Mr. Speaker, before I wind up, I will just want to advise the people who prepared the budget for the Office of Government Machinery to be very particular about the figures they put in there. This may not necessarily go to a politician. I know there are people out there who work on some of these things. Sometimes it is very difficult to establish scientific basis for some of these things which are put in. Mr. Speaker, if you will allow me, I will just cite one example.
If we take the Service budget of one of the Regional Co-ordinating Councils, in fact, to be specific, the Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council, at one point, it is said that there will be a quarterly meeting of Chief Executives and for the four quarters of the year, a Vote of GH¢416 is made. Mr. Speaker, there are 22 District and Municipal Assemblies in the region. So if they are going to meet four times, it means that 88 persons would be involved. So the expenditure of a meeting of 88 persons is GH¢416.
Then on item number 0003, there is another caption which says that “Organize Joint Meetings for District Chief Executives and District Co-ordinating Directors twice yearly”. We have 22 District Assemblies and if two persons are involved, a District Chief Executive and a District Co-ordinating Director, then it means that we will have 44 persons meeting two times. That is also bringing the total of persons meeting to 88. But this time round, the Vote for it is GH¢120,421. So if 88 people are going to meet at one instance and it will cost GH¢416 and at another instance, it is going to cost GH120,421, then what is the justification in the two figures?
I personally think that those who prepared the budget should take their time, make sure that they check the figures and make sure that they are well correlated and the basis scientific before they are presented to this House.
Mr. Speaker, on this note, I humbly submit.
Minister for Local Government
and Rural Development (Mr. Joseph Y. Chireh): Mr. Speaker, before I add
my voice to the call to vote for this motion, I wanted two things to be said. One of them is that, the Hon Member who made the contribution, we know he is the Hon Deputy Ranking Member for the Committee -- When he gets up, as a member of the Committee, he can make comments on it. But if he says he is speaking on their side of the House, it means he has spoken for them, you should not recognize anybody again to speak for their side of the House.
He can make his personal comments he can criticize what he went to do at the Committee, that is his problem. But he should not be speaking for the Minority, he did not go there to speak for the Minority. He is here as the Hon Deputy Ranking Member of the Committee and he is to speak in that capacity. And it is not also good to be dividing the House when a committee has brought a report; you should talk about it.
Number two, he was talking about illegality of indication. We have in the past voted money for “Ghana at 50”. Well, we should not set it up. In any case, the Government Machinery is covering so many agencies which are not established by law. The Regional Co-ordinating Councils are mentioned in the law, yes, but there are a number of these organiza- tions -- The Chief of Staff office he is talking about, who set it up by law?
Therefore, if there is a general provision saying that it is Government Machinery, it means, if you itemize, you can even set up a secretariat for SADA and that will mean you have to vote money for it. There is nothing illegal about it and I think that we should not be saying things that will in the end make us look ridiculous. We are supposed to be doing legal things. So there is nothing illegal about earmarking funds for this.
Mr. Speaker -- [Interruptions] -- I said I was going to do two things and after
what I have said, I now make my own contribution and also make this comment that I have already made .
My own contribution is that if you look at the Budget Statement, the Regional Co-ordinating Councils, they play a very crucial role, they do a lot of things, but they are subsumed under the Office of the President or the Government Machinery. If there are any overruns at all, it is because we want these to monitor the performance of District Assemblies, to look at how things happen.
We need to look at increasing or even creating a budget line for them, and budget separately for them, to be able to operate more effectively. We want the Regional Co-ordinating Councils to do virtually everything and yet they cannot get what they want.
Currently, they are all in difficulty in terms of getting vehicles to move about and I believe that we should look at this carefully. When you talk about the Office of the Chief of Staff and overruns you must also realize that this Chief of Staff Office is the one that is catering for the Presidency and if the President's movement, all the things connected with the President's activities and therefore, there is no way you can elect a President and limit his movement, limit his activities and constrain him -- if the money is voted, there is always the opportunity to revise the notes.
But I believe that the overrun is not a bad example because there are so many things that on the spur of the moment, the President is called upon to do. I think that unless we disaggregate the figures in future, so that in the end, we will know which agency is getting what -- I think that if we did so, nobody will talk about too much money.
On this note, I wish that my Colleagues
will all vote for this motion.
Mr. D.B.A. Nit iwul (NPP --
Bimbilla): Mr. Speaker, I rise to add my voice to the motion on the floor that we approve GH¢358, 674, 414.00 being the Vote allotted to Government Machinery and like my Hon Deputy Ranking Member said, it is important as Parliament and as the people of Ghana to look back at the money that we gave to the Office of Government Machinery, how it was expended and what report they gave to us.
Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note, like the Hon Minister said that just two sections of the Office of Government Machinery - National Security and that of the Chief of Staff Office had overrun their budget within 9 months by ninety three billion cedis or GH¢9, 372,290.00.