Debates of 13 Jan 2009

PRAYERS 11:45 a.m.


Madam Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon. Members, we move to correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report. We have the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 9th January, 2009. Any corrections in this?
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am sorry to take us back. On page 6, item number 5, “The Votes and Proceedings of the Second Sitting held on Thursday, 8th January, 2009 were adopted as the true records of Proceedings”. This is just a minor correction. I do not know of any such recording.
I think what we have done is to adopt the Votes and Proceedings of a particular Sitting day. But the way we are going - Second Sitting, we may go to Third Sitting, Fourth Sitting and we may go to 110th Sitting and so on, I do not think that is how we have always captured our Votes and Proceedings. This is just a matter of record.
Item number 6, Madam Speaker, I
think when we met in your office, what we agreed to do was for the Majority Leader to make a Statement which he did and I the Minority Leader also was to make a Statement which was also accordingly done. The Votes and Proceedings captured

the Majority Leader's Statement and my own is missing in action and I wanted to draw your attention to this.
Madam Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Majority
Leader, indeed, it is missing in action. Do you have any objection to that correction?
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 11:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker,
I am completely at a loss as to what the Hon Minority Leader has said, because we did agree that I make a Statement which was made and that Hon Members be given the opportunity to make comments. We did not agree to making two separate Statements. That was not the understanding.
In fact, what we discussed in the Minority Leader's office was that he was to give some notes of what he wanted to say as remarks to me, and in fact, that was not ready on time the next day. Then I told him I had also written the Statement and we were to make one Statement.
So his was to be taken as comments. We did not get the understanding that I was to make a separate Statement and then he was also to make a separate Statement on the same subject-matter. I mean, definitely, that is not the practice. Even if we want to do that, you will recall that we always combined them.

If it is on the same subject-matter, Madam Speaker will allow one Member to make it and then she will give the opportunity to the other side to also make comments. That was the understanding and that is why it is captured this way. But if he is saying that his Statement was also separate from what I made, which are all based on the same subject-matter, then we will be setting a very bad precedent.

It will mean that one side will make a Statement on the same subject-matter and the other side will also make a Statement

on the same subject-matter; that definitely is not the practice of the House. If it is the same subject-matter, one person is allowed to make the Statement and the others make comments and that is completely in accord with the Standing Orders of the House.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Speaker, I do not think that it will serve any useful purpose to litigate this matter on the floor but clearly, that was not the understanding.
On the day of the swearing-in, in view of what went on, I had discussed with the Hon Majority Leader that we need to have a Statement made on the floor. And so when we met, that was the day after, we were thinking of how to work it out and I said I was going to have something written. Before he left for the house on the evening of Thursday, 8th January 2009, he passed through my office and we discussed this but just as he was leaving, he said he was also trying to put something down when I said that my Statement was ready and I was going to show it to him.
The following day, when we came, I said it was ready, if he had any comments and he said he wanted to get his own ready. Madam Speaker, that was how - When we came to your office, the agreement was that he made the Statement and I made mine and then we have three contributors from either side; that was it.
However, as I said, I do not think this is a matter for litigation. The important thing is that the Statement has been made. I have also made mine. If it is captured as such, I do not worry at all because the substance is the same. In any event, as he says that, that is not the tradition, we have done such a thing before. As I said, there is no point going into this. The important thing is congratulating His Excellency
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Thank you.
Prof. Dominic Fobih 11:55 a.m.
Speaker, correction, please; item 10, (xix). The spelling of my surname has “h” at the end.
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
By the way, since
we are all new here, would Hon Members please mention their names and their constituencies. It will immensely help the Reporters as to who is on his feet and speaking.
We were on page 8.
Prof. Samuel Kwadwo Amoako 11:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am referring to page 2, item 54. The spelling of my name is similar to Prof. Fobih's. There is no “h” at the end of my surname. [Interruption.] Mine, the “h” should be removed.
Mr. Bagbin 11:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I thought the understanding of the House on Friday, 9th January 2009, was that such minor clerical omissions could be sorted out with the Clerk's office and not raised on the floor again. There is no “h”, there is no “i” then we will keep on spending a lot more time trying to correct the Votes and Proceedings. I think, unless your name is omitted or maybe one's constituency is mixed up with another, you will need to make those corrections. But spelling of names and others, I would want to plead
that we do so with the Clerk's office.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, as the Hon Majority Leader has said, ordinarily, that resort could be applied except that this is the very genesis of this Parliament and people will want to know how their names are spelt and even how they are pronounced.
Madam Speaker, you may recall that I even wanted to know the full complements of your name when “Adeline” was left out. I did not know and I needed to know; so in addressing you, I will know how to properly address your goodself.
I think at the very outset these things could be allowed. Maybe I agree with him that when we travel some distance it may no longer be necessary but for now I guess - [Interruption] -- Well, my Colleague, hon. E.T. Mensah is saying it is a decision of the House, but it is a decision of the old Parliament; this is a new Parliament.
Prof. Fobih 11:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I
think that the point raised by the Hon Majority Leader does not apply here. With the lists of Members of Parliament and their constituencies, I have my name spelt rightly but in the main text which is where we are making corrections - under ‘Committee of Selection' - that is where my name was spelt wrongly and that is why I think I should point out the mistake.
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Thank you, I think
it will be noted.
  • [The Votes and Proceedings of 9th January, 2009 were corrected. The Official Reports of 7th and 9th January, 2009 were
  • Mr. Bagbin 12:15 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, truly 4 (i) is not ready, but 4 (ii) is ready for laying and I so do.
    PAPERS 12:15 p.m.

    Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 12:25 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the motion is given and the date on which the motion is moved, the motion for the
    adoption of the Report of the Committee of Selection on the Membership of the Appointments Committee and the Business Committee may be moved today.
    Madam Speaker, the House is programmed to go on a break today and we believe before our return this Committee should be in place so that Business could be scheduled for the House.
    Madam Speaker, since we do not have much time, we are asking that this Standing Order be suspended to enable us move this substantive motion for the adoption of the Committee's Report.
    Madam Speaker, I so move.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I rise to second the motion.
    Question put and motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    MOTIONS 12:25 p.m.

    Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 12:25 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee of Selection on the Membership of the Appointments Committee and the Business Committee.
    Madam Speaker, in doing so, I want to present the report of the Committee of Selection.
    1.0 Introduction

    In accordance with Standing Orders 151 and 152, the Committee of Selection was on Friday, 9th January 2009 appointed and mandated to consider the composition of Standing and Select Committees of the House.

    1.1 Accordingly, the Committee met on Monday, 12th January 2009 and discussed the composition of the Business and Appointments Committees.

    1 .2 The Commit tee based the composition of these two important Committees on a consensus reached between the caucuses pending the determination of the exact numerical strengths of the Majority and Minority Caucuses.

    1.3 The Committee also agreed to meet and compose the other committees during the two-week break so that it could submit its report for the approval of the House when Sitting resumes on Tuesday, 27th January 2009.

    2.0 Membership

    Please find attached appendixes A and B which contain the two committees.

    3.0 Conclusion

    The Committee respectfully recom- mends to the House to adopt this Report and approve the composition of the Membership of the Business and Appointments Committees.


    NAME 12:25 p.m.

    DESIGNATION 12:25 p.m.


    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I beg to second the motion but to suggest that on the Minority side, we may take a name out and insert another one. That is for the Appointments Committee. For the Business Committee, we are firm in our mind what we have done. Madam Speaker, in particular, we are replacing Hon Asamoah Ofosu with Prof. Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi on the Appointments Committee.
    Question proposed.
    Mr. S. K. B. Manu (NPP - Ahafo Ano South) 12:25 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, looking at the names proposed for the Business Committee and the Appointments Committee, with the amendment just moved by the Minority Leader, I have carefully considered the names, examined their competencies and I have no doubt that they can ably execute the work being entrusted to them. I, therefore, without reservation, support the motion in toto.
    I thank you, Madam Speaker.
    Question put and motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon. Members, we will move to item 9 on the Order Paper and I invite the Majority Leader.
    Mr. Bagbin 12:35 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I beg to
    move that this House do adjourn till 27th January, 2009.
    Madam Speaker, we will, within that period get the Business of the House programmed, and Hon Members will be informed at the appropriate time. But definitely, the House is scheduled to reconvene at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon of the 27th of January 2009 which falls on a Tuesday.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Speaker, I rise to second the motion for adjournment.
    Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon. Members, as
    you are all aware, this House will adjourn till 27th January 2009 to enable hon. Members to take some respite.

    I thank the Leadership and hon. Members of the House for the co-operation and support offered me during this short period that we have been together.

    Indeed, I have had my baptism as Speaker of the House already - [Hear! Hear!] -- And I wish to learn the rudiments of the game in the shortest possible time.

    Hon. Members, as you depart to your respective constituencies for this short holiday, I urge you, especially the new Members, to use the opportunity to go through the Standing Orders of the House, among other documents on the legislature, in order to familiarize yourselves with the rules of procedure of the House, as I will also be doing. I wish hon. Members god's guidance and a good rest. [Hear! Hear!] Thank you.

    Question put and motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 12:35 p.m.