Debates of 8 Nov 2006

PRAYERS 10 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order! Hon. Members, may I apologize to you for the late Sitting today.





EMBASSY 10 a.m.





Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Members , Correction of Votes and Proceedings, Tuesday, 7th November 2006. Page 1…19.
Mr. A. W.G. Abayateye 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, at page 19, under “Finance Committee”, (xi), that is, “Mr. Kwadwo Opare- Hammond” should be cancelled because it appears again at (v). Then at page 20, (xiii) should also be cancelled because the name appears at (vii), that is “Mr. Alfred W. G. Abayateye”, and rather insert “Alhaji Abukari Sumani”.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Thank you very much
for your observations. Page 20…21. Hon. Members, we do not have any Official Report today.
STATEMENTS 10:25 a.m.

PUBLIC DUTIES 10:25 a.m.

Mr. G. K. B. Gbediame (NDC -- Nkwanta South) 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to lend my support to the Statement made by the hon. Member for Ho West (Mr. Francis A. Agbotse) in memory of the late Osie Adja-Tekpor VI. Mr. Speaker, for those of us who come from Volta Region, the name Adja-Tekpor VI is a name that we revere and respect in view of the many roles that he has played in promoting peace and in contributing to development of the region.
Mr. Speaker, as has been indicated in
the Statement there are forty different roles that this great man played as far as his personality is concerned. Mr. Speaker, there is a saying that death is inevitable, and it is not how long you live here on earth but the mark that you leave after you are gone that you will be remembered for. And to me, this man was a great man who distinguished himself in various aspects of our national life, in education, politics and most importantly, in serving on commissions that brokered peace between ethnic groups and even intra- ethnic groups.
Mr. Speaker, he was a great man and I think that the best tribute we can pay to him is to remember his good works, and it is my prayer that whoever will inherit this man would take inspiration from the work that he has done and move this country forward, as far as the chieftaincy institution is concerned.
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua (NDC -- North Dayi) 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I also rise to support the Statement made by my hon. senior Colleague. Mr. Speaker, Torgbui Adja-Tekpor VI was one of the great chiefs
Mr. F. K. Owusu-Adjapong (Majority Leader) 10:35 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this tribute.
Mr. Speaker, definitely, there is a lot to be said about this great chief who has departed this earthly world; his contribution towards the development of chieftaincy in this country is recognized. His contribution towards the develop-ment of this country is recognized by all of us. It is therefore not surprising that His Excellency the President has crowned it all by giving direction for a befitting state burial. I hope those of us living will learn from the achievements of this great chief so that we can advance our dear country.
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
At Commencement of Public Business -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Minority Leader, I will give you the opportunity.
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin (Minority Leader) 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry for getting up late; I thought there was the need to allow more hon. Members to make some comments. Mr. Speaker, I just want to add a few words in paying tributes to the most committed, loyal servant of the people, Osie Adja- Tekpor VI, the Fiaga of Avatime.
Mr. Speaker, we all acknowledge the invaluable contribution that he has made to nation-building, to peace and stability of Ghana. Mr. Speaker, recently some of us have had the opportunity of looking at
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin (Minority Leader) 10:35 a.m.

the issue of state burials. We often hear that a distinguished son or daughter of the country should be given a state burial, but at the end of the day, we are not sure how much actually the state pushes into these burials; and sometimes this rather burdens the families of such great personalities.
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Bagbin 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I stopped short because I saw that they used the term “Ósie” instead of “Torgbui”; I was afraid that maybe using the word “Torgbui” is a reduction in rank but I stand for correction -- [Laughter.] Mr. Speaker, I am told that it is not a reduction. Torgbui Adja Tekpor VI, I believe, would be better honoured by all of us if we actively participate in the funeral arrangements to make sure that all of us give him our due respect and pray that he rests in the bosom of our Lord Jesus until we meet again.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
At the Commencement of Public Business -- item 4, “Laying of Papers”. The following Papers will be laid, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to crave your indulgence to allow the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning to lay this document.
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Permission granted.
Mr. Anthony Akoto Osei (Deputy
Minister for Finance and Economic Planning) 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, with your kind permission, I would like to, before laying this Bill, withdraw the one that was laid yesterday.
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Please go ahead.
PAPERS 10:35 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Item 5 -- Motions, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to crave your indulgence to allow the other Deputy Minister, Professor Gyan- Baffour to move the motion on behalf of the Minister.

Mr. A.W. G. Abayateye (NDC -- Sege) 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this Bill, as the hon. Deputy Minister has read to us, is a new thing which we are going to do in this country; but it is very beneficial. It is beneficial in the sense that to companies or institutions which are going to be part of this, there are going to be credit facilities which can easily be sourced for effective job implementation.
Indeed, it is new because we have not had such a thing in this country before, but with the assistance provided to us by Bank of Ghana and how they want the economy to move in, we expect that it would put us on the right track. Because it is new and we have not implemented it before and we are not used to it, there is not much to say.

But we believe that with all that has been put before us at the committee level it would be very beneficial. I wish therefore to recommend to hon. Members that we put our weight behind it.
Mr. Henry Ford Kamel (NDC -- Buem) 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to associate myself with the motion on the floor and to say that the Bill is in the right direction. Like the previous hon. Member mentioned, this Bill has operated very well in some of the advanced countries, like Canada, and it has proved very beneficial to the financial operators.
For me, this Bill has two significant points or we will achieve two significant aims. First of all, it will reduce the over- reliance on collaterals by the banks, because when you have a history of credit, when you have a profile of people's credit potentials, then the banks begin to have confidence and begin to know who they should give credit to and who they should
not give credit to. So it is going to reduce the incidence of relying so much on collaterals which has proved a hindrance to effective credit in Ghana.
Secondly, I also think that it is going to reduce the over, exposure of banks to bad credit giving. This is because, once again, you are going to have a good credit history of potential borrowers and so the banks will move from the instance of giving credit based on unreliable data and unreliable information and will now advance credit in a more scientific way, thereby reducing the over-exposure of banks to bad debts.
So with such significant aims of the Bill, I feel that the Bill is in the right direction and it will go a very long way to help us improve on credit delivery and credit reporting in this country.
Mr. Dan Abodakpi (NDC -- Keta) 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion on the floor of the House and in so doing, I want to say that as we continue as a nation to grow the economy, as we continue to grow the financial market in a bid to removing the asymmetry between the lenders and borrowers, it is important that we put in place such safeguards that can generate greater confidence both nationally and internationally to make the economy move forward. So this is a splendid Bill and I call on both sides of the House to unequivocally support its passage.
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Regional Integration and NEPAD (Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei): Mr. Speaker, just like my hon. Colleagues, I strongly support and urge my hon. Colleagues to support this Bill. But Mr. Speaker, with the information that is going to be held by the banks, what I would appeal to the banks to do is that such information must not be used outside the credit rating systems;

because with such information being held by banks, in advanced countries, people can also enter into the database for such information and then can use such even in considering employment vacancies.

So I urge the banks to ensure that the information that they are going to hold on behalf of their customers should be strictly for credit rating systems. And again, Mr. Speaker, if we believe, as the hon. Minister is saying, that it is going to help to reduce the credit risk, in other words it is going to reduce the interest rates that are charged by the banks, I hope it does.

Mr. Speaker, to the banks too, there is going to be a law to back them to be able to extend credit; then of course they should also be thinking seriously of the issue of credit cards that can be used in this country so that other people can also be given credit for them to consume more, so that we can produce more in this country.

With these few comments, Mr. Speaker, I fully endorse and support the Bill.
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC -- Wa Central) 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, credit reporting as the hon. Member for Buem has said is a very important way of getting to know your clients, getting the banks to understand who they are dealing with; and again avoiding fraud that can be perpetrated by people using fielded names and names other than theirs, and backgrounds other than theirs.
But Mr. Speaker, I would like to caution
that since this is a system that gives a lot of information about individuals, there is also the possibility that the information gotten from these individuals can be used in ways that will eventually put members in bad light. It is good that the Bill will ensure that information once gotten by the reporting companies would be kept secret, so that we would be cautious; so that in future, when such data are collected, they
are not given out. They are confidential and should be used exactly for the purpose for which they are collected.
Mr. Speaker, with this small caution, I would support the Bill and hope that it would be used exactly for the purpose it is serving.
Mr. Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, you may wish to wind up.
Deputy Minister for Finance and
Economic Planning (Prof. Gyan- Baffour): Mr. Speaker, I would first of all thank my hon. Colleagues for giving this Bill the bi-partisan support that we see on the floor today. I only urge all hon. Members to vote massively for the Bill when it comes to the floor finally.
Question put and motion agreed to.
The Credit Reporting Bill was
accordingly read a Second time.
MOTIONS 10:45 a.m.

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (Mr. Samuel Sallas- Mensah) 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report on the Audit of the Accounts of the Auditor-General for the years 2003 and 2004.
Mr. Speaker, as we normally do, I will
ask the Hansard Department to capture the full Report from page 1 to page 7; but in order to provoke debate on the floor of the House, I would like to highlight some few items in the Report.

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to give

you the background to this Report.


1. Parliament, pursuant to article 187 (15) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana appointed Messrs Opoku Andoh and Co. to audit the Accounts of the Office of the Auditor-General for the 2003 and 2004 financial year.

2. The Report from Messrs Opoku Andoh and Co. on the Audit of the Accounts of the Office of the Auditor- General was accordingly submitted to Parliament and laid before the House on 29th June, 2006 and referred to the Public Accounts Committee for consideration and report.

3. The Committee sat on 18th July and 25th October, 2006 to review the Report. Evidence was taken from officials from the Audit Service. The Committee was assisted by Mr. K. Asante-Poku and Mr. S. W. K. Andoh of Messrs Opoku Andoh and Co. during its deliberations.


4. The Committee wishes to extend its appreciation to officials from the Audit Service and Messrs Opoku Andoh and Co. for their input and contributions during the deliberations.


5. The following documents were used as reference during the Committee's deliberations:

i. The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992

ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament

iii. The Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584)

iv. The Financial Adminis- tration Act, 2003 (Act 654)

v. The Financial Adminis- tration Regulations (FAR),

2004 (L.I. 1802).

Findings and Recommendations

Internal Controls

6. The Audit Report noted that, for the two years under review, the Internal Audit Department of the Audit Service did not carry out any in-depth audit assignment that could have had some positive impact on the internal controls due to staff constraints. There was no evidence of cash counting during the two years under review.

7. Your Committee was informed that the Service has since May 2006 appointed 15 staff members into the Internal Audit Department as part of measures to strengthen the internal control systems of the Service. Some of these officers are to be posted to the Regional Internal Audit Offices to ensure continuous monitoring of transactions at the Regions and Districts.


8. Your Committee wishes to reiterate the recommendation of the Auditors that the recruitment of staff for the Internal Audit Department should be vigorously pursued to ensure that all the Regional Offices have internal auditors.

Budgetary Allocation and Self -Accounting

9. The Audit Report once again raised concern about the financial autonomy of the Auditor-General. The Report noted that MOFEP consistently adjusted downwards, the budget proposals of the Audit Service Board before submitting same to Parliament, contrary to the provisions of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584).

10. In addition, the appropriation of funds for the activities of the Audit Service was being controlled by MOFEP; Personal Emoluments and Investment votes of the Audit Service were under the direction and still being controlled by Controller and Accountant-General (CAG) contrary to section 27 of the Audit Service Act, and principle 8 of INTOSAI's Charter on the independence of any Supreme Auditing Institution. Access to funds for the Administration and Service expenditures prior to 2004 was also under the treasury accounting system.

11. In addition, the release of funds for service activities was highly irregular and this hampered the work of the Service.

12. Management informed your Committee that the Audit Service Board is pursuing the autonomy of the Service as stipulated in the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), with the Executive and Parliament. Management further indicated that the irregular release of funds was adversely affecting their audit plans, service delivery and therefore appealed to PAC to take up the issue with MOFEP.


13. Your Committee wishes to urge the MOFEP to comply with the requirements of section 27 of the Audit Service Act to ensure that the Service is financially independent in line with principle 8 of the INTOSAI Charter.

14. Furthermore, as the Committee
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (Mr. Samuel Sallas- Mensah) 10:55 a.m.
28. Unfortunately, there has not been a corresponding increase in funding to the Audit Service to enable the Service audit these Institutions and Funds.
29 Your Committee accordingly recommends that appropriate budgetary provision should be made by Managers and Administrators of the above- mentioned Institutions and Funds to finance the cost of audit by the Auditor-General.
30. Your Committee noted a marked improvement in the operations of the Office of the Auditor-General as compared to the previous years' Report.
31. The Committee, however, wishes to urge the Auditor-General to expedite action on the implementation of all outstanding issues noted in the Report under consideration and the previous Report of the External Auditors.
32. Respectfully submitted for adoption by the House.

Mr. K. K. Mensah (NPP -- Amansie

West): Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion. However, I want to make a few comments.

The Report we have just seen is a microcosm of what happens in the whole

public sector. So the Audit-General audits the Public Accounts of Ghana. The question arises: Who audits the Auditor-General? To this end, Parliament appointed Messrs Opoku Andoh and Co. to audit the Auditor-General's Department. So it is encouraging to know that they have given them a clean bill of health, so to speak, except for the fact that they are under-sourced. I therefore urge Members to accordingly support the motion.

Question proposed.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu (NDC -- Tamale South) 10:55 a.m.
Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker for the opportunity to associate myself with the motion on the floor and, in particular, to join the Chairman of the Committee to commend the Office of the Auditor-General for being proactive and up-to-date. In the last few years, they have demonstrated a commitment to ensure that transparency guides public conduct.
In particular, they have demonstrated that the Auditor-General's Department indeed is a protector of the public purse. But in so doing, I would like to refer to page 2 of your Committee's Report, paragraph 9 in particular, where concerns are being raised by the Committee regarding the budget proposals of the Audit Service; and I think it is about time that this august House supported the Auditor-General's Office with adequate funding. I do believe that the two Deputy Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning will take keen interest in these comments that I am going to make.
Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, I
would like to refer you to Act 584, section 27 in particular. Mr. Speaker, section 27 provides:
“The Board shall at least two months before the end of the financial year submit to the President the estimates
Mr. Simon Osei 10:55 a.m.

Bosomtwe): Mr. Speaker, I wish to lend my support to the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the auditing of the Auditor-General's Office.
Mr. Simon Osei 11:05 a.m.
I said here, when we considered the previous report, that I would wish that if possible whenever the Auditor- General or the auditors submit reports on current issues, they should also give us the implementation efforts that have been taken by the various institutions on previous comments or previous concerns that were raised by the auditors.

Mr. Speaker, if we could have such a table we would know whether they are making efforts to remedy the situation or not, because if we come here every year and repeat the very mistakes or concerns that have been raised in the previous reports then we will be making very little headway in improving upon our auditing systems.

Mr. Speaker, if you look at sections 15 and 16, they still talk about non reliance on the cash books, or the cash books are not being properly prepared. This same problem existed last year, where we had some balances or cash balances that could not be ascertained or that could not be certified. And if we still have these things with the Auditor-General then we have cause to be worried because these are the very people who are auditing the various governmental institutions.

So if they still have these problems then the earlier we found means of correcting them the better, so that when they get to

the other institutions they can do the right thing. Because, if they have cobwebs in their own rooms then it would be very difficult for us to rely on the auditing that they do for us.

Mr. Speaker, that notwithstanding, I wish to commend the Auditor-General for making all the efforts to be current in most of the areas. For instance, if you take the consolidated accounts, it is the first time that they have been able to work hard for us to be at the current year, that is 2005. I remember when we came in 2001 we were considering consolidated accounts for 1997 and 1996, for which, to me, any audit findings would be rendered useless, excuse me to say, because they might have outlived their usefulness even if any recommendations were made at all.

So we congratulate them on the efforts that they are making but I wish to urge them also to clean their house and make sure that those concerns that have been raised this time round would not be repeated in subsequent years.

Alhaji Malik Al-Hassan Yakubu (NPP

-- Yendi): Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, I would want to support this motion.

Mr. Speaker, an effective, functioning Auditor-General's Department is a big asset to the conservation of the nation's resources. I have seen references in the report about the hand of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning being clenched instead of opening to the Auditor-General's Department.

I think that it is in the supreme interest of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, which has responsibility for generating and utilizing the nation's resources, to strengthen the hand of the
Mr. J. Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 11:15 a.m.

[ ALHAJI M. A. YAKUBU] Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a short comment on the report.

If you look at page 5 of this report, procurement, there were no records of the minutes of meetings of the Tender Committee and the reason is that the Greater Accra Caucus of Parliament did not send their nominee. Indeed, I think that the whole idea of asking hon. Members of Parliament to be members of the various committees, tender committees or procurement tender committees is wrong -- basically wrong -- because many of us are on the District Assembly tender committees and the Regional Procurement Tender Committees and we are engaged here in Accra -- sitting. How do you expect us to be part of the procurement procedures there? Apart from that, how can the absence of one-person make it impossible for the -- Have they been making procurement or not? If they have been making procurements, are they not flouting the law?

I think that we need to review the Procurement Act to make sure we entrust the responsibility of procurement to committees that we can hold responsible, and not make it such a nebulous idea that no effective procurement is going on.

I know that in some institutions, particularly in the universities, they were having problems during procurement because they did not know how to compose their committees early enough for this to happen. So I would urge that apart from faulting the Auditor-General for procurement, for not following the procedure we should revisit the whole idea of asking hon. Members of Parliament who are today criticizing whatever it is that has come before us. We must be more serious; we have various committees that can look at this and we should not be

members of the intended committee.
Minister for Public Sector Reforms (Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom) 11:15 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion on the Report of the Public Accounts Committee.
Mr. Speaker, the Auditor-General and the functions that that office performs, we all know, are very important. But at times we take a look at the report that comes out of the Office of the Auditor-General and all manner of comments are made about the report on the floor of this House and then outside of this House that give it a curious partisan flavour and a partisan flavour does not help any of us because one goes to many other countries where an office such as that is seen to be very independent; and if it is seen and perceived as being very independent then they are also allowed to do a lot more for the country and then they are also given all the necessary resources from time to time to make sure that they carry out their mandate in a more comprehensive way.
But as it is in Ghana, sometimes what comes out of that office is seen through tinted glasses or mirrors or whatever and it is important that those of us in this House actually make sure that we correct our own thinking about reports that come from that office, as a way of ensuring that we give them the confidence to be able to carry out their duties without any fear, without any concept that perhaps what they do would be seen as being covered one way or the other.
For me, Mr. Speaker, it is very important as we even consider some of the comments some of our own hon. Colleagues have made that indeed this office needs a lot more resources than have been assigned to them so far. But if they are going to get more resources then the resources must be seen to be used in a good way, in an
Mr. E. T. Mensah (NDC -- Ningo/ Prampram) 11:15 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion on floor.
Mr. Speaker, the importance of auditing in financial administration cannot be over- emphasized, because at the end of the day when we are able to resource and support the audit unit it will be cost-effective for the nation.
Mr. Speaker, when one looks at the recommendations and the concerns expressed by your Committee, it seems to me that we have identified the problem and these are challenges that we need to rise up to. My hon. Brother and Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning is well aware that it would be in our interest if we confront and address this issue of staffing. The staff constraint has been something that we have talked about over and over again, and each time the issue comes up then one stands to draw attention of the Office of the Head of Civil Service itself.
When it comes to appoint, quite often the relativities of the qualifications become a problem; people who have Advance RSA and others would never want to go to the Civil Service because of the placement. Quite often they equate them to those who have Advance Level and so they would not go there. They would be paid about five, six times if they should go to the private sector. So it is important that the Head of the Civil Service addresses this great issue as to why people are not prepared to go and work in the Civil Service, Auditor-General's Department as well as the Accountant-General's Department.
Mr. Speaker, the other issue which is also important is sponsoring of the
Mr. E. T. Mensah (NDC -- Ningo/ Prampram) 11:25 a.m.
The people who are posted to the department are doing the internal audit well. We see the Auditor-General as the external auditor of government activities who needs to be independent. The department should not be part of the organization, so we must try as much as possible to pursue this vigorously and ensure that these two things are done.
We should strengthen the Internal Audit Unit; we should look at the qualifications that would attract people to the Audit Service and also ensure that the Audit Service is given the autonomy that it deserves.
With these few words, Mr. Speaker, I support the motion.

Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning (Dr. A. A. Osei): Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me to lend my support to the motion on floor at this moment.

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I would want to commend the Chairman of your Committee for the usual thorough job in the writing of these reports.

Mr. Speaker, the work of the Auditor- General is very essential to the concept of

good governance in this country. Let me address two or three points; first, I would want to assure the Deputy Minority Whip (hon. E.T. Mensah) that thankfully this Parliament has recognized the importance of having a very effective internal audit component by instituting or establishing the Internal Audit Agency Unit. In the past we waited for the Auditor-General to go in after the malfeasance has occurred and then we talked about it, but now that we have the Internal Audit Agency, the work of the Auditor-General will be a bit easier. It does not mean that there will not be any malfeasance, but at least there will be one more step to prevent the potential occurrence of malfeasance.

The second issue relates to the incentive structure of the Auditor-General. Even though they are of a different salary level than the usual Civil Service, I think that the debate that occurred yesterday hopefully will address the problem of coming up with a comprehensive salary structure that point to the specific qualifications of the profession as opposed to general increases that come every year. In this way, the administrative structure that will be put in place will use the market surveys and the skill requirements of the particular position and the Auditor-General and the Internal Audit Agency's incentive structure will be enhanced.

Mr. Speaker, we sympathize very much with the constraints that the Auditor- General faces, constraints that all of us, the Government Agencies face, that is the issue of scarcity of resources. But within those constraints it is commendable that at least all of us agree that in the last couple of years the Auditor-General's office has caught up with the backlog that we used to have.

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that without the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning proposing additional resources,
Mr. E. T. Mensah (NDC -- Ningo/ Prampram) 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we could not have done that with a regular normal budget. On that note I wish to thank our development partners, in particular the European Union (EU) for making the extra effort to partner with the Auditor-General to provide the additional resources which have allowed the Auditor-General's Office to be able to catch up. They continue to assist them, both in cash and in kind, and we are deeply grateful to our partners in the EU for this assistance.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to end by correcting an impression given by my hon. Colleague, hon. Haruna Iddrisu. He is right about the Act; the Act requires the President to submit recommendations, along with the original proposals of the Auditor-General. But Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning does not reduce the budget of the Auditor-General. We are asked to provide comments to the President and he submits recommendations. So we bring the President's recommendations and the proposals.

Mr. Samuel Sallas-Mensah -- rose
-- 11:25 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, do you have a point of order to raise?
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 11:25 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. It looks like the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning and a
member of the Public Accounts Committee is misleading this House.
The situation as of now is that before the Budget is placed before this House, the quantum of amount which is allocated to the Audit Service has already been determined. We do not have the opportunity to even see the President's comments on their original proposals to the President. So Mr. Speaker, he should come back again.
Dr. A. A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, maybe the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee does not look for the information.
Mr. Speaker, it is provided; we send our recommendations to Cabinet and the President, after Cabinet deliberations, sends his recommendations. Mr. Speaker, but the Committees have access to the proposals on each MDA -- original -- Whether they read it or not Mr. Speaker, it is a different matter. I can assure him that -- and I will personally ensure this -- that the proposals will be available to him and the President's recommendations will also be made available. It is not surprising that very often Committees meet and because we have not looked at all the information available to us, we think it is not available.
Mr. Speaker, I will take note and I will make sure that it will be made available to him personally. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, being an Accountant, he recognizes the value of the work of the Auditor-General. In fact, it is not surprising that almost on a basis, one of us, the two Deputy Ministers to the hon. Minister is in contact with the Auditor- General because we value their work. Without their work, Mr. Speaker, all the work all of us would have done here will
Minority Leader (Mr. A.S.K. Bagbin) 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this is the second Report on the Office of the Auditor- General which has been reported on by your Committee, the Public Accounts Committee.
Mr. Speaker, I think it is important that as a country we first clarify the concept of Auditor-General that we have established for ourselves. There is a difficulty there, for the evolving debt practices in the world is talking about Auditor-General that has some financial autonomy but working to Parliament -- on Auditor-General working to Parliament and being considered as an important partner of Parliament, the Institution, the Arm of Government that is charged with oversight, with scrutiny of Government actions, especially the financial sector.
What we have in Ghana lacks clarity in that direction. Because we have an Auditor-General who is, according to the Constitution and the Act, not subject to the direction of control of any person or authority.
Mr. Speaker, we have an Auditor- General who is appointed by the President and we have an Auditor-General who works to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. And I am not surprised that my hon. Colleague, the Deputy Minister
for Finance and Economic Planning is talking about one of them, day in and day out having an eye on the activities of the Auditor-General's Department.
Dr. A. A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my senior hon. Colleague may be misleading the House. I did not say that we are having an eye -- I am saying that because of the important nature of their work, we are in close collaboration, partnership which is essential for their work to go on.
Mr. Bagbin 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, actually he has made it worse because they are not even a partner to the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General's Office is not to partner the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning can consult the Auditor-General's Department but cannot partner the Auditor-General's Department.
Mr. Speaker -- [Interruption] -- [Uproar -- Uproar.]
Majority Chief Whip (Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu) 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Minority Leader is totally wrong in his assertion.
Mr. Speaker, the various arms of Government are partners in development -- [Hear! Hear!] And the Auditor- General is also a partner in development of this country just like the Ministry. So if he says that they are collaborating, they are partnering them in development, Mr. Speaker, there is nothing wrong. He should not mislead us and take us on any unsafe journey -- [Hear! Hear!]
Mr. Bagbin 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry the Majority Chief Whip was not listening to me. If he did -- Let me even tell him that the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Mr. Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Majority Chief Whip, are you resuming your seat?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the process -- But before that -- [Laughter] -- Before then, Mr. Speaker, hon. E.T. Mensah is not the Speaker and he cannot rule that I am out of order.
Mr. Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Majority Chief Whip, do you have a point of order to raise?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. I would like hon. E.T. Mensah to know that he is not the Speaker.
Mr. Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Go ahead and do not be distracted.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the arm is part of the body; the eye is part of the body; and it is part of the collective whole. So the Ministry is part of the Executive and it is part of the collective whole and it is part of the Arm of Government. The Minority Leader should understand that.
Mr. Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Minority Leader, you may proceed.
Mr. Bagbin 11:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, he is a young man trying to learn under us. So he is encouraged to continue in those debates. Mr. Speaker, Parliament is called upon -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Chief Whip, you are a young man, are you not?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, a young man -- [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am a middle-aged man; I am not a young man. And in any event, I am older than the Minority Leader. [Laughter.]
Mr. Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Minority Leader, please continue.
Mr. Bagbin 11:35 a.m.
Thank you very much. Mr. Speaker, the Auditor-General is to present his report to Parliament and by the constitutional provisions, Parliament is to debate the report. That is how it is phrased in the Constitution; we are to debate the report. The only thing we are asked to do after debating the report is, if it is in the public interest, to appoint a committee to deal with any matter arising. That can be found in article 187(6) of the Constitution. That is all what is required of us. So there is a difficulty here.
We are not even called upon to approve the report of the Auditor-General, we approve our report; that is the Committee's report. Then, Mr. Speaker, we are to appoint a committee to go into other matters arising. Now we have been having problems with that and as a result of that we evolved a system in which we decided that there should be audit report implementation committees in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Mr. Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, do you want to wind up?
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 11:35 a.m.
Yes -- [Pause.]
Mr. Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Chairman of Public Accounts Committee, you know I am in charge.
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 11:35 a.m.
All right, Mr.
Mr. Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Item (7), Motions, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the 2005 Annual
Report of the Office of the Internal Audit Agency
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 11:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the 2005 Annual Report of the Office of the Internal Audit Agency.
Mr. Speaker, as usual I want the Hansard Office to capture this report from pages 1 to 4. But since this is the first time we are reporting on this Agency I would like to give you a little background on this Internal Audit Agency and a few recommendations that we are proposing.
1. The Office of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) was established on 4th August 2005 and its Annual Report for 2005 was laid before Parliament on 27th
June 2006 pursuant to section 23 of the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658). The Report was accordingly referred to the Public Accounts Committee by Mr. Speaker for consideration and report.
Scope of the Annual Report
2. The Report provided details of the Agency's activities and audited financial statement for the year 2005. The Report also provided significant findings from the schedules of the Internal Audit Units (IAUs) in the MDAs and MMDAs.
3. The Committee held two sittings to deliberate on the Report. The Committee wishes to commend the Board and Management of I.A.A. for the timely submission of their Annual Report. I think this is a record submission in this House. The Committee further wishes to extend its appreciation to the Chairman of the Board and Management for their input during the Committee's deliberations.
4. The Commit tee referred to the following documents during its deliberation:
i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana
i i . The S tanding Orders o f Parliament
iii. The Internal Audit Agency Act 2003 (Act 658).
Functions of the Agency (IAA)
5. i. According to section 3(1) of the Internal Audit Act, 2003 (Act 658) the Agency is
Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah (NPP --- Bosomtwe) 11:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the motion and in so doing I want to make a few comments. The Internal Audit Agency is a new agency and I am glad that they have started on a very good note, preparing very good financial statements which are generally acceptable to the auditors. We wish they will continue in this same direction as the volume of work increases.
Mr. Speaker, I would like also to urge the Internal Audit Agency to ensure the establishment of internal audit units in the various MDAs and MMDAs to ensure that the various financial transactions in these institutions would be carried out in the proper manner as required.
Mr. Speaker, with these few comments, I wish to second the motion.
Question proposed.
Mr. Moses A. Asaga (NDC --
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on a point of information. Mr. Speaker, I think that what the hon. Colleague, the Member for Nabdam, Mr. Asaga is doing is inappropriate. He is not in any way suggesting that the
Mr. Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon. Member for Nabdam, I hope you are concluding.
Mr. Asaga 11:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am concluding and to still emphasize that whichever position that you find yourself in, you must work very hard to achieve results and I think that the current Committee, formerly under the chairmanship of hon. Alban Bagbin and now under hon. Sallas-Mensah has really distinguished themselves and have worked very hard for Ghana to the extent that today, both the Majority and the Minority are claiming success; and we are saying that even when the tables should turn again, we should see them also working as hard on the chairmanship.
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP -- Suame) 11:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I also rise to congratulate the Public Accounts Committee on a very good job done. Under our Standing Orders, and I refer in particular to Standing Order 165 (3), the Public Accounts Committee is charged to
report to this House at least twice a year.
This Public Accounts Committee, Mr. Speaker, this year alone, if my memory serves me right, has reported to this House on at least eight occasions; they have submitted eight, reports to this House and that tells the diligence and competence of the Committee. Mr. Speaker, in my view it is important to set a special budget for the Committee to enable them undertake their responsibilities.
Mr. Speaker, last year, in considering the estimates of this House, we set aside some figure for the various Committees. Not all the Committees have been able to access their own budgets; the Public Accounts Committee has assessed their own portion and they have really lived up to their responsibilities. Mr. Speaker, I believe it was a good thing that we initiated last year and let us hope that this year, it would continue and even be enhanced, particularly in respect of the Public Accounts Committee.
Mr. Speaker, my colleague the hon. Member for Tamale South who spoke earlier was of the view that if we want to curb corruption, we should go forward to establish the Financial Administration Tribunal. I think that this matter has come up for discussion in this House on countless occasions and I urge the Attorney-General's Department, indeed the President, since we believe something is in the pipeline, to hurry up with the establishment of the Financial Administration Tribunal.
Mr. Speaker, one thing that we also need to do to complement the effort of the Auditor-General is to establish the Financial Intelligence Unit. It is also a body that if we set up will help track corruption and other forms of malfeasance
Mr. Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Tamale South, do you have a point of order?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 11:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the able
Chief Whip looks very elegant in his dress. I have been wondering whether his reference to Nigeria today is motivated by his style of dressing.
Mr. Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon. Member, this
cannot be a point of order. Let him continue.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Speaker, that is in a lighter vein and I took it as such. Mr. Speaker, the other matter that has come up and the hon. Minority Leader has articulated same again, is the position of hon. Members of Parliament on entity tender committees. Before the Procure-ment Law, Members of Parliament were serving on the tender committees of District Assemblies, so I believe that if we can reconsider it, we may

not have to limit it to only the Procurement Law that we have passed.

We may have to extend it and really debate the role of Members of Parliament. Yes, we want it to be complementary just so that malfeasance would be nipped in the bud. But if it is not the right thing to do, then we may have to look at the whole gamut of the arrangement and see whether we should have all Members on the tender committees in all areas, not only under the Procurement Law.

Mr. Speaker, with these I thank you for your indulgence.
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 11:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
would like to thank all hon. Members of this House for adopting this Report and I hope that subsequently, all the recommendations that have been made in this Report would be forwarded to the various agencies for implementation. Thank you.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr. Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Item 8 -- Committee
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Speaker, we have two important committee sittings and I understand Leadership is also required to meet with the delegation which your goodself introduced in the House a few moments ago. In that case, Mr. Speaker, may I humbly move, that this House adjourn until 10.00 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise
to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:55 a.m.