Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, Nov 8, GNA - Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs on Friday repeated his displeasure with committees of Parliament delaying in working on referrals made to them, and their reports, saying they are negatively affecting work of the House.
Some of the referrals have taken more than six years, he said, and a joint Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and Poverty Reduction, has as many as 47 referrals which are yet to be reported on.
“It’s important that the Committees work on them,” the Minister, who is also the Majority Leader said, in the chamber of Parliament, in Accra, after presenting the Business Statement for next week, ending Friday, November 15, 2019.
Prominent on next week’s schedule will be the presentation of the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana, by the Finance Minister on November 13, 2020, rather than the earlier circulated November 14, 2019.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu listed some referrals with some Committees as Constitutional Legal and Parliamentary Affairs-16; Committee on Education-28; Special Budget Committee-8; Lands and Forestry-8; and Roads and Transport-8 with a referral on the Ghana Roads Fund, dating back to 2014.
The Minister and Majority Leader, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame Constituency, noted that it was important the Committees, without further delay, worked on the referrals and submitted their reports, for the House could work on them.
He further queried what the Committees were doing when House was not full session or adjourned earlier than the scheduled time, and urged members not to give the impression that the House was not doing any work.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noted the absence of the reports could disable the work of the House, and certainly not much would be achieved.
The Majority Leader last week expressed similar sentiments.
At the beginning of this meeting, the Speaker, Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye, directed that MPs to present reports on programmes they attended outside the country, to serve as “a bank of knowledge for the House.”
“Indeed, any Clerk who fails to comply with the directive will be sanctioned,” the Speaker warned.
”I must add that my office is demanding reports on all conferences since January 2017 to be filed in my office before the end of the year.”
Committees which failed to oblige should not expect to travel anymore anyway.
The reports, he said, “are the property of Parliament and we should seriously build the institution. We require both hard and soft copies.”