MR FIRST SPEAKER
Hon Members,Correction of the Votes and Proceedingsand the Official Report. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Thursday, 4thAugust, 2016.] Hon Members, you would realise thatquite a number of Hon Members of theLeadership are -- [Pause.]
HonMembers, do we have the Hon Ministerfor Education or any of her deputies inthe Chamber?
Mr Speaker,our Hon Colleague who raised that matterthinks that it can be done. That was whywe wanted it to be done. He raised thematter in the absence of Leadership, buthe still thinks that the Motion would betaken.
If we couldgo ahead and deal with it, then that will befine.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, is itpossible to take item numbered 6 on theOrder Paper? Yesterday, when we attempted to dealwith it, the point was raised that the HonMinister was not in the Chamber, and wehad neither the two Hon Deputy Ministersnor the --
Mr Speaker, I seeneither the Hon Minister, nor her deputies.None of them is in the House. So it is notpossible to go on with that item.
Mr Speaker, theMajority side of the House promised thatthey would make sure that they were herethis morning. That was the promise givento the House. Here we are again, they arenot here. Mr Speaker, that is not the best way todeal with Parliament on such matters. We --
Mr Speaker,yesterday, after we had stepped down theMotion, the Hon Deputy Minister for pre-tertiary Education came, and promisedthat he had called the Hon Minister herself,so, they would be here today. Mr Speaker, they may be late, but theywill definitely be here today. We can takethe business for the Hon Minister for theInterior, since he is here.
MrSpeaker, I think that we should put onrecord that, the way the Executive,especially, Hon Ministers take thebusiness of this House is not very good. Mr Speaker, I recall, as the Hon Memberrightly said, that after stepping the Motiondown yesterday, I saw the Hon DeputyMinister come in. So, I thought he wouldhave been told, for him to be here earlythis morning. Already, starting the day's business,has been delayed for some time -- it ispast 11.00 a. m. and if we still have to waitfor the Hon Minister, then we cannot dothat. It would mean that the Executive istaking Parliament for a ride. Mr Speaker, should they even come,we should send a strong caution to themthat we are not happy about that.
Very well. Hon Members, I believe that under thecircumstances, because the two HonLeaders of the House are engaged in someassignment, we will suspend Sitting forone hour, by which time they would havebeen back for the Rt. Hon Speaker todeliver the Closing Address, so that wecan move on. Hon Members, the House isaccordingly suspended for one hour. 11.44 a. m. -- Sitting suspended. 1.45 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
Hon Members, order!Hon Deputy Majority Leader, are wetaking any business before we do the --
Yes, Mr Speaker. We haveone item which we pray that we will takebefore we leave -- item number 17 onpage 7 of the Order Paper for today --the Second Reading of the Interceptionof Postal Packets and TelecommunicationMessages Bill, 2016.
We cannot take itemnumbered 7 if we have not taken itemnumbered 6 --
Mr Speaker, unfortunately,on item numbered 16, the Committee andits Hon Chairman are not here. So, if wecan start with item number 17 while they --
Item numbered 17 -- theSecond Reading of the Interception ofPostal Packets and TelecommunicationMessages Bill, 2016.
Where is the HonMinister for the Interior? Hon Deputy Minister, all this while,you have been handling the Bill. Whereis your Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, myHon Minister has been scheduled totravel out of the country to outh Africaafternoon.
Very well, Hon DeputyMinister.
BILLS -- SECOND READING
Hon Chairman of theCommittee? Question Proposed
Mr Speaker, Irise to support the Motion and in doingso, I present your Committee's Report. Introduction The Interception of Postal Packets andTelecommunication Messages Bill, 2016was laid in Parliament by the Hon DeputyMinister for the Interior, Mr James Agalga,on Thursday, 30th June, 2016, inaccordance with article 75 of the 1992Constitution of Ghana. The Bill was accordingly referred to theCommittee on Defence and Interior forconsideration and report, pursuant toOrders 156 and 158 of the Standing Ordersof the Parliament of Ghana. The Committee met with the HonDeputy Minister for the Interior andofficials, as well as senior officers of the National Security Secretariat andrepresentatives of the Attorney-General'sDepartment and thoroughly deliberated onthe provisions of the Bill. The Committee is grateful to the HonDeputy Minister for the Interior and HonMembers of this august House who werein attendance at its hearings and officialsof the agencies who attended upon it. Reference documents The Committee referred to thefollowing documents during itsdeliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana ii. The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana iii. The Interception of PostalPackets and TelecommunicationMessages Bill, 2016 iii. The Interception of PostalPackets and TelecommunicationMessages Bill, 2015 iv. Postal and Courier ServicesRegulatory Commission Act,2003 v. Relevant Legislation withprivacy and secrecy provisions. Background The purpose of the Bill is to providefor the lawful interception of postalpackets and telecommunication messagesof persons suspected of criminal activity,in a bid to fight crime generally andsuppress organised crimes includingmoney laundering, terrorism, narcotictrafficking, and the assurance ofprotecting the overall national security.
Citizens can thus use telecommun-ication services without fear ofinterception but have assurance that therelevant body is empowered to offerprotection as threats will be uncoveredwhile under surveillance. The Committee noted that issues ofauthorisation and potential abuse ofpower, are taken care of by the provisionthat National Security does not haveaccess to the switches for interceptionwhich is the sole preserve of serviceproviders. Oral authorisation in urgent cases islimited to 48 hours by which time thenecessary legal rights must have beencomplied with, else, all informationretrieved is nullified. Recommendations Mr Speaker, the rapid rise of threats ofterrorism and the unpredictable trend ofperpetuating crime convinces all andsundry of the importance and the need toempower the national security system.The Committee has taken on board publicconcerns regarding fundamental humanrights and privacy and thoroughlydebated the provisions of the Bill. The scourge of acts of terrorism,abduction, murder, proliferation ofweapons of mass destruction and drugtrafficking on a massive scale wereunknown to countries in West Africa somefew years ago. In recent times, however, we haveheard such activities in Nigeria, Coted'Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso. This onlymeans that, our security agencies mustbe extra alert and be ahead of the game. The emergence of new forms ofcommunications, such as electronic mailand social media, most of which are real-time in nature, have presented the securityand intelligence agencies with seriouschallenges when it comes to combatingand preventing crime. Most high-levelcriminals rely on these new and fasttrends of communication to escape thesurveillance of law enforcement agencies. Unless we equip the agencies to doso, monitoring of communications ofidentified and suspected criminals wouldbe almost impossible in real time and theywill continue to perpetuate evil. To be ahead of perpetrators, it isimperative for security intelligence or alaw enforcement agency to, as and whenit is required as a necessity, intercept, byobtaining a legal interception warrant fromthe court, a postal packet, telephone orother electronic or cyberspacecommunication in order to forestallpotential threats. Proposed amendments to the Bill The Committee hereby proposes forconsideration the following amendmentsto the Bill: i. Clause 4 -- Procedure forinterception Delete subclause (4), and insertthe following: “(4) Where a written authori-sation is not confirmed within theforty-eight hour period, theauthorisation shall cease to haveeffect and any informationobtained shall not be usedagainst that person.” ii. Clause 21 -- Interpretation In the definition for “Minister”,delete “the Interior” and insert“National Security”. Conclusion Ghana has been known to be a safehaven for business and tourism and assuch, we must do all in our power toempower the relevant agencies to protectcitizens as we go about our daily activities. Mr Speaker, with the current terroristthreats within the West African sub-region of which we are part, there is theurgent need to give legal backing for theinterception of telecommunicationmessages and postal packets as and whennecessary, for security reasons and by thebody entrusted to ensure the security ofthe country and its citizens. The benefitsfor doing this far outweigh the challenges,and if we succeed, we no doubt will haveother nations replicating our model. The Committee, after careful exami-nation of the provisions of the Bill herebyrecommends its passage into law, takingcognisance of the amendments proposedherein. Respectfully submitted.
Hon Member forNkoranza North? Maj Oduro Derek [retd] (NPP --Nkoranza North): Mr Speaker, theInterception of Postal Packets andTelecommunication Messages Bill, 2016is here and at long last with us. There were a number of occasions thatwe sat on the Bill as a Committee, but before that, we gave ample opportunityto the general public to submit any inputthat they had. It was not normal for theCommittee or Parliament to extend theperiod within which they should submitany memoranda. But the fact that this Billwas considered in the general interest ofthe public as something that almost everybody talked about, therefore, we had togive a longer period for people to makeinputs. Many institutions and individualsmade inputs as reported in theCommittee's Report. When the Committeesat, we considered all the memoranda thatthe individuals and institutions ororganisations submitted. We did duediligence to the Bill. Mr Speaker, the Bill is designed againstorganised crime. If that is what the Bill isto come and cure, then what is it that thegeneral public is kicking against? The general public is against the Billbecause they think that the operators ofthe Bill may take advantage Bill and dealwith opponents, especially, opponentsof the Government. Therefore that was thereason people were against it. Mr Speaker, there is a clause that saysthat, if the operators illegally or unlawfullyintercept any Bill or communication, theywould also be sanctioned. That is whatmade the general public happy. The factthat we also incorporated their inputs, alot of them became happy. Mr Speaker, the Bill has come to theHouse and we want the House to considerit. We have done our part and we thinkthat it is a good Bill and we implore allHon Members to support it. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, this Bill is quite aninteresting Bill because it falls within thecategory of laws that are made at a timethat nations are crumbling with securityissues. Mr Speaker, there was a time in thiscountry that, power was given to theAttorney-General to order the arrest anddetention of somebody for 28 dayswithout trial. There was one case in whichthe Attorney-General did the first 28 daysand attempted to do the next 28 days. Thematter went to court. The issue was that,was it 28 days in perpetuity or only asingle 28 days? We recalled also that, on this floor ofthe House, in another capacity, I piloted aBill that made narcotic offences non-bailable. It added to a list of laws that werealready non-bailable. The Supreme Courthad declared all the non-bailable offencesunconstitutional. Mr Speaker, at various times in thehistory of man, there is this conflict, so tospeak, between the right of the individualand the interest of the whole. How muchof the individual's right should we curtailin order to protect the interest of thewhole? That is what we must be lookingat when we come to look at this Bill indetail. Mr Speaker, this is because I agree thatas much as the right of the individual isimportant, even the Constitution does notmake it absolute. It is subject to the interestand so on, of the general public. Mr Speaker, it is interesting; we wouldhear hopefully, when it goes into itsConsideration Stage, we shall bemeasuring it. I urge all my Hon Colleaguesto keep on measuring it against weighingthe balance, so to speak, between therights of the individual and the generality of the interest of the society. It is thatbalance, if we are able to find it and find itwell, then we would have achieved whatwe have to achieve in passing this Bill. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Hon Member for ObuasiWest? That is the last comment.
Mr Speaker, I agree thatprovisions governing the interception ofcommunication is spread right now inmany legislations. The idea to consolidateall of them in one Act is good. However,we need to draw attention to twoconcerns. There is an introduction, which isunknown to our laws, namely, the powerbeing given to the National SecurityCoordinator to intercept calls 48 hoursbefore going to get authorisation from thecourt. Mr Speaker, this is new and I am surewe would have the opportunity to see if itis not useful to change and amend thoseprovisions, we ensure that this particularintroduction does not appear in the law. The second point I would like to makeis also about the cost of interception. Iffor public interest purposes, there is aneed to intercept any kind ofcommunication, then the State must bearthe cost. To say that the person requiredto intercept communication would haveto bear the cost of the interception, meansthat, if that private operator cannot bearits cost, that public interest would not beadvanced. These are two concerns I would like todraw attention to. They are concerns weshould look at when we look at the specificclauses.
Mr Speaker, this is a Billwhich during the time it was first laid,attracted a lot of criticisms from the generalpublic. This resulted in the submission of anumber of memoranda from reputableinstitutions and individuals. These includethe Ghana Bar Association, Occupy Ghana,IMANI Centre for Policy and Education,the Chamber of Communication and theGhana Protection Society, chaired byJustice Samuel Dartey Baah. Mr Speaker, the main criticisms centredround invasion of privacy under article18 (2). So, the Committee worked in sucha way to ensure that, there is no undueinterference with the privacy of theindividual. We ensured that, so far as oursystem is concerned, the ultimateauthority which should allowinterception, is the Judiciary, that is theHigh Court. It is not like in otherjurisdictions where the authority lies atthe Ministerial level, the Home Office orthe Interior Minister who gives theauthorisation. One other significant feature of the Billis that, if the National Security Coordinatormakes any attempt at interception, andwithin the period of urgency it is reversedafter the 48 hour period by a High CourtJudge, any information that he obtainedagainst any person is nullified and cannotbe used against the person in anyproceeding whatsoever. The protection ofthe individual is very significant. We ensured that Parliament'sResolution is not ousted in the Bill. So,eventually, it would be realised that theNational Security Coordinator wouldreport these activities to the Minister whoin turn would report to Parliament, forParliament to have the ultimatesupervision over whatever happenedunder the Bill. Mr Speaker, it is a Bill which hascomfortably been revised and reviewedby the Committee, and I believe that whenthe time comes for us to consider it clauseby clause, we would be in a position toimprove certain aspects of it. This is sothat it would be accepted and provide aunified support not only by Parliament butby all stakeholders to the operations ofthe Bill. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, thatbrings us to the end of the debate on theMotion. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Interception of Postal Packets andTelecommunication Messages Bill, 2016was accordingly read a Second time.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, do you want to dispose of itemsnumbered 6 and 7? Then we should do itquickly because I want to adjourn theHouse.
We want to take itemnumbered 6. Mr Speaker, I wanted to make acontribution, but you have already put theQuestion. So, item numbered 6.
Hon Members, itemnumbered 6 on nthe Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that this Honourable Houseadopts the Report of the Finance Committeeon the Concessional Loan FacilityAgreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Kuwait Fundfor Arab Economic Development for anamount of seven million Kuwaiti dinars(KD7.0 million) [equivalent of US$24.0million] to finance the expansion anddevelopment of twenty-six (26) existingsenior high schools. (Moved on Thursday, 4th August, 2016by the Hon Chairman of the FinanceCommittee, Mr James Klutse Avedzi andseconded by the Hon Member for OldTafo, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei.) Question put and Motion agreed to.
Item numbered 7 -- HonMinister for Finance?
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, could the Deputy Ministerfor Education take item numbered 7 onbehalf of the Minister for Finance?
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, I have an Order Paper Addendum.Do you have anything to say about it?Otherwise, I will take the Closing Remarks.
Mr Speaker, Iwas wondering if before your ClosingRemarks, a certain concern I have about acertain matter could be brought to the fore.Whether I could do it now?
Let me hear what youwant to say.
Mr Speaker, yesterday,there was a Motion for the House toapprove some consent Agreement onbehalf of the Volta River Authority (VRA)to enable them put up what they call aTakoradi 4 Thermal Power Plant (T4) atthe Aboadzi enclave. Mr Speaker, in your absence, some ofus made some comments. But the point Ineed to make available for the informationof the House is that, there is already anissue referred to as a Takoradi 3 ThermalPower Plant (T3) which appears to havegenerated so much heat among theworkers of VRA. Mr Speaker, the background to thismatter is that, in about 2006 and 2007,during the power crises that confrontedus, a Commercial Agreement was signedbetween the Government of Ghana andthe Government of Canada with theCanadian Commercial Company as theinterface for the construction of the (T3)Plant. Mr Speaker, this House approved anamount of US$245 million for theconstruction of that plant. Mr Speaker, about a month or so, afterthe construction and the handing over ofthat plant, we learnt that the plant hadcollapsed. That was in early 2014 and ithas not worked up to today. Mr Speaker, the company --
Hon Member, please,what is your point?
Mr Speaker, the pointis that the Canadian Commercial Companyhas actually approached the Ministry ofPower that they intend to rectify whateverthe problem was. But the Ministry appearsto be prepared to give US$130 million toAMMERI Company to take over thoseassets from VRA --
Hon Member, please, youare making some statements that cannoteasily be verified. Please, in one second what is yourbeef?
Mr Speaker, my pointis that, through your Speakership, let theMinistry be invited to hand over theseproposals submitted by the CanadianCompany to your Committee -- theCommittee on Mines and Energy, toinvestigate this matter and report to theHouse. This is because, we actuallyprovided this money.
Mr Speaker, lastly, thereis one more matter I would like to add sothat you would have a complete picture. Mr Speaker, please, give me a secondbecause it is an important matter.
No, Hon Member. Hon Members, I would ask theLeadership of the Committee on Minesand Energy to liaise with the Leadershipof the House on the matter that the HonMember has raised to see how it can behandled. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
MrSpeaker, it is well taken.
Mr Speaker, I amgrateful.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, I have an Order Paper Addendum.Do you have anything to say or we shouldtake the Closing Remarks? This is becauseyou are in charge of GovernmentBusiness.
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, if we can take the Motion onthe Order Paper Addendum. We can goon with it. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, it is about putting theQuestion in respect of Hon John KwabenaBless Oti as Deputy Minister-designatefor Local Government and RuralDevelopment. [Pause.]
Hon Members, I will takethe Closing Remarks. [Pause.] All outstanding issues would be takenhopefully, when we come back for theThird Meeting. Yes, Hon Minority Leader? [Interruption.] Yes, we do not know. Perhaps, the HonMajority Leader might join us. Hon Members, I have been receiving alot of signals from the floor with regard tothe Order Paper Addendum. Hon Members, let me make this pointvery clear. I did not want to make thisstatement but I am being forced to make it. Hon Members, you may recall that lastFriday, when this Motion was moved,issues were raised on the floor. On Monday, I received two petitionson the matter that was raised on the floor.I have taken steps as the head of thisinstitution -- One of the last things that Iwould like to do, as the head of this House,is to have problems fester between thisHouse and the head of another arm ofGovernment. I have therefore, taken some stepsbehind the scenes, in consultation withsome Hon Members or the Leadership ofthe House, to determine how this mattercan be resolved. As a result of those consultations, it isimportant that the Hon Member, who madethose statements apologises. Otherwise,it would serve as a dangerous precedent. I am not in charge of GovernmentBusiness, but it is my duty to guide theHouse from any business that would putthis House in any difficulty. On that basis, I have spoken to thegentleman and had discussions with someleaders and the keadership of both sides.I have conveyed the position to theLeaders and the Hon Member involved interms of rendering of an apology. When I called the Order PaperAddendum, no Hon Member from theGovernment bench said anything.Therefore, my duty is to close this Houseand take the Closing Remarks. That is whyI called the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker, on behalf ofthe Hon Majority Leader, I would want toapologise — [Uproar!] Mr Speaker, I rise to apologise to youand the House for not rising at the righttime when you asked for direction. Mr Speaker, I would want to say againthat, I am sorry and that if you couldplease, reverse your decision to enableus put the Question on behalf of the HonMember who was nominated for theposition. Mr Speaker, the nominee is now in theHouse and ready to apologise to the ChiefJustice, the House and the whole countryfor all that he said. Once again, I am sorry and I would wantMr Speaker to reverse his decision, sothat we could take the decision in respectof the Hon Member who is nominated forthis position. Mr Speaker, I submit to you.
Hon Members, theproper thing to do is to show the contentof the apology to the Chair. I have notseen a copy. So, let us take the ClosingRemarks. We will take it when we comeback — [Uproar!] Hon Members, let us have some order— [Pause.]
Hon Members, let ushave order in the Chamber. Hon Minority Leader, your concludingremarks. Closing Remarks
Mr Speaker, I am gratefulthat I have this opportunity to make thesefew comments. Having successfully come to the endof our plenary session for the SecondMeeting of the Fourth Session of the SixthParliament, we must, first of all, be mostthankful to God for sustaining our livesand giving us strength to go about ouractivities. We have had an eventful Session andI must acknowledge the diligent efforts ofMembers in ensuring the effectiveexecution of parliamentary business. Ibelieve we all must share in thecommendation for the efforts put into thisMeeting. Mr Speaker, it is sad to remind us thatit is in this Meeting that we witnessed thedeath of the Member of Parliament forAbetifi Constituency in the EasternRegion, Hon Peter Wiafe Pepera, whichoccurred on Saturday, 21st May, 2016 atthe 37 Military Hospital, less than 24 hoursafter he left Parliament in a very hilariousmood. Our condolences go to the family. To the newest Member of Parliamentfor Abetifi Constituency, Hon BryanAcheampong, I would once again, urgehim to live up to the values of the House,be forthright and quickly learn theparliamentary procedures. Mr Speaker, the Bank of Ghana(Amendment) Bill, 2016, Public FinancialManagement Bill, 2016, TechnicalUniversities Bill, Trade Commission Bill,2014, The Companies (Amendment) Act,the Petroleum (Exploration andProduction) Bill among others werepassed in this Meeting. There are anumber of Bills such as the Right toInformation Bill, Local Government Bill,among others, that are yet to be
Mr Speaker, Closing Remarksdelivered on behalf of the Majority Leader. Mr Speaker, thank you for theopportunity to present my ClosingRemarks and the summary of businesstransacted during this Meeting, in line withthe existing practice. Mr Speaker, the House had 45 Sittingswithin a period of eleven (11) weeks,commencing Tuesday, 17th May, 2016and ending Friday, 5th August, 2016. ThisMeeting is particularly significant as it isthe last major Meeting of the life of thisSixth Parliament. I am aware that MrSpeaker may be minded to recall the Housefor the Third Meeting before the generalelections but this may be for a brief period. The House was therefore, compelledto Sit beyond the prescribed hours eachday for a greater part of this Meeting inorder to complete most of the businessespending before it. I thank Hon Membersfor their endurance and cooperationduring the period. Mr Speaker, I will highlight a few of thebusinesses transacted during the Meeting and request that the Official Reportcaptures the entire summary as duly read. Mr Speaker, during the Meeting, theHouse considered the Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana (Amendment) Bill,2015. The Bill, together with the commentsof the Council of State were referred tothe Committee on Constitutional, Legaland Parliamentary Affairs forconsideration and report. The Committee,after soliciting views from the public andthe major stakeholders -- the politicalparties, Civil Society and the ElectoralCommission -- through a public hearing,submitted a unanimous Report, which waspresented at the Second Reading of theBill. Mr Speaker, whereas the House was inagreement with the overall object of theBill, there was divided opinion on theeffective or commencement date shouldthe Bill be passed, that is, whether itshould apply to this year's generalelections or for future elections.Unfortunately, the House could not reacha consensus on the matter. Therefore, theMotion for the Second Reading was lostthrough a secret ballot. Mr Speaker, unfortunate anddisappointing as this may be for thesponsors and supporters of the Bill, it isthe collective decision of the House andwe must therefore, respect it; that is thebeauty of democracy and that is thegovernance architecture we designed forourselves. I was particularly delighted with thesmooth and incident-free voting by HonMembers and it is my prayer that, thepeople of Ghana, particularly, the votingpublic, will emulate our example andensure that the December polls arepeaceful and free of violence. Mr Speaker, aside the Constitution ofthe Republic of Ghana (Amendment) Bill,2015, the House passed quite a number of
Bills during the period. A total of nineteen(19) Bills were passed during the Meeting.Some of the significant ones include thefollowing: i. Maritime Pollution Bill, 2015 ii. Chartered Institution of TaxationBill, 2014 iii. Revenue Administration Bill,2016 iv. National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015 v. Supplementary AppropriationBill, 2015 vi. Technical Universities Bill, 2016 vii.Bank of Ghana (Amendment) Bill,2016 viii. Securities Industry Bill, 2015 ix. Public Financial ManagementBill, 2016 x. Petroleum (Exploration andProduction) Bill, 2016 xi. Ghana Deposit Protection Bill,2015 xii. Banks and Specialised Deposit-taking Institutions Bill, 2015. Mr Speaker, the last two Bills listedabove are particularly instructive as theyrepresent a timely response to the call bythis House for the Bank of Ghana to takeurgent measures to protect the interest ofdepositors, particularly funds of innocentinvestors with microfinance companies. Iwish to urge the Bank to implement to theletter, the provisions of the Bills when theycome into force. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister forFinance was also in the House to presentthe mid-year review and supplementaryestimates for the year 2016. Even thoughthe period was too short for Hon Membersand this House to thoroughly scrutinisethe report of the Minister and theestimates, I have no doubt and I alsobelieve that Ghanaians did appreciate thatwe discharged our mandate creditablyunder the circumstances. Mr Speaker, the House also consideredthree (3) nominations by the President forappointment as Deputy Ministers of Sate.The nominees were: i. Mr Emmanuel BombandeDeputy Minister-Designate,Foreign Affairs and RegionalIntegration. ii. Mr Joseph Agmor Tetteh -Deputy Minister-Designate forEastern Region. iii. Hon John Oti Bless - DeputyMinister-Designate, Local Govern-ment and Rural Development. Two (2) of the nominees, Mr Bombandeand Mr Tetteh, were approved by the House. We thank the Appointments Committeefor an excellent job done during thevetting. I also wish to take thisopportunity to wish the approvednominees well in their new posts. Mr Speaker, for the second consecutiveMeeting, this House sadly lost one of itsMembers. The Hon Member for Abetifi,Mr Peter Wiafe Pepera passed on to gloryon 21st May 2016. He was laid to rest onSaturday, 23rd July, 2016. I commend HonMembers for attending the funeral to bidour departed Colleague a befittingfarewell. Mr Speaker, in accordance with article112 of the Constitution, a by-election washeld for the Abetifi Constituency and MrBryan Acheampong was duly elected asthe Member of Parliament for the saidconstituency. Mr Bryan Acheampong wassworn in as Member of Parliament onWednesday, 20th July, 2016. Mr Speaker, Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofowas also sworn in as the Member ofParliament for the Abuakwa NorthConstituency, after the seat was declaredvacant upon the death of Hon J. B.Danquah Adu, the then Member ofParliament for the said constituency. It is rather unfortunate, Mr Speaker,that the good people of the EasternRegion had to lose two of their Members-- within this Session. We continue tomourn with them and also hope that thenewly-elected Members are worthyreplacements to continue with the goodworks started by their predecessors. Iurge Hon Members to continue to supportthe new Members through to the end ofthe life of this Parliament and hopefully,God willing, we will be with them again inJanuary, 2017. Mr Speaker, time is already far spentso, I would wish to thank you for the ablemanner in which you steered the affairsof the House during the Meeting to asuccessful end; you were balanced, fairand firm. I pray that the Good Lord willcontinue to grant you good health andstrength in the coming days and monthsto guide the life of this Parliament tosuccessful end. I also thank your deputies for takingthe Chair any time you were unavoidablyout of the Chair. They have on those occasions, risen above their respectiveParty positions in the discharge of theonerous duty of presiding over the affairsof the House. I pray for long life and hopethey will find time and space from theirconstituency responsibilities to rest untilwe meet again for the commencement ofthe Third Meeting. To my Hon Colleagues in Leadership, Icommend them for the team spiritexhibited during the period. Through ourcollective effort, the Meeting was asuccess and we were able to clearperceived hurdles that sought to divideus. I am grateful and I pray that, thatcollective spirit will continue to be withus and remain with us until the end of thelife of this Parliament. Mr Speaker, to all my Hon Colleagues,I thank them for their support andcooperation during the Meeting. As wedepart to our various constituencies, Ipray for travelling mercies, and that Godwill be with us during our constituencyinteractions until we meet again for theThird Meeting. To the Clerk and his Staff, we commendthem for the support service during theperiod. It is our hope that you will continueto provide Hon Members and the Housewith quality and unbiased pieces ofadvice to enable us discharge ourresponsibilities. To our Friends from the Media, wethank you for your reportage of theBusiness of the House. There has nodoubt been an increase in the airtime andinch space dedicated to Parliament in thevarious Media Houses but we believethere is still room for improvement. I,therefore, urge you to continue toencourage your respective Editors to findmore space for Parliament. I further wish to encourage you tocrosscheck your stories pertaining to thebusiness of the House, which border onits integrity with the Leadership beforegoing to press in order to minimise thedisagreements between the House and the
Press Corps. I wish you all God's guidanceduring the recess. Introduction The First Meeting of the FourthSession of the Sixth Parliament of theFourth Republic commenced on Tuesday,17th May, 2016 and ended on Friday, 5thAugust, 2016. The House held a total of50 Plenary Sittings within 12 Weeks duringwhich it performed its deliberative andlegislative functions, among other duties. Supplementary Estimates For The 2016Financial Year The Hon. Minister for Financepresented the Supplementary Estimatesfor the year 2016 to the House.
Hon Members, onceagain, we have come to the end of th eSecond Meeting of the Fourth Session ofthe Sixth Parliament of the FourthRepublic. We must express our gratitudeto the Almighty God for giving us thestrength and good health to accomplishour mission satisfactorily for this SecondMeeting as well as the entire FourthSession. I am grateful to my two deputies whohave supported me in steering the affairsof the House. I must also acknowledgethe support and guidance I received fromthe Leadership of the House which, as youn know, is essential in holding this Housetogether. Hon Members, let me commend youfor your commitment to the work of thisHouse, which you amply demonstrated byenduring long hours of Sitting,particularly, in these last few weeks whenthe period for the Second Meeting had tobe extended by an additional week toensure that business was completed onschedule. You have worked assiduously in theselast few weeks to consider and pass understrenuous conditions, a nbumber ofAmendment Bills, including the Bank ofGhana (Amendment) Bill, the PublicFinancial Management Bill, andCompanies Bill, which are importantlegislative initiatives aimed at deepeningthe practice of prudent financial