialReport is deferred to tomorrow. Item numbered (3) on the Order Paper-- Business Statement for the First Week.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,just an observation. For this Meeting,notices went round directing that HonMembers be summoned to have thisMeeting, beginning today. Mr Speaker, the notice that came fromthe Deputy Clerk to Parliament, inparticular, Mr Robert Apodolla, sought tonotify Hon Members of Parliament thatthe Third Meeting of the Fourth Sessionof the Sixth Parliament would commencetoday, 11th October at 10.00 o'clock in theforenoon. Mr Speaker, what is required to be doneis a Constitutional Instrument. I just wantto apprise myself, whether indeed, thereexists a Constitutional Instrumentsummoning Parliament, and if that is so,whether we can know the number of theInstrument.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member, you haveraised an issue whether we have issued aConstitutional Instrument. The documentthat you referred to being attributed tothe Deputy Clerk in charge of the threemanagement divisions -- I have not seenthat. But the gravamen of yoursubmission, if I get you right, is whetherthere was any Constitutional Instrument. My understanding of the law and theConstitution is that, at the beginning of a

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,I think further to the issue there were twothings that I was going to raise and I thinkwe have dealt with the first one. That iswhether it is the Third or Fourth Meeting.[Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

[Order! Order!]

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,again, in the Special Sitting and Meetingthat we had, you indicated to us that youhad directed that the Motion that I filedon behalf of the Minority wasinadmissible and that it should be returnedto me. I think for the records, I mustindicate that I have had the Motionreturned to me dated the 10th of October,which is yesterday. I must register thispoint for the records that I had it today,dated yesterday. Thank you very much.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, itemnumbered (3) on the Order Paper --Business Statement for the First Week --Chairman of the Business Committee, HonMajority Leader?

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

Speaker
Majority Leader/Chairman of theBusiness Committee (Mr Alban S. K.Bagbin)

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the Committee met today,Tuesday, 11th October, 2016 and arrangedBusiness of the House for the First Weekending Friday, 14th October, 2016. Mr Speaker, pursuant to StandingOrder 56 (1), the Committee accordinglysubmits its report as follows: Arrangement of Business Question(s) Mr Speaker, as Hon Members arealready aware, the Business Committeemet today to arrange business for today,Tuesday and for subsequent days of theweek. The Committee has not programmedMinisters of State to respond toQuestions during this week. Ministers would be programmedduring the subsequent weeks to respondto Questions. Statements Mr Speaker, pursuant to Order 70 (2),Ministers of State may be permitted tomake Statements of Government policy.Your goodself may also admit Statementsto be made in the House by Hon Membersin accordance with Order 72. Bills, Papers and Reports Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented tothe House for First Reading and those ofurgent nature may be taken through thevarious stages in one day in accordancewith Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to theHouse. Motions and Resolutions Mr Speaker, Motions may be debatedand their consequential Resolutions, ifany, taken during the week. Mr Speaker, the Business Committeewelcomes all Hon Members back from therecess. The House would be meeting fora brief period and then break for thegeneral elections. It is therefore expectedthat this period would be demanding forall Hon Members. It is hoped thatMembers have returned invigorated forthis exacting Meeting ahead of us. Conclusion Mr Speaker, in accordance withStanding Order 160 (2) and subject toStanding Order 53, the Committee submitsto this Honourable House the order inwhich the Business of the House shall betaken during the week. Tuesday, 11th October, 2016 Statements Presentation of Papers -- (a) Fire Precaution (Premises)(Amendment) Regulations, 2016. (b) Tobacco Control Regulations,2016. (c) Customs Regulations, 2016. (d) Export-Import Bank CreditFacility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana and the EXIM Bank of

Speaker
Majority Leader/Chairman of theBusiness Committee (Mr Alban S. K.Bagbin)

Speaker
Majority Leader/Chairman of theBusiness Committee (Mr Alban S. K.Bagbin)

Speaker
Majority Leader/Chairman of theBusiness Committee (Mr Alban S. K.Bagbin)

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah

Thank youvery much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I presume the HonMajority Leader would like to announcehis presence forcefully before the House. We have the Report, and the practicehas been that he gives the highlights. Heis giving what the Business Committeehas proposed for today, and even someof the things that he has proposed arenot on the Order Paper. I am saying that we have this Report.We are studying it critically, so, he shouldjust give the highlights, but this tediousreading of the processes -- I do not know,probably he has a very good reason fordoing so.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I am actuallysummarising. I am not reading. It is justthat my good Friend was not followingme. I am summarising the Business, I wasnot reading -- [Interruption]-- no, theyare all highlights. Friday, 14th October, 2016 Statements Presentation of Papers -- Report of the Committee ofPrivileges on the Manual on Ethicsand Standards for Members ofParliament. Motions (a) Third Reading of Bills-- Ghana AIDS Commission Bill, 2015. (b) Adoption of the Report of theFinance Committee on theReconciliation Report on thePetroleum Holding Fund for theyear 2013. (c) Adoption of the Report of theCommittee of Privileges on thealleged contemptuous publicationsin the Thursday, 14th and Friday15th July, 2016 Editions of the DailyGraphic newspaper by Mr MarkAnthony Vinorkor in respect of thePublic Elections Regulations,2016 (C.I.94) and the Repre-sentation of the People (Par-liamentary Constituencies)Instrument, 2016 (C.I. 95). Consideration Stage of Bills -- Right to Information Bill, 2013.(Continuation of debate.) Real Estate Authority Bill, 2014. Intestate Succession Bill, 2013. Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013. Development and Classification ofFilm Bill, 2016. Committee sittings.

Speaker
Dr Anthony Akoto Osei

Mr Speaker,item numbered 3 on the first page of theBusiness Statement. There are two issues there. In thesecond line, the Hon Majority Leadersays; “for a brief period”. I wish that hecould perhaps be more specific and tellus how brief his brief is. [Interruption.] All right, so, he said three weeks. The more important part relates withthe third line, which says:

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah

Mr Speaker, Ido not really think it is about our salariesand conditions. It is about fulfilling ourConstitutional obligation under article 71(2) of the Constitution.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, with your kind permission,I would quote

Speaker
Mr Speaker, with your kind permission,I would quote

Speaker
Mr Speaker

It appears that you aremore interested in article 71(2) than article71(1). It appears that the Hon Member forOld Tafo is also more interested in article71 (1).

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, we decidedto go different ways. [Laughter] --

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the pointbeing made is well noted. It is difficult forme to ensure but I would definitelyconsult. This is because I do not havethat authority to ensure that. However, Iwould definitely consult the legal authority to make sure that it is broughtearlier than we experienced in the year2008. In the year 2008, it was brought on thelast day that Parliament was to rise. Wedo not want to experience that again andso, we would try and follow up on theissue, so that it would come earlier. I agree with you that we should havesufficient time to go through the Reportand make some inputs to improve uponwhat they proposed. This is because it isfor us to approve and it is for them to alsoapprove, so, we would need some timeto go through it. I would take it up andfollow up on it. Papa Owusu-Ankomah -- rose --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Member forSekondi?

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah

Mr Speaker,thank you for your indulgence. There is also a second matter that Iwish to raise, which in my view, is verycritical for the work of this House, goingforward. Mr Speaker, it is the Standing Ordersof this House. We agreed that we weregoing to review the Standing Orders andI know for a fact that exhaustive work hasbeen done, involving all the previous HonMajority Leaders and Hon MinorityLeaders of this House and the work hasbeen concluded. Mr Speaker, it would be a re-mix on ourpart if this matter goes into the nextParliament because it has existed since theThird Parliament, presided over by theLate Rt Hon Peter Ala Adjetey. Work hasbeen done by all the Parliaments. We havehad the advantage, as a technicalCommittee, of working on it. In accordance with the StandingOrders, probably, if it could be laid byLeadership, then of course, the StandingOrders Committee could also review it, sothat we would try to comprehensivelyreview our Standing Orders. Mr Speaker, experience has shown usthat some of the provisions have evokedso much controversy, which has even ledto debate beyond this House -- HonMembers speak at cross purposes. Mr Speaker, it is important that we dealwith this matter. If we cannot deal with it,then the Leadership should let us know.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, any othercomments? Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu-- rose --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon MinorityLeader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,I beg to agree with the sentimentsexpressed by the Hon Member forSekondi. Mr Speaker, we have just aboutconcluded this business of reviewing theStanding Orders. As you do know, theconstitution of committees begin with theinauguration of a new Parliament. If fornothing at all, we should conclude thisbusiness, in order to set the incomingParliament on a very good path. This is because it is extremely difficult,once Committees are constituted, tochange them midway. Even relocatingsome Hon Members from one committeeto the other becomes an arduous task.That is why I think it is important that weget this right and conclude that business,before this Parliament is prorogued. So, I agree entirely with the sentimentsthe Hon Member has expressed. Mr Speaker, the other thing that I wouldalso want to raise -- Unfortunately, I wasnot at the Business Committee sitting thismorning, but as the Hon Majority Leaderhas indicated, the House is going to haveto Sit for three weeks. Ordinarily, threeweeks translates into 12 Sitting days. Mr Speaker, I noticed today that someRegulations are going to be laid andunless the signal is given to us, that wewould have to Sit beyond the three weeksor perhaps after the elections for additionalten days or so, I do not see how we aregoing to make space for this. Mr Speaker, for this reason and withsome difficulty, I would want to questionwhat we are doing, knowing that wecannot conclude it. Is it for the fun of it?This is because not counting today,beyond today, we have just 11 days andthe Constitution provides that thereshould be 21 Sitting days for this and herewe have just 11 days. So, unless anybody would give ussome further indications where and whenwe are going to make the ten additionalSitting days after the elections, I do notsee how relevant it is to bring Regulationsat this time. Mr Speaker, that is the point I wouldwant to make.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the earlierpoint raised by Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah on the revision of the StandingOrders is very important. It is not yetbefore the Business Committee, so, wehave not been able to programme it. Wewere part of the ad hoc Committee thatwas set up.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, areyou on a point of order?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,yes. The Hon Majority Leader asked whereI derived my authority from. It is from article 11(7)(c) of the Constitution. Itprovides: “Any Order, Rule and Regulationmade by a person or authorityunder a power conferred by thisConstitution or any other lawshall -- (c) come into force at theexpiration of twenty-oneSitting days after being so laid. . .” So, we do not count the day on whichit was laid.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I think thatthe Hon Minority Leader would have totest this in the court of law. [Laughter.]We count the day that it is laid. It is notafter 24 hours. After it is laid, you startcounting. Please -- [Interruption.] Hehas to learn.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

I have tolearn?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Yes. It is not planning; itis law. So, Mr Speaker, we anticipate that theHouse would actually come back after theelections and that Hon Members wouldgo through the usual Motions. At the endof the day, we expect that even thoughautomatically going through theconstitutional provisions, we would standdissolved or prorogued by the 6th January,2017, we anticipate that there would besome processes before it is done and wecan get about nine days to make it up tothe 21 Sitting days. That is what we have programmed. If itdoes not happen, there is no harm but ifwe do not programme them, it means thatit would have been lost. So, we are doingthe sensible thing by programming themand making sure that if we get the opportunity, then they come into force.These are very essential Rules andRegulations and I believe the right thinghas been done by the BusinessCommittee. Some Hon Members -- rose --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, I wouldwant to bring the consideration of theBusiness Statement to a close. That waswhy I asked for any comments before Icalled the Hon Minority Leader. Nobodywas on his feet, that is why I called theHon Minority Leader and the HonMajority Leader to respond.

Speaker
Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu

Mr Speaker,there are some outstanding matters whichthe Business of the House does not takecare of. I do not see that there isprogrammed in the Business of the Houseany meeting of the joint Caucus orotherwise, but there are very serioushousekeeping matters relating to, forexample, the Social Investment Fund (SIF).Some have been paid and otherssuspended. We expect that the Leadership wouldprogramme a meeting in which properbriefing would be made about who isentitled to what and why there has beendiscrepancy. Mr Speaker, the matters arehere.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member for Bekwai,if you want a joint Caucus, you discussmatters. Otherwise, if you would want todiscuss it on the floor, why are you callingfor the Caucus meeting? This morning, Ihad discussions with the Leaders on thismatter in my Lobby. So, if you are callingfor a joint Caucus, call for it.

Speaker
Mr Osei-Owusu

Mr Speaker, I amdrawing the attention of Leadership that there is a need for a joint Caucus meetingand it is excluded from the programme ofBusiness for the week.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, we would wantas many more Hon Members as possibleto participate in the decision-makingprocess and in Leadership and so wealways welcome joint Caucus meetingsand we would consider that. I believe theother additional thing is rumourmongering; there is nothing like that.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, thatbrings us to the end of the ConsiderationStage of the Business of the House forthe First Week ending 14th October, 2016. Hon Members, the Business Statementfor the First Week ending 14th October,2016 is hereby adopted. At the commencement of PublicBusiness -- Presentation of Papers -- 5(a)by the Hon Majority Leader and Leaderof the House.

PAPERS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (b) --by the Minister for the Interior.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, with your kindpermission and with the indulgence of myHon Colleagues, if the Hon DeputyMinister for the Interior could present thisPaper for and on behalf of the HonMinister for the Interior. Hon JamesAgalga, our Hon Colleague, is here fromthe Ministry to do that.

Speaker
Dr Anthony A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I justwant to note that since the new HonMinister for the Interior was appointed,he has never come to the House. I knowHon Agalga can perform but the HonMinister must come so that he can makesome Statements for us to have a debate.That is the essence of being a Minister.So, if you pass the message on to him,we have not seen him at all. 12. 00 noon

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the HonMinister is often not present in the House,but at least he has come on a fewoccasions. The nature of that Ministrywith so many strong agencies; Police --[Interruptions]-- Hon Papa OwusuAnkomah, you were once there?[Interruption.] I have said that the nature of thebusiness sometimes takes the HonMinister away and as of now, he is beforethe --[Interruptions]-- It is not correct.He has been here a number of times --[Interruptions.] State of the Nation Address? Now youare conceding that he has been here anumber of times and one of such times ison the State of the Nation Address.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Deputy Minister, wewould allow you to lay the Paper on behalfof your Minister but the House wants tosee your Minister in the House to transactfuture business of the House from hisMinistry.

Speaker
Mr James Agalga

Very well, MrSpeaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (b) onthe Order Paper by the Hon DeputyMinister for the Interior on behalf of theHon Minister for the Interior? By the Hon Deputy Minister for theInterior (Mr James Agalga) (on behalfof the Hon Minister for the Interior) -- Fire Precaution (Premises) (Amend-ment) Regulations, 2016. Referred to the Committee onSubsidiary Legislation.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Where is Hon O.B.Amoah?

Speaker
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh

MrSpeaker, he is in the precincts ofParliament.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (c) onthe Order Paper by the Hon Minister forHealth?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, if I may, onceagain with your permission and theindulgence of my Hon Colleagues call onthe Hon Minister for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation topresent this Regulation for and on behalfof the Hon Minister for Health. In fact, Igot in touch with the Hon Minister andhe said he was on his way, but he has notreached here yet so -- [Interruptions.]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation on behalf of the Hon Ministerfor Health? By the Hon Minister for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation (MrMahama Ayariga) (on behalf of the HonMinister for Health) -- (c) Tobacco Control Regulations,2016. Referred to the Committee onSubsidiary Legislation.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (d) (i)by the Hon Minister for Finance?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, with your kindpermission and the indulgence of my HonColleagues, if the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance in the person of Hon CassielAto Baah Forson, could present thesePapers for and on behalf of the HonMinister for Finance, who is outside thecountry performing State duties for andon behalf of the country. Mr Speaker, the numbering is wrong, itis supposed to be; (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) areall ready to be laid.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, itemnumbered 5 (d) (i) on the Order Paper bythe Hon Deputy Minister for Finance? By the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance(Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson) (on behalfof the Hon Minister for Finance) -- (d) Customs Regulations, 2016. Referred to the Committee onSubsidiary Legislation.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (d) (ii)and (iii)? By the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance(Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson) (on behalfof the Hon Minister for Finance) -- (ii) Loan and Financing Agreementbetween the Government of theRepublic of Ghana andKreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau(KfW), Frankfurt am Main for aloan amount of three million, fivehundred thousand Euros(€3,500,000.00) and a grantamount of one million, fivehundred thousand Euros(€1,500,000.00) in respect of thePerformance-oriented Public Financial Management, GhanaRevenue Authority (GRA ITTraining Institute and accom-panying measures). (iii) Loan Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana and Kreditanstalt furWiederaufbau (KfW), Frankfurtam Main for an amount ofthirteen million Euros (€13,000,-000.00) in respect of thePerformance-oriented PublicFinancial Management, GhanaAudit Service (construction ofthree (3) regional and twenty-two (22) district offices for theGhana Audit Service). Referred to the Finance Committee.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (d) (iv)?Hon Deputy Minister, please, do thecorrection there before you lay it.

Speaker
Mr Forson

Thank you, Mr Speaker,the Paper to be laid is on item numbered 5(d) (iv) and not (iii). Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

No! Look at the figure, Ihave corrected that one. Look at thesubstance. Look at the disparity betweenthe figures and the words in terms of theamount involved.

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, the correctionreads, for ‘an amount up to twenty-fourmillion, five hundred and fifty thousandUnited States dollars. Mr Speaker --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Is it forty or fifty?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, the amount issupposed to be twenty-four million, fivehundred and fifty thousand United Statesdollars (US$ 24, 550, 000.00); so, MrSpeaker, the amount in numbers wouldhave to be US$ 24, 550, 000.00, not US$24, 540,000.00.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, thismorning in my Lobby, the Clerk drew myattention to the error on the Order Paperand gave me a copy of the documentwhich reads twenty-four million, fivehundred and forty thousand (US$ 24,540,000.00). That is what we have in thedocument. I thought that the mistake was comingfrom the Clerks-at-the-Table, that is why Iwant you to correct it. It should be twenty-four million five hundred and fortythousand United States dollars. So, pleasedo the correction -- Yes, Hon Majority Leader? This is because when the Hon MajorityLeader was presenting the BusinessStatement, he also did the correction. Yes, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Thank you Mr Speaker, fordrawing our attention. It will now read asfollows, twenty-four million, five hundredand forty thousand United States dollars. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon MinorityLeader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,as you have alluded to, this morning, inreading the Business Statement, the HonMajority Leader sought to also amend theamount. Indeed, it was captured as “Export-Import Bank Credit Facility Agreementbetween the Government of the Republicof Ghana and the EXIM Bank of India foran amount of up to twenty-four million,five hundred and fifty thousand UnitedStates dollars”. Except that the figure following, read “US$24,540,000”. The HonMajority Leader implored the House toeffect the correction to reconcile the twoand that in reality, it should read “twenty-four million, five hundred and fortythousand United States dollars”. So thatwas what was done. Now he comes back and tells us that itshould rather be the other way and whenattention is drawn, he says it should nowread -- Where are we?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, the amountshould read US$24,540,000 and notUS$24,550,000. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, theamount in the document before the Housenow as made available to me is consistentwith the correction made by the HonMajority Leader earlier when he presentedthe Business Statement. That isUS$24,540,000.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,the problem is that, this House does notgenerate these documents. The Ministrygenerated the document and he isrepresenting the Ministry. He tells us thatit is US$24,550,000 so who are we todispute it? He wants us to correct whatwe have.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader,initially I agreed with you, but the correctfigure on the document from the Ministryof Finance is US$24,540,000. By the Deputy Minister for Finance (onbehalf of the Minister for Finance) -- (iv) Export-Import Bank CreditFacility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana and the EXIM Bank ofIndia for an amount of up to twenty-four million, five hundredand forty thousand United Statesdollars (US$24,540,000.00) forSugarcane and Irrigation Deve-lopment in the Komenda area ofthe Central Region.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,I did not hear what was read out. What isit meant for?

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Clerks-at-the-Table, let ushear you again. By the Deputy Minister for Finance (onbehalf of the Minister for Finance) -- (iii) Export-Import Bank CreditFacility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana and the EXIM Bank ofIndia for an amount of up totwenty-four million, five hundredand forty thousand United Statesdollars (US$24,540,000.00), forSugarcane and Irrigation Dev-elopment in the Komenda area ofthe Central Region. Referred to the Finance Committee.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5(e), onthe Order Paper by the Minister forForeign Affairs and Regional Integration.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the HonMinister for Foreign Affairs and RegionalIntegration is not present in the House.With your kind permission and theindulgence of my Hon Colleagues, if theMinister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation could presentthis Agreement to the House on herbehalf?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, thispractice is not showing deference to the

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, theHon Minister for Foreign Affairs andRegional Integration now has a DeputyMinister. [Pause.] [Interruptions.]

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I am trying toget information as to where the HonMinister for Foreign Affairs and RegionalIntegration is. I am aware she is out of thecountry, but which country specificallyand what she is doing, I do not have thatinformation. So, I was trying to extract thatfrom the Deputy Minister for Finance. [Interruption.] He told me his Minister is at the FallMeetings of the International MonetaryFund (IMF) and I was trying to get thatone for the Hon Minister for ForeignAffairs and Regional Integration. Thatwas when I heard your calls to draw myattention. I did not take that information from him,so, if I could just get that information fromhim before I respond. [Interruptions.] Why? Do you want me to lie?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,I do not want him to lie, but it is anaberration to have a leader of GovernmentBusiness seek information from a DeputyMinister -- with respect to the Deputy Minister. The Minister for Foreign Affairsand Regional Integration, and you are thesupposed leader of Government Business--

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, let me saythis and I am serious about it. Theresponse of Hon Members of this Housedepends on the attitude of the Ministerswho have businesses to transact. Wehave barely three weeks or ordinarily,about 12 Sitting days. So, if those whoare bringing their business to the Houseshow seriousness, then Hon Memberswould also show seriousness. Hon Majority Leader, we have verylimited time and in my Welcome Address,I made that point very clear, that HonMinisters who have business in thisHouse, must come to transact it.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I totally agreewith you. That was why yesterday, I hadto meet the Hon Ministers and discusswith them what was possible within thethree weeks. So, we had to leave out manyof the business they wanted us to dobecause we have only three weeks. Iinsisted that their presence was veryessential for us to transact this business.It is rather unfortunate that some of themare not in the House. So, Mr Speaker, I would take this upand on Thursday, at the Cabinet Meeting,I would draw attention so that HisExcellency the President would also addhis voice to this matter.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation, on behalf of the Hon Ministerfor Foreign Affairs and RegionalIntegration?

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (f), bythe Hon Chairman of the Committee? By the Chairman of the Committee -- (f) Report of the Committee onTrade, Industry and Tourism onthe World Trade Organisation(WTO) Trade FacilitationAgreement (TFA).

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, itemnumbered 6; Presentation and FirstReading of Bills. Hon Second Deputy Speaker to takethe Chair.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, only itemnumbered 6 (d) is ready.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, itemnumbered 6 (d) on the Order Paper;Presentation and First Reading of Bills bythe Hon Deputy Minister for Finance onbehalf of the Hon Minister for Finance.

BILLS -- FIRST READING

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I have justbeen informed that item numbered 6 (a),which is the Energy Commission(Amendment) Bill, 2016 is ready.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Minister forPower, item numbered 6 (a) on the OrderPaper.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, for goodreason I would want to plead,we need toget this Bill through before some criticalregulations come and time is of essence.My attention has been drawn to it, and Iwould want to plead with the House toallow the Hon Minister for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation tolay the Bill for and on behalf of the HonMinister for Power. Just for this reason.

MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, on theOrder Paper, it says Hon Minister forPower, but I do not recall that this Househas approved any Hon Minister forPower. We have been informed that theHon Minister for Finance, is currentlyresponsible for Power but he is not theHon Minister for Power. Therefore weshould amend it properly. This is becausewe have not approved any such position.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, what Hon DrAkoto Osei said is right. We have the HonMinister responsible for Power, so itshould have read as follows; “HonMinister responsible for Power”, and thatis the Hon Minister for Finance. That isright, but my request still stands. Energy Commission (Amendment)Bill, 2016 An Act to amend the EnergyCommission Act 1997 (Act 541) toincorporate provisions on localcontents and local participation inrelation to the energy supplyindustry and for related matters.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Presented by the Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation (Mr Mahama Ayariga) (onbehalf of the Hon Minister Responsblefor Power). Read the First time; referredto the Committee on Mines and Energy.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, item 7 at page4 on the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonMembers, the Ghana AIDS CommissionBill, 2015, at the Consideration Stage.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, an HonMember of the Committee onConstitutional, Legal and ParliamentaryAffairs who has been taking care of thisBill is available to lead us in thedeliberation of the Ghana AIDSCommission Bill, 2015.

BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE

Speaker
Mr Bernard Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, clause 30, add the followingnew subclause: “(5) Despite subsection (4), a healthcare provider who has informa-tion on the HIV status of anotherperson due to a privilegedrelationship with that otherperson, may disclose theinformation to the spouse orprospective spouse of thatperson if: (a) that person refuses to giveconsent for the information tobe disclosed to the spouse orprospective spouse of thatperson; and (b) that spouse or prospectivespouse is at risk of beinginfected.” Clause 30 add the following new sub-clause: “(6) A health care provider shall notdisclose information undersubsection (5) unless the healthcare provider has recorded therefusal to give consent in writingagreed to by the person livingwith HIV or AIDS.”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonMember, I do not understand what youare doing. You have to take it one afterthe other. They are advertised differently.So when you finish the amendment ofclause 30 advertised as (i), we debate andvote before we go the next one.

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I was of theview that the rationale cuts across.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

No. Thenyou should have advertised it as the sameamendment.

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I will do asyou said.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30add the following new subclause

“(5) Despite subsection (4), a healthcare provider who has informa-tion on the HIV status of anotherperson due to a privilegedrelationship with that otherperson, may disclose the information to the spouse orprospective spouse of thatperson if: (a) that person refuses to giveconsent for the information tobe disclosed to the spouse orprospective spouse of thatperson; and (b) that spouse or prospectivespouse is at risk of beinginfected.” Question proposed.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, I think whatis being proposed is dangerous. It is sodangerous that, we are trying to pry intoa privilege relationship. Mr Speaker, they intend that, a healthcare worker who has a privilegedinformation, because he is just a healthcare worker, can disclose the HIV statusinformation of a person. Mr Speaker, we should not entertainthat at all. Where would it end?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Have wenot debated this?

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, that is thereason it was stood down aside for theCommittee to go and consider it.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Let mejust ask a question; Hon Member, if mymemory serves me right, it was debated atlength the last time and the advice was togo back and try and — Are you presentingthe same thing?

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, the reason forpresenting the same thing is not far-fetched. Mr Speaker, the law must create thecircumstance where the privilege wouldhave to be revoked in a situation wherethe spouse or the prospective spousestands the risk of being infected with thedisease. That is why we are even havinga subsequent addition; that is, subclause(6), which states that, for the medicalofficer to do so, there must be a writtenevidence of the person refusing to givethe consent. In that case, the medical officer mustgo ahead to disclose the information onthe ground that, the spouse or theprospective spouse stands the risk ofbeing infected with the disease.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I believeHon Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has notfinished. I will recognise him.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, I do notknow why he is belabouring this samepoint like we drew your attention to. Mr Speaker, I may be a laboratoryworker and have a privileged informationthat a person is HIV positive. The spouseof that person leaks the information andthe other person says he would notrelease the information and you are sayingthat you are forcing me to disclose thatprivileged information. Mr Speaker, it will destroy confi-dentiality — [Interruption]— If a spousedecides that he or she is not going todisclose his or her HIV status, it is betweenthe spouses. One cannot force a doctorto come and disclose that information. Itis very dangerous. Where would it end?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Wherewould it end? But you did not say whereit was beginning. It was beginning withthe law.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, this is thefoot in the door situation. As we stand,HIV is not a life threatening thing. Thereare diseases that are changing into chronicdiseases like hypertension and diabetes.Are we then going to say that all thosethings should be disclosed? Where wouldit end?

Speaker
Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi

Mr Speaker,this issue raised by Hon Dr MatthewOpoku Prempeh — A lot of women havebeen infected because they did not knowand the men are not prepared to tell themand vice versa. Mr Speaker, if we could do somethingabout it. This is because, it has been theorder of the day for all these years andpeople are suffering. In any case, myproblem is with a prospective spouse.What is “prospective”? It is not definedand so if they could define it. This is because, is it, somebody whohas been engaged to a person and areabout to get married or somebody that oneis staying with? I ask this becausemarriage starts with courtship, so what is“prospective”? Mr Speaker, that is my problem, but thisdisclosure — If the person says no —There are people who have wickedlyinfected others — [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, if we would have to amendit — But I believe it is a very good ideaand I support it. This is because a lot ofpeople have died through ignorance andwickedly, people have infected others withthis virus. So I would want us to look at itand maybe amend it to suit whatever myHon Colleague is saying.

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah

Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that the intention may be good,but the principle is worrying. Are wesaying that, every health care providershould be under an obligation to disclosethe HIV status of another person to the spouse? That is what it is. This is becauseit talks about refusing consent. Mr Speaker, does it mean that thehealth care provider is under anobligation, under this law, to inform aspouse of the HIV status of a person? Wewould be clear if that is what the law seeksto do, but to say that, if he refuses consent— And what if the health care providerdoes not even seek the consent. Is heunder an obligation under the law? — Which clause of the Bill says that, ahealth care provider is under an obligationto inform the spouse of a person who hasHIV? Mr Speaker, secondly, all over theworld, they have been trying to encouragepersons to see HIV not as a terminaldisease. Will this be in accordance withglobal standards when it comes to dealingwith HIV? Mr Speaker, probably, the Hon Memberwho is proposing this amendment onbehalf of the Committee should be able toenlighten us because I do not knowwhether things have changed or not.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonMember, I am tempted to allow you tohave another bite of the cherry. Wouldyou want to meet with those who areviolently opposed to it or you would wantme to put the matter to vote? The choiceis yours. Either we move to the other clauses sothat you can have a short conversationwith them so that we come back to clause30 tomorrow or we put the Question onthe proposed amendment.

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Very well. I would take acue from the Hon Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

This isbecause you would see that there are somepeople who side with you and others whoare strongly against it. So, perhaps, youshould caucus with the Committee and tryand --

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, I am totallyhappy with that ruling but it looks as ifthere is an intransigence on the part of theleadership of the Committee. This isbecause this is not the first time we arestanding this particular clause down.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I am alsoan Hon Member of the Committee. So, Iam part of the intransigence when you saythat.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, no. The reason I say that is because theleadership of the Committee happened tobe lawyers and that is why I am afraid.Just reading it tells me we are goingsomewhere on a dangerous path and --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonMember, do meet with the Committee.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

All right; I will do that.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So, Iwould stand down clause 30 completely. Clause 31 -- Insurance benefits andother benefits

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 31, subclause (1), line 1, delete “orAIDS status”. Mr Speaker, this is a consequentialamendment. Question put and amendment agreedto.

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 31, subclause (3), delete. Clause 31 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 32 -- Right to work

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 32, subclause (1), line 3, delete “orAIDS status”. Mr Speaker, again, this isconsequential.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I noticedthat the deletion of the “or AIDS status”is done in a number of cases. Can youremind us why we are deleting?

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, globally,reference is made to a person's HIV statusand not “AIDS status”. One's “AIDSstatus” would be determined by his or herHIV status --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Thankyou. Question put and amendment agreedto.

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 32, subclause (2), line 3, delete“or AIDS status”. Question put and amendment agreedto.

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 32, subclause (4), line 1, delete “orAIDS status”. Clause 32 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 33 -- Right to education Mr Speaker, the rationale for thisamendment is that the first amendment ofclause 33 (viii) is consequential and thesecond of clause 33 (ix) makes theexpression better and elegant. Thank you. Question put and amendment agreedto.

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 33, subclause (2), line 2, delete“or AIDS status”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 33 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 34 -- Political rights

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Chairmanof the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 34, closing phrase after paragraph(b), subclause (4), lines 1 and 2, delete“or AIDS status”.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, this is notan advertised clause but I wanted the HonChairman of the Committee to explain whythis particular clause on the right to vote-- Clause 34 (b). This is because there isno law in Ghana denying people with HIVor any disease the right to vote so why isthe Chairman specifically stating it here?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonChairman of the Committee, let us deleteit. Do you know that the Supreme Courthas even given prisoners the right to vote?So, if you say the “right to vote” here,like the Hon Dr Prempeh is rightly saying,there is an inference that there is a lawthat has taken the right to vote from peoplewith HIV and so we are restoring this right.This is because the Constitution givesevery Ghanaian the right to vote. Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, the Committeeduring the discussions also made thesame observation but because of thestigma against HIV/AIDS patients, theyinsisted that we should put it there andthat it is one of the things that we shouldaccept. So, I think that if you look at the wholeBill in terms of the rights that we are tryingto emphasise, it is not as if there is noright for them to vote but people feel thatthey are being discriminated against andthat is the reason the AIDS Commissioninsisted that we should put these thingsin there. But really, there is no law whichexempts them from voting.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

We mustbe careful so that we do not rather seek tostigmatise them by putting it there andembarrassing our country as well, in theprocess. I understand what you are saying. Ifyou read clause 33 for example, it talksabout the right to access education andyou are asking why we need to put itthere?

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, on a moreserious note, clause 33 -- Right toeducation; clause 34 -- Political rights;clause 35 -- Freedom of movement;clause 36 -- It is not warranted at all here.They are all rights that are enshrined inthe Constitution. Mr Speaker, besides, if anybody picksthe Ghana AIDS Commission Law, we arerather stigmatising that as if in Ghana, wehave to specifically pass this Bill to givethem something that we have taken awayfrom them. Mr Speaker, you would have to look atit from the reverse point. The single mostimportant thing that we should includehere, “Right to treatment” if one has HIVstatus is not here. Mr Speaker, no law in Ghana debarssomebody with HIV from being educated.Now, we bring it into the Ghana AIDSCommission Bill and when it is passed,anybody who takes this would askwhether Ghana was discriminating againstHIV patients from going to school. Is this true? Certainly, it is not true. So,Mr Speaker, when we look at clauses 33to 36, why are we doing this, especiallywhen we have enshrined their rights intoconfidentiality and privacy and thatnobody can force them to disclose it?[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, the fact that Ghana AIDSCommission brought it does not mean weshould take it. We should be veryreasonable here.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, the argumentreally is this: people believe that if onehas symptoms of AIDS or HIV, they wouldnecessarily not allow him to be in aworkplace. It is an actual situation thatpeople even dismiss workers they suspectto have AIDS. So, it is that which is makingus emphasise it in this law. In fact, it is not that it must be a lawthat debars anybody from enjoying a right.It is rather the perception that, one can goahead and say that somebody has AIDS and so, should not come to their schoolto teach, which has made us put it in here.It is similar to positively discriminating infavour of women in terms of gender rights.So, Mr Speaker, he should not portray theidea that the Constitution -- Yes, the Constitution grants all of usrights, but people saying one is too tall orshort and so, cannot be President aresome of the things that we are saying andthat nobody should be deprived of anyof these rights. We think it is happening and indeed,at that meeting, the Ghana AIDSCommission officials impressed upon usthat some people are already suffering asa result of this, so we should put it in there.Mr Speaker, I beg of you to let us put itthere.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I haverecognised Hon. Adwoa Safo.

Speaker
Ms Sarah A. Safo

Very well, MrSpeaker. I thank you. I happen to be an Hon Member of theCommittee. The fact that these rights arealready enshrined in the Constitution doesnot mean that we cannot have it inanother legislation. It is for purposes ofemphasis and the fact that this is a specificlaw, so, if we are interpreting those rightsenshrined in the Constitution within theambit of this law, we would have a betterunderstanding, interpretation andapplication to those rights. So, I beg to differ from Hon DrMatthew Opoku Prempeh. The fact that itis in the Constitution does not precludethe Committee from stating these rights,as enshrined in the Constitution, in thislegislation. It is for purposes of emphasis.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, I believe thatthe fact that the rights have been providedfor in the Constitution does notnecessarily mean that people would notattempt to deprive others of those rights.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Particularly, when this issue of HIV/AIDS came, people tried to deny otherswho were suspected of having thosediseases some facilities. For instance,right to work. Employers did not like toemploy people who showed those signs.In education, people may try to say thatsuspected patients should not come tothe classroom. That is the reason we should emphasisethat the Constitution provides that onehas the right to education, work and tovote or partake in political activities. Oneshould not be denied - So, it should beprovided here to give signal to peoplewho may be tempted to deny others whoare seen to be having the disease. So, Mr Speaker, I agree that the factthat it is in the Constitution or other lawsdoes not mean that we should not providefor it in this law. It is a provision thatshould guide prospective employers thatanybody who has such a thing has theright to employment, to education and tovote or participate in political activities.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonPrempeh, do you want to propose anamendment?

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, I wanted theCommittee to consider an omnibus clausefor these rights that an HIV/AIDS patientshould not be denied these rights insteadof breaking them down. Mr Speaker, of allthe things that we are trying to do here,the most important thing is HIV/AIDSpatients having access to treatment. MrSpeaker, the right that would make thatpatient survive is absent from this law[Interruption.] Right to treatment.[Interruption.] Where is it? [Interruption.] Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 34 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 35 -- Freedom of movement

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 35, subclause (1), line 2, delete“within or outside this country” and inlines 3 and 4, delete “or AIDS status”. Mr Speaker, the reason is not far-fetched. This law would operate within thecountry but not outside it. So, “within oroutside the country” is not necessary inthe provision. Question put and amendment agreedto.

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 35, subclause (2), line 3, delete “orAIDS status”. Mr Speaker, this is consequential. Question put and amendment agreedto.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, HonPrempeh?

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, on clause35, I am wondering if my understanding iswrong. I beg to quote: “The right of abode or access toa public place or freedom ofmovement of a person within oroutside this country shall not bedenied or restricted on thegrounds of the actual orperceived HIV . . .” Mr Speaker, I wonder how they wouldapply this to those who would want toimmigrate to America.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

No, theyhave amended it. They have deletedwithin or outside this country”.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

All right. That is what Iwanted to --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I thoughtthey would rather say the person wouldnot be denied an opportunity to traveloutside. In some countries, we have exitvisa. The person can travel inside; neitherwould they be denied the opportunity totravel outside Ghana, but he has deletedit. So, I have no further comments on it. Clause 35 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 36 -- Sexual and reproductivehealth rights

Speaker
Mr Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 36, subclause (2), line 1, delete “orAIDS status”. Question put and amendment agreedto.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, I know thatwe have deleted “AIDS status” but if therationale for deleting is correct, look atclause 36 (1) and with your permission, Ibeg to quote: “A person living with HIV orAIDS . . .”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So itshould be, “a person living with HIV” or“affected by HIV”.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, if you listento their rationale --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonMember, but you are a medical doctor.What is your --

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, I truly donot understand them.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonMember, but you have been sitting hereand you do not understand without --

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, that is why Ikeep bumping from my chair. I do not wantto be a distractive force; I want us toprogress. Mr Speaker, but I am asking the HonChairman, who has listed all thoseamendments if we delete “AIDS status”,then the clause says: “(1) A person living with HIV orAIDS, affected by HIV orAIDS...” Mr Speaker, how can one be affectedby AIDS? “… or highly at risk of an HIV orAIDS infection”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonPrempeh, assist us; please, rephrase it forus. I would stand this down. This isbecause I have seen that there are someadvertised amendments in your name. Youand Hon Yieleh Chireh have combinedyour forces in clause 41. So, I know youare actively assisting this Committee. I would stand this clause down.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I noticedthat the Committee wants this House togo through this Bill.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, but I have also noticed thatthe Hon Minister for Health and the HonChairman of the Committee are not here.It is only a few Hon Members who arehere. If this Bill is so important, I think weshould step this down and get HonMembers to come and look at it properly. Mr Speaker, this is because it looks likethe issue raised by Hon Prempeh is aserious error. So, I would want to refer to StandingOrder 48, so that we take it from there.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Do wetake the Bill from there?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I ambringing your attention to Standing Order48. This is so that we can defer theConsideration Stage of the Bill to eithertomorrow or later. This is because we are discussing aserious matter and they cannot --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonMember, so have you referred to StandingOrder 48?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I waswaiting for you to allow me to read it.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonMember, but you would agree with me thatyou are a very experienced Hon Memberof this House. When we take away ourHon Senior Members, both of us are inour third term. We all know that even the SixthParliament of the Fourth Republic has donevery well in terms of these sessions. This is because we know that,previously, there were some Parliamentsand some Bills that we find just a few HonMembers and the Speaker engaged in aconversation among themselves; and weunderstood these things.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, yes, Iunderstand what you are saying. Mr Speaker, the reason I am worried isthat the people proposing this Bill are nothere. The Hon Member has graciouslyagreed to lead the Committee. The HonChairman and the Hon Ranking Memberare not here. There are issues that,perhaps, if they were here, they wouldhave helped us better. That is my worry. Mr Speaker, we do not see enough HonMembers, except the former Hon Ministerfor Health. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, but the issue just raisedby Hon Prempeh is a serious matter. Thedeletion renders the whole thingmeaningless. We should not just rush itthrough. We should step it down and theyshould take their time and do it properly. This is because if I do not understandit, I am prone to vote against it; but I donot want to do that. Mr Speaker, but you have spoken, so Iwill reverse my earlier preference toinvoke Standing Order 48. Mr Speaker, but we must do a betterjob than we are doing. We must legislateproperly. Otherwise, posterity would notforgive us. We have been brought back from ourConstituencies, where we were doing hardwork. Then they come up with thisinnocuous or bad legislation. It would nothelp us. [Interruption.] The Hon Deputy Majority Leader didnot bring us here for this type oflegislation. Did he? So, he should advise himself.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, there are someclauses, which do not have advertisedamendments. We could take those onesand then those which are controversial,we would stand them down and come backto them tomorrow. Mr Speaker, so we can go to clause 38which has no advertised amendment; andthe following also. So, let us take thoseones which have no proposed amend-ments.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, I had wantedto support the Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, but I cannot.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, first, clause 36 (1) couldbe made to read

“A person living with HIV, affectedby HIV or highly at risk of an HIVinfection…” We could take all the “AIDS” out ifthat is what they want to do.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Should Iput the Question?

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, if they agree.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Theyagree.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, before that,I have a second and a third one.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, clause 36 (2) says

“The HIV status of a persondoes not constitute a validreason to oppose the marriageof that person.” Mr Speaker, just two minutes ago, inthe course of marriage, they wanted aprivileged relationship to disclose HIVstatus. Now, they come here and say thatit is not something we could use tooppose marriage. Mr Speaker, so why are they breakinga confidential relationship in clause 30,which was suspended? Mr Speaker, when we come to clause37, where the Hon Deputy Majority Leadersaid there is not advertised amendment, Ihave an amendment: “An authorised person whoreceives information in theperformance of functions underthis Act shall not (a) disclose…” Mr Speaker, clause 37, where there isno advertised amendment, opposes whatwe were doing in clause 30.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I havelistened to the Hon Deputy MajorityLeader and I would step down clauses 36and 37. There is no advertised amendment toclause 38. Clause 38 too? Hon Prempeh, you are arresting us atevery twist and turn.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, I can confirmthat I travelled with the previous HonChairman of the Committee, HonMustapha Ahmed, to Burkina Faso. Whenwe came back, we started agitating for anHIV law. So, I am very happy andcomfortable with what we are doing.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, but in clause 38, we aregiving the right to a legal --[Interruption]-- I have not finished.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, clause 38 (2) says

“A public agency or non-governmental organisation mayinstitute legal proceedings forand on behalf of a person livingwith or affected by HIV or AIDSfor infringement of the rightsreferred to in sections 28 to 37.” Mr Speaker, we have given an NGO theright here; that is what we intend. Mr Speaker, but we have never saidanywhere that an NGO can sue on theright to treatment. We have never said it;right to treatment. We have done clauses 28 to 30; allthose they have listed, I insist that thereis nowhere that they have given thesepersons a right to treatment and that theNGO can, in this law, go ahead and sue onbehalf -- Mr Speaker, but the right to treatmentthat would let that person survive is notpart of the rights that we have given. Thatis my worry. Mr Speaker, I would come under aSecond Consideration Stage to create aright to treatment for HIV persons. Mr Speaker, I think we should suspendthis clause too.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I do notthink that we have enough time for aSecond Consideration Stage. What we have time for is for us to standit down and caucus a bit. This is becauseit would be neater if we stand it down. Hon Members, but I would give HonYieleh Chireh the last bite of the cherry;but I would still stand it down.

Speaker
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh

Mr Speaker, ifwe look at clause 38, it makes referencesto clauses 28 to 37. This means that if wehave stood down clauses 36 and 37, itwould be inappropriate to carry on withclause 38. This is because we may deletethem and it would still be confirmed as ifwe have done it. Mr Speaker, so, I think it should alsobe added to the ones to be stepped down.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

HonYieleh Chireh, I knew you would give megood advice; thank you very much. I have got a signal from the Hon DeputyMajority Leader that we should bring theConsideration Stage of the Ghana AIDSCommission Bill, 2015 to an end for todaywhile we resolve all outstanding issues. You should remember that there areother outstanding issues. We should lookat the definition of “Christian groups”and so on and we have not come thereyet. Please, discuss all those issues beforetomorrow so that we do not run into thesedifficulties. Yes, that brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage for the Ghana AIDSCommission Bill, 2015.

Speaker
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi

Mr Speaker, withyour permission, there is a business leftunder item numbered 6, page three of theOrder Paper for today. At the time theBusiness was called, the Hon Minister forTrade and Industry was not in the House.He is currently in the House and we craveyour indulgence for that Business to betaken now.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Itemnumbered 6.

BILLS -- FIRST READING

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, we have takenitem numbered 6 (b) and it is now leftwith (c).

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Sorry.Item numbered 6 (c). Ghana Standards AuthorityBill, 2016 An Act to establish the GhanaStandards Authority to amend andconsolidate the law related tostandardization, conformity assess-ment and meteorology and toprovide for related matters. Presented by the Minister for Tradeand Industry. Read the First time;referred to the Committee on Trade,Industry and Tourism.

Speaker
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi

Mr Speaker,today being the first day that we havebeen called back, having done someBusiness, we would bring proceedings for today to an end for us to continuetomorrow. Mr Speaker, I move that the Housedo adjourn now till tomorrow at 10.00 a.m.for the Business to continue.

Speaker
Mrs Gifty E. Kusi

Mr Speaker, Isecond the Motion. [Interruption.]

Speaker
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh

Mr Speaker,on the serious matter of our clock --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Pardon?

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, on theserious matter of our clock that we all usein checking the time, it is missing. So, I amdrawing your attention to it so that fromtomorrow, you would notify the Clerks-at-the-Table to bring it so that when youare looking for time, we can all follow youreyes up there.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

We alsohave the time on our --

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, that is onlySpeaker's -- That one minute can be along time. My one minute does not matter,my work does not matter in this Chamber,it is the clock and it is not there. So, I ampleading so that you can urge them toprovide --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Thankyou. Question put and Motion agreed to.

ADJOURNMENT