Debates of 26 Oct 2010

PRAYERS 10:10 a.m.


Madam Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 22nd October, 2010.
Page 1 … 7 --
Ms Beatrice B. Boateng 10:10 a.m.
Madam Speaker, between last Tuesday and Friday, the Education Select Committee was out to Brong Ahafo and Ashanti Regions for an official assignment. So I believe that if we were absent from the House, it could be recorded as having sought permission. Unfortunately, my name and the names of others I travelled with fall under just “Absent”. I just want to find out if that is the right thing or something needs to be done.
Madam Speaker 10:10 a.m.
“Absent?” You wanted it to be recorded as “Absent with permission”?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:10 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I do not want to be debating this issue but it has arisen frequently. Our rules are clear; if you do not attend upon the duties of Parliament, you are absent. If you are unable to attend the duties of Parliament, you must seek the permission of the Speaker. That would be “Absent

with permission”. If you have not sought permission, it is “Absent”. That is our rule. Indeed, committees are part of the business of the House.

But if your business in committee will conflict with your duties in the Chamber, you seek permission. It is as simple as that. Every individual Member of Parliament is responsible for his own actions. Hon Members may disagree with me but this matter keeps coming up. That is why sometimes Leadership says that if there is going to be committee meetings, meetings should take place after adjournment.
Mr Mathias A. Puozaa 10:10 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I believe the last speaker was not referring to us, the Education Committee -
Madam Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Kindly speak into the microphone.
Mr Puozaa 10:10 a.m.
Oh! I believe he was not referring to us since he is a member of the Education Select Committee. We really applied and we were permitted to go on this tour, and we selected that period for a purpose -- to let the visit coincide with the opening of schools, for us to really see issues on the ground so that it would cease to be a matter of hearsay, because the public hear, or we here are being told several stories.
While the headmasters say that they are not ready, Government and for that matter, the Ministry of Education says all is well. So as a committee of Parliament, we felt that it was necessary for us to see things for ourselves and that was why we did so, with your permission, really.
Madam Speaker 10:10 a.m.
The work of this House is inside the Chamber and also in committees. But if we are not told - Hon Member, you are the Chairman of the Education Committee? Well, if you are going somewhere, as Chairman, you can inform the Clerk and tell him the number
of people who would be away, because it is not all members that would go. Is that not so? Sometimes, you say that committee is going, but not all members will go, but they will still not come to the House.
So if you inform the Clerk in advance that these are the members going, that should cover you. That is the way I see it. Otherwise, you need permission; that is what the rules say.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:10 a.m.
Madam Speaker, with your permission, Order
15 (2) -
Madam Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Shall I refer to it?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:10 a.m.
It says and with your permission, I quote:
“Leave of absence may be given by Mr Speaker to any Member who shows sufficient cause justifying his absence or who is away on official or parliamentary duties.”
So it presumes that a Member may be absent from Parliament on parliamentary duties, but you must seek leave of Madam Speaker. That is what Order 15 (2) means.
“Leave of absence may be given by Mr Speaker to any Member who shows sufficient cause justifying his absence or who is away on official or parliamentary duties.” 15(1) says:
“Every Member shall attend the service of the House unless leave of absence has been given him by Mr Speaker.”
So probably we need to change the Standing -
Ms Boateng 10:20 a.m.
Thank you, Madam
I think we are all here to be educated as and when we come; so we just want to know. I know we have a leader who leads us and he does all the arrangements. So we want to know whether individuals will have to seek permission or the Chairman will have to do it on behalf of Members.
Madam Speaker 10:20 a.m.
What is convenient
for you if the Chairman knows how many Hon Members are, indeed, going and he informs the Clerk that you will be away for a certain time, we will have it on record because you then have justifiable reason to go. But if you are going on other duties or individually, then we continue with the old procedure where you have to fill a form. And if I may say so, some forms come and the reason for the absence is not given.
But whatever reason, it has to be given because there is a space for it and I have refused because no reason has been given. We are not supposed to just take a day off and lie in bed.
So please, if Hon Members will always specify the reason, nobody is going to query why. But there must be a reason you want to stay away. So the Chairmen of committees, when you are going, you could send the list of those who are going because it is not every member of the committee that normally goes, and those members who do not go should be in
Mr Cletus A. Avoka 10:20 a.m.
Speaker, admittedly, before committee members leave Parliament on an official tour to other parts of the country or even outside, they apply through the Majority Leader to Madam Speaker for permission to be absent, which is normally granted before they go. I would want to believe that for the avoidance of doubt, even where Madam Speaker grants committee members permission to travel, it may be prudent for committee members to fill the leave-of-absence forms and leave them with the Whips.
It may be for the avoidance of doubt to
fill the Leave-of-absence forms and leave them with the Whips so that we can avoid this issue of the “Whips are not aware” the Clerk's Office is not aware” and therefore, this problem continues to plague us. So, yes, they are on an official duty outside Parliament but at that stage, it might only be the Majority Leader and the Speaker who may be aware that they had applied and permission had been granted.
The question is whether at that stage after granting it, Madam Speaker should refer the letter to the Clerk's Office to let him know that this has happened or not. But I think it would be useful for Members to fill the leave-of-absence forms and leave them with the Whips who can support and know that they are on this assignment, and they would be away for this length of time, et cetera. That would be useful for all of us, Madam Speaker, to save us from the problem that we are groping in now.
Madam Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Honourable, the rule just says the Speaker must give permission. So if the Whips want to know who is out for some reason, could they not check with that? Otherwise, we would be doing a lot more paper work, yet we want
to save on money; do not we?
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:20 a.m.
Madam Speaker, as has been said, yes, the permission of Madam Speaker is required to authenticate a person having left the House for official business; even if it is personal, just show that if the person runs into a problem outside, he may not rush back to, maybe, now rectify the situation.
It is important that even if the person is going on private business, he or she informs Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker, I think that if it is a committee that must be travelling, yes, the leadership, in particular, the Chairperson could transmit the message to Madam Speaker who may grant it.
Madam Speaker, I do not know of the convention when if a committee is travelling, they have to route their application to be absent through the Majority Leader. That is unknown to this House and any House that I know. The Committee transmits it to the Speaker. Madam Speaker, I think it is a dicey matter, this matter relating to the grant of permission.
Madam Speaker, as the Chairman is alleging, permission was sought and whether or not it was granted, they have been marked absent, some of the members, at least. Assuming that when they had travelled outside, maybe, somebody misbehaved in the presence of the committee, that person obviously could be cited for contempt of the committee and indeed, against Parliament. And because the members have not been granted permission to travel, what was going to happen in case such an event arose? That would have been difficult.
Again, we also know that if a person leaves his house to come to Parliament, of course, Madam Speaker would not
know that that person is heading towards Parliament. But as per our rules and per the Constitution, the person cannot be arrested. In that instance, he does not have the permission of Madam Speaker to inform that he was on his way to Parliament. So I think it is dicey.
Notwithstanding, it is good that we are dealing with the review of our Standing Orders and some of these details, I believe, when we come to that, we can fill in so that we do not have any such situations arising in the future. But really, I think that as far as the committee is concerned, to the extent that a committee meeting or sitting is considered part of the House business, Madam Speaker, we should have a way to appropriately capture the committee meeting outside or on duty tour elsewhere.
Madam Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member, this also brings to the fore the fact that some committees would travel even before permission is granted; because the mere fact that permission is granted by the Speaker, yes, travel and get your money, means they have been permitted. What about cases where the committee takes off a week or so and it is unknown to me and then when they come back, they come for their - and I am supposed to approve after the event? That is why sometimes we make a fuss of the fact that, please, let us know.
Many things are involved in that. So probably, we could agree, like you have already said, that if it is a committee, the leader should inform -- because when you approve a committee travelling, you find that some of them do not travel. They do not travel; they do not also come to the House or ask permission to stay away. But that is the Leaders' business. I think Leaders should put their heads together.
But once it is a committee which has indeed, got permission to go on a travel, probably, half the job is done and you know they are not there. But if somebody does not go, he has to come to the House and ask for special permission to stay away. If the Leaders agree, we can agree on that.
Mr Avoka 10:20 a.m.
I just want to allude to this statement that, yes, the Standing Orders say that Members must apply to Madam Speaker before they leave the place. Admittedly, that is true. But if there is a Leader who is in charge of the business of the House and two, three committees are leaving the jurisdiction, he has no idea and he has to programme the business of the House, he has to make sure that there is quorum here for business to be done, that becomes problematic. I think it is against that background that you may graciously -
Madam Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Except that all
applications are made through the Leader.
Mr Avoka 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think it
is against that background that the practice is that though it is not part of our rules but it is prudent that you let the leader know about who are travelling outside the Chamber for the business so that when he is programming the work of Parliament, he would have it at the back of the mind that maybe, a committee or two or three are outside or elsewhere, so that work can progress smoothly.
I think it is intended to make sure that work progresses well and nothing else -- that it is not adding more status to the Leader if committees are travelling and he gets to know. I think it is good that we are in the process of amending the Standing Orders and I would advocate that at the end of the day, this is an area that we may have to put our act together; if the Chairman of the Business Committee is programming the business of this House
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Leader, except that most of these things pass through the Leader. Any application by the committee to travel passes through the Leader. Does it not? And he should know that they are travelling. Let us not waste more time.
Mr Ambrose P. Dery 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think that you have stated the position rightly. All Hon Members are supposed to take permission from the Speaker. No Leader programmes this House. It is the Business Committee which does it and it is the whole Business Committee that is vested with the power to do so.
We might have different ideas about the way forward and we could send them as proposals to amend the Standing Orders. Until that is done, let us stop complicating the matters. It is simply that Madam Speaker was supposed to give permission. I do not think any Leader should want to assert powers that do not exist within the rules for the Leader.
This is democracy.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Members, let us not belabour the point. If a committee travels with permission granted to go, then those who do not travel should know that they have no permission to travel; some people on a committee will not travel even though permission is given for the whole committee to travel but still they will not come to the House.
I think with that one, you have no permission to stay away. If you cannot go, you have to ask permission. If you are sick, you have to tell us. Other than
that, we could have a way of informing the leadership of committees who have travelled because normally, you pass these things through the Leaders. I am sure the Leaders would like to know who are and who are not in. If that is in order, then can we then correct the proceedings since according to the Hon Member, they travelled with permission from the Speaker?
Hon Member, how many of you? Is it only you? You are referring to page 5 (4). Is that not it?
Ms Boateng 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, twelve of us out of twenty travelled.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
And all of you travelled?
Ms Boateng 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, all the twelve travelled from Monday to Friday.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think it is something that the Chairman could submit and maybe, after we adjourn, we could take this matter up.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
That was what I was going to say, that it could be corrected then.

Hon Members , the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 22nd October, 2010 as corrected is adopted as the true record of proceedings.

We have the Official Report of 22nd October. Shall we correct it?
Mr Justice J. Appiah 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, we received the Business Statement last week, Friday, and it indicated that there would be Questions. But Madam Speaker, looking through the Order Paper for today, there are no Questions.
Madam Speaker, I need your guidance.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Let us correct this first and then we bring this matter up. Let us finish with the correction of the Official Report because we are already on item 2.
Who has any corrections on this one to make?
Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, column 93, paragraph 1. The word after legislative is ‘work' and not ‘worm'.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
So ‘k' instead of'm'.
Mr Bedzra 10:30 a.m.
Yes, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Any other corrections? [Pause.]
Hon Members, the Official Report of Friday, 22nd October, 2010 as corrected represents the true record of proceedings.
Mrs Catherine A. Afeku 10:30 a.m.
Speaker, I would like to seek your guidance on a stranger in this House. There is a gentleman who is disguising himself as the President of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan. Otherwise, I would need to find out from you if his hat is permissible in this House.
Thank you.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
I still do not even know who the Hon Member is. [Laughter.]
Mrs Afeku 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, he is the Hon Member for Garu/Tempane but for now - [Laughter.]
Mr Dominic A. Azumah 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am not a stranger in this House -
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Member, I still cannot make you out - [Laughter.]
Mr Azumah 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, this is the complete official dress of the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr Charles S. Hodogbey 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I would like to know if there is any specific type of hat to be worn in the House here because what the Minority Leader is wearing is also a hat. [Laughter.] So is there any specific hat to be worn?
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Well, it is not only the Minority Leader who is wearing a hat here. Is he? [Laughter.]
Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, my Senior Colleague (Hon Azumah) said he was wearing the complete dress of His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan . That is false. Goodluck will always wear a chain; he is not wearing a chain, so it is completely false. [Laughter.]
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Well, in which case, that statement was wrong. The words “complete dressing”, it was not complete. Was it? I do not have any - yes - Well, I know of no rule that you cannot wear a hat except that the hat should not conceal your features. Otherwise, I will not be able to identify you and your Hon Colleagues will also not be able to identify you. So probably, if you push the hat further back and we see you. I do not see any rule to say you cannot wear a hat. Is that not so, Leaders? But if the hat conceals you, you will be a stranger here.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I would like to come on this point of normal courtesies. Even in civilized discourse, when you have a hat on and you are entering a room, you take it off and put it at the doorway. So, a brim hat that covers the face cannot be accepted as a proper way of dressing in the Chamber.

[MAJ. (DR) (ALHAJI) AHMED]Yes, of course, that was why I said “courtesies” and “civil discourse.”
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Well, as I said, because hats are allowed for certain dressing or even any dressing that do not conceal your face, I will have no objection to them. But once it changes you and you are not - because you were thought of as a stranger and if it is back-- Honourable, can you recognize him now?
Mrs Afeku 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I still cannot recognize him. He does resemble the Member of Parliament for Garu- Tempane and that is why I was seeking your guidance.
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Well, Leaders, come to his aid. Have we permitted hats that conceal faces in this House?
Mr Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, this House thrives on law and convention. Conventionally, if you dress the way the Minority Leader dresses, it is all right because we all accept it that way. If you dress the way the Nigerian President dresses and it conceals your identity, we will consider it in Ghana as improper dressing, and I think that His Excellency Jonathan, if he comes to Ghana, he will be improperly dressed in our Parliament. [Laughter.] Yes, in our Parliament, he will be improperly dressed.
If we allow this one to stand, eventually, you will see everybody dressing American here -- [Laughter] - wearing American hats.
So, Madam Speaker, even though I respect my Senior Colleague and I do appreciate the fact that he is trying very hard to reflect the dressing of a very honourable President of this continent, I still believe that we should not introduce another hat apart from what we know in this House.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I want to agree with my Colleague except that the statement he made about the Nigerian President being improperly dressed in this Parliament may be misconstrued. And I wish that it will be taken off the record because though he did not mean to but it may come out that he is defining him, if he comes here, as improperly dressed. It may be misconstrued. So, if he can just withdraw that part it will help us.
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Honourable, it is not only that it would be misconstrued, it is wrong. He can come here with his full dressing. Anybody who is a visitor here, can come here with his national dressing so, I would like you to withdraw that part. I would really, really want you to withdraw that part.
Mr Pelpuo 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, what I actually meant was that if that dress is worn here, because it is alien here, for us, it is improper. But if he comes from Nigeria and dresses that way, he will not be improperly dressed.
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
If that was what you meant, then I think it is in order.
But at first, it came out like if he came here like that he would be -- All right, so the correction stands.
Maj. (Dr) (Alhaji ) Mustapha Ahmed
(retd): Madam Speaker, having schooled in Nigeria and worked there for some time, I think I have a lot more information about the dressing in Nigeria than a lot of my friends. I would like to say that this is an Eastern Nigerian traditional dress. It can either be with the chain or it can come with a hat or without a hat.
In the riverain area of Nigeria, Port Harcourt - well, when we say the riverain
area of Nigeria, we are talking about some of the states in the East, Delta, River State, Cross River State. These are the riverain states of Eastern Nigeria and that is how they dress. And it can either come with the hat or with the chain on the buttons, and it is a traditional African dress just like this one that I am wearing; it is a traditional northern Nigerian dress.
Similarly, the Hon Minority Leader is wearing a typical northern Nigerian African dress with a hat. It can either be worn with the hat or without the hat. I have a very reliable information that the dress worn by the Minority Leader was made complete with the hat in Nigeria. [Laughter.] I believe all these dresses are acceptable just like the suits and therefore Madam Speaker, your ruling is very appropriate.
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
I thank you and
I repeat that you can have your hat on provided it does not conceal your face. Even the former Speaker, the late Hon Peter Ala Adjetey had a hat at one time. Did he not? And there was no objection in the House. Please, if there is no objection, please wear hats but not those broad brim hats from America which will conceal your face. But that is the way I think to -
Honourable, can I have the last word from you, then we move on.
Mr Joseph B. Aidoo 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, if we are not careful, next time somebody will come into this House with a Makola hat and then it will be justified here that because this hat is being worn in Makola, the person is presenting a sort of fashion. Honestly, if you look at the hat that my Chairman is wearing, he is hiding his face and the concern is - [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Order! Let us hear out there.
Mr J. B. Aidoo 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, what
I am saying is that if you look at the hat being worn by the Minority Leader and the hats being worn by other Colleagues, they have not hidden their faces. But in this particular instance, he is hiding his face and that makes him a stranger in this House. In fact, it is very difficult for us to identify him.
I mentioned the Makola hat, this hat; is a straw hat used at the Makola Market because of the sun. But if we are not careful, next time, somebody will bring this hat into this House to come and justify that because it is worn somewhere, it should be worn here.
Madam Speaker, it is not every hat that can come to this House - a hat being used here must conform to certain standards. So Madam Speaker, we will plead -- [Interruption] - Yes, we should have a dress code here and it is not every hat that can be worn in this House.
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes, I think I have ruled that a hat should not conceal your features. But I think this matter should be dealt with by the Leaders and that I should be informed of really the dress code.
What I met here is that the northern hat which does not conceal the face is allowed. But in view of this ruling today - Honourable, I cannot see your face - can you remove your hat - [Laughter] - yes, if you do that. I have thrown it to the Leaders and hereafter - you look very handsome without that hat, anyway - [Laughter]-- the Leaders, please, take the matter up and tell us the dress code. But surely, anything which hides a man's face or a woman's face from here, he/she will remove it.
Well, I thank you, Hon Members. We have thrashed this matter out.
Let us move to the next i tem - Statements. I have admitted two Statements from Hon Members and I
STATEMENTS 10:50 a.m.

Madam Speaker 11 a.m.
Yes, Hon Prempeh, before we allow the floor to come on, kindly read your Statement.

“Africawatch” on Ghana's Political Performance, 2010
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (NPP - Manhyia) 11 a.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for this opportunity to enable me share my thoughts with my Hon Colleagues.
Madam Speaker, I will want to comment that the Table Office have a full copy of the Statement.
Madam Speaker, the October, 2010 edition of the magazine, Africawatch magazine published a 56-page special supplement on Ghana, called the 2010 Political Performance Index (PPI).

Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (NPP - Manhyia) 11 a.m.
The aims of the publication are “to help enhance democracy in Ghana” and “not to disgrace or bring any politician down. We seek no animosities,” the Editor said. The magazine goes further to say that we are “in a new democratic era in which political officials entrusted with the destiny of the country can no longer be allowed to just float, collect their emoluments, and remain unaccountable to the people who elected them.”
Madam Speaker, it goes on to grade from “A” to “F” and give us time criteria that my Hon Colleague enumerated.
Madam Speaker, political office bearers

were graded in 11 categories from A F; A being “exceptional performance” and F being “Failed”.

Grade Percentage Legend

A 95-100

Exceptional performance

A- 90-94

Excellent performance

B+ 85-89

High performance

B 80-84

Very good performance

B- 75-79

Good performance

C+ 70-74

Satisfactory performance

C 65-69 Average performance

C- 60-64 Moderate performance

D+ 55-59 Minimum performance

D 50-54 Poor performance

F 0-49 Failed

Madam Speaker, the magazine sets out the criteria for assessing the President, Ministers and Members of Parliament. I will restrict my shared-thoughts to the latter, where I belong. For you, Madam Speaker, they looked at how impartial a referee you are, your firmness, fairness and lastly your general performance. For us, it looked at five things:

a) Knowledge about lawmaking and the Constitution.

b) How active they are in legislative business.

c) Contribution to parliamentary debates and how their ideas and suggestions reflect society's needs and interests.

d) Tolerance of views divegent to his or her party's policies and agenda.

e) Ethics. The magazine's promises to include

from next year, work done in constituency, writing that

“being influential in Parliament and speaking well in debates does not amount to much if an MP neglects the people in his constituency and their needs.

Our assessors were former Members of Parliament and senior parliamentary correspondents chosen randomly and working individually and independently on their set criteria.

Madam Speaker, I can say confidently that at one time or the other both sides of the House have considered an objective and fair assessment of their Members of Parliament. The major political parties take a critical interest in the performance of their Members of Parliament in Parliament. Parliament as an institution has the office of “Whips” whose main role is to monitor, assess and evaluate Members of Parliament on their work. They are also in charge of Members of Parliament welfare issues.

My Party, the New Patriotic Party, at its last constitutional conference, voted down on making assessment of Members of Parliament an issue in their re-selection as parliamentary candidates. The Parliamentary Caucus of the Party proposed that amendment.

Madam Speaker, this shows that Members of Parliament are not averse to being assessed. We will welcome it, provided it is done fairly, objectively and transparently with built-in safeguards for feedback and re-evaluations. Such an exercise should be led by Parliament with or without external assessors. We should have mutually agreed criteria and a comprehensive report issued. No student will ever participate in an examination with unknown syllabi, marking scheme, grading system, appellate process or even recourse to a legal process, if necessary.

Madam Speaker, for starters, I still

have not found the precedent with which the editor of the Africawatch magazine copied or is trying to replicate in Ghana here. It certainly does not exist where the editor resides, that is the United States of America, nor in any of the functioning multiparty democracies in the world. If the editor wants to start one, and claims no animosity is intended, why not involve the Leadership of the House for clear criteria and assessment formula to be reached before the start of this work? Why the anonymity of the assessors? Why the secrecy?

Secondly, there is no tertiary institution in Ghana that a mark of 50 per cent would be considered as a poor grade. Our medical schools have a pass mark of 50 per cent. This is not considered as a poor performance as Mr Steve Mallory's Africawatch magazine. A wide range of 0-49 per cent is considered as failed. How is this possible?

Thirdly, I wonder how the Magazine's second criterion was evaluated. Madam Speaker, Parliament's work is mostly done in committees. This work is done in camera with the exception of the Appointments and Public Accounts Committees. How did the assessors come by their scores for Members of Parliament? There seems to be lack of fairness and candour with this evaluation.

Madam Speaker, on the issue of tolerance of divergent views, I am at pains to see how the assessor who has not engaged a Member of Parliament directly or indirectly to elicit or solicit his view(s), can evaluate a Member of Parliament on this point. This is palpably unfair and injurious to Members of Parliament's reputation.

The most grievous hurt is caused by the fifth criterion, “Ethics”. Should we allow this to pass uncommented? What does the Magazine mean by “Ethics”? Which

definition is being used? On what basis was the criterion monitored, evaluated or assessed?

Madam Speaker, what the publication has achieved is to mainly ridicule Members of Parliament in the eyes of Ghanaians by reducing a well-thought out initiative to be sacrificed on the altar of simplicity. This simplicity which panders to the basic instincts of mischievous elements is very unfair to the reputations of all Members of Parliament. It is being used by friends and foes in the various media, political parties and constituencies to tarnish the image of all Members of Parliament and Parliament as an institution.

Madam Speaker, next year, we are told it will include constituents' needs assessments. This is even more dangerous. Our Constitution explicitly devolves development in our locality to the Assemblies. How then does one assess a Member of Parliament based on his or her ability or inability to provide constituents with development projects? My Hon Colleagues and I should also be cautious in trumpeting our supposed development projects we have brought to our constituents. To quote one Member of Parliament recently;

This is erroneous and we should either desist from such utterances or qualify them.

Madam Speaker, this PPI seeks to undermine the harmonious working relation in the plenary and this will ultimately undermine Leadership of the House. Members of Parliament who speak on issues during plenary are chosen beforehand and back-benchers always give way to Leadership during debates. This norm is accepted. Will backbenchers continue to observe this rule in the light of this unfair Index? Everyone will be

Madam Speaker, we should not make an avatar of this PPI and we should not allow it to pass, lie or die without comment and action. If we do so, it will be at our own peril. We should speak up now and not next year when one may have suffered a downgrading from “A” to “C”.

Parliament should invite the Editor for a discussion on the way forward. A well designed, transparent and objective criterion should be used for the next assessment. We should, as Parliament, embrace a more comprehens ive index devoid of this uneducative and misinforming simplicity of grade “A” through to “F” and be open and supportive of such a new comprehensive report.

Madam Speaker, lastly, I take this opportunity to call for a review of our Standing Orders to make the House Committee a more active one with many more subcommittees so that issues concerning Members of Parliament could be addressed more holistically, effectively, efficiently and promptly. One that comes to mind is for the House to have its own publicly available Code of Conduct as quickly as possible. This will forestall issues of conflict of interest and ethics being used against Hon Members.

Madam Speaker, I end by appealing to you to refer the Editor and his Magazine to the Privileges Committee of this House for a thorough discussion about the harm this publication has caused and the way forward, especially, if another report is going to be issued next year.

Thank you.
Madam Speaker 11 a.m.
I thank you, Hon Member - Hon Members, we have one hour to make comments. And let me start -- because the last Member who spoke comes from this side [Pause.]
Hon Members, can you be brief so that
as many Hon Members as possible -
Mr David T. Assumeng (NDC - Shai Osudoku) 11 a.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity.
Madam Speaker, in the Magazine, you have also been rated “B+”. Congratulations, Madam Speaker -
Madam Speaker 11 a.m.
Well, I want to appeal on that. I do not think I deserve “B+” . However, carry on.
Mr Assumeng 11 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I want to thank the two Hon Members who made the Statements and - It is better to be late than never but I thought that these Statements could have been made far earlier for us to have commented on them because they touch on the core functions of Hon Members of Parliament.
Madam Speaker, the grading of the Magazine, as I said, can make or unmake an Hon Member of Parliament and I believe that it is right for us to give our opinion on this issue.
Madam Speaker, how on this earth can
one grade a law lecturer on the floor of Parliament “F”? One cannot just imagine; a law lecturer to be graded as having “F” on the floor of Parliament in Ghana? No! This is one person whom I can vouch that he is very eloquent and on top of every issue as far as contributions on this floor are concerned. And so having graded such an Hon Member ‘F', in my opinion, is unfortunate and I would side with the Hon Member of Parliament who suggested that the person involved in the Magazine should be hauled before the Privileges Committee.
Madam Speaker, I had “C+”. It is not a failure after all but I think that it is quite unfortunate and I believe that all Hon Members must rise up to this issue. There are some who had certain grades and it is a wake-up call for all of us as well, that we should all assess the various - [Interruptions.] Madam Speaker, I had “C+” and I am saying that it is a wake-up call for me - [Interruptions.]
Madam Speaker 11 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mr Assumeng 11 a.m.
I am saying that it is
a wake-up call for me and I believe that there is nothing wrong with assessing Hon Members of Parliament. What we are saying is that the assessment must be fair and it must be open because the functions of Hon Members of Parliament are not only on the floor of Parliament. We have various areas where we perform.
Madam Speaker, in committees or at
committee levels, we contribute and we perform over there. Has this been taken into consideration? Have the contributions of Hon Members of Parliament at various committees been factored into this grading system? No. And so, I think that it is just unfortunate and I want to state that it is just good for us to invite this person involved in the Magazine to meet with the Privileges Committee to thrash out this issue.
Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 11 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member?
Let us all try and be brief.
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP 11 a.m.

Mponua): Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, when this Africa-

watch publication came, some of us were shocked, indeed. I remember, at dawn, I had a call from one of my sub-
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP 11:20 a.m.

So I asked him in my local dialect, “Nana, mepa wokyew na nsohwe ben na yeko kyerew?” Then he continued, “But it is all over that MPs have written exams, some have failed and some have passed and I am told you are one of those who have passed.” I was shocked. Then in the morning it was all over the place -- “MPs have been graded -- they have written some exams and somebody somewhere has awarded them certain marks”.

Madam Speaker, as we speak now, go

to our constituencies, especially for our most unfortunate Hon Colleagues here who have been given “F”, take or leave it, whether you like it or not, it is going to be a yardstick for the next parliamentary primaries by our respective Parties and that is more dangerous. For somebody to sit somewhere to determine the fate of Hon Members of Parliament in this House --

The issue is so critical; it is so serious

that the only thing that can save us is to indeed, endorse the call by my Hon Colleague from Manhyia that indeed, the gentleman and his group should be dragged before the Privileges Committee to come and answer questions.

Madam Speaker, we are not gagging

the media or we are not attacking people for expressing their independent opinions on the work we do. We welcome it. But the best people to assess us, in my opinion, if anything at all, is our constituents, and secondly, the media personnel here. They live here with us. This is about the plenary contributions, nobody can bypass the gentlemen and women here who are with us everyday. From our knowledge,

they were even ignored. None of them was contacted for this publication and they have come out with it.

The Parliamentary Press Corps has come out that, indeed, they were not consulted and for a media person to sit in USA to think that he, indeed, knows what goes on here better than our media people here, is, indeed, insulting the integrity and the professional competence of our media in this country. It is, indeed, insulting them. If anything at all, they are here with us so that if it is about contributions on the floor of the House, they are the best people to judge us and not somebody who sits in the USA and believes that he can judge our performance here.

Madam Speaker, in my view, I believe that in this country we have more credible institutions, think-tanks. Talk of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), talk of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), talk of the Canada Parliamentary Centre.

These are more credible bodies with the track record to even assess our performance and even they would have to sit down with our Leadership to determine the areas, the criteria - because as they said, I am going to write an examination and I do not know the kind of questions that will be set, the kind of syllabus, whatever it is.

These things are not known to us and they assess me based on things I do not even know of. They talk of “ethics” What do they mean by “ethics”? Ethics of what? That Hon Members of Parliament have been fighting here? Even that happened sometime ago but this is not politics and my Hon Colleague is here. He knows it. Even that, he had “B-”. Eh. So why do they talk of ethics?

So the whole thing has not been fair to Hon Members of Parliament at all. So what ethics are they talking about? Are we

fighting? Are we a bunch of disgraceful people in this country?

Our conduct in this House has never

been questioned by Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker herself who presides over this House, she has never questioned our conduct here. So, I take it that as our “mother and our leader”, the Speaker of the House, you are comfortable with our conduct in this House. So for somebody to sit in the USA to determine our conduct in this House, indeed, is regrettable and most unfortunate.

Madam Speaker, I would like to end by

urging all Ghanaians to, indeed, dismiss this whole report; they should dismiss it in its entirety. And in this crusade, I urge the media to support our cause.

For now, what we have started in our constituencies is that people have started -- the moves are going on -- attacking Hon Members of Parliament who were graded “F” and in my opinion, it will be the highest order of injustice that should an Hon Member of Parliament lose his seat because of this false publication, this ill-informed report that has no grounds, for somebody of that status - And he mentioned an Hon Colleague here who is a lecturer -- the Hon Member of Parliament for Asante Akyem North.

Madam Speaker, go through the Hansards, his contributions are about the actual lawmaking in this House. So if we are talking of the primary job of an Hon Member of Parliament, it is to be a lawmaker; it is about lawmaking. And when it comes to the nitty-gritty, the big considerations, I can tell you that that calls for professional competence and in that case, we will see the Hon Member of Parliament for Asante Akim North's contributions in that. So the critical work for lawmaking -- the man's work is immense. And they sit in the USA

and grade this Hon Member “F” - a law lecturer, a constitutional expert, they give him “F”

Madam Speaker, I believe we have never been fair to our Hon Colleague Members of Parliament that have been given “F”. I am so sad for these Hon Colleague Members of Parliament because they have done no wrong and somebody has judged them and has indeed, predicted some doom for them.

Madam Speaker, I do not believe we should welcome this and I urge Leadership to take this matter seriously. This is a challenge to the Leadership. It is not the fact that some of them have been given “As”, some of them - I think the least was [Interruption] -- what? All of them have been given comfortable grades; they are in a comfortable zone. I urge Leadership from both sides to see this matter as a national crisis -- yes. In my view, it is a national crisis because these are people's representatives.

So for somebody to grade as many as 24 Hon Members of Parliament “F”, Madam Speaker, this should be described as a national crisis; that is how I see it. So it is important that our Leadership from both sides takes up the matter and not leave it to the back-bench so that the whole country will know that that report is erroneous. Indeed, it does not reflect the reality and it should be dismissed in its entirety.

Thank you Madam Speaker, for the opportunity.

Alhaj i Mohammed-Mubarak

Muntaka (NDC - Asawase): Madam Speaker, I congratulate my two Hon Colleagues on these Statements.

Madam Speaker, just as many of my Hon Colleagues first heard it through the
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP 11:20 a.m.
media, so did I also hear it from the media. Madam Speaker, I am happy that most Hon Members who have contributed so far and who seem to speak strongly against this assessment are Members who did “Good” according to that performance assessment. They are not speaking because they were given bad grades and that is why they are speaking. I am happy that those who are speaking are speaking even though that report had given them good grades.
Madam Speaker, I heard of mine in a very shameful manner. I woke up in the morning, after prayers, only to hear on Joy Fm's newspaper review -- a gentleman passed a very nasty comment, which I must say, is very, very hurting, Madam Speaker. Our Constitution is very, very clear that when anybody is accused of something, it must be proved beyond any reasonable doubt. His comments, Madam Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote:

Madam Speaker, in fact, it immediately drew my attention to what the gentleman was saying.

Madam Speaker, let us look at the history of Parliament. What is Parliament all about? Madam Speaker, if we look at the essence of Parliament, it is to take the confusion on the street into an organized room. That is the essence of Parliament. So that people can express their view. That is why in the Constitution, where it talks about the qualification of a Member of Parliament, it did not give any real qualification. It made sure that there was no limit so that almost every ordinary person could aspire to represent his or her people.

Madam Speaker, if you look at the criteria used -- We will all agree that this

House works effectively at the committee level. So for someone to immediately after about a year of this fifth Parliament, begin to assess Members of Parliament --

Madam Speaker, I am happy to say that this is my second time in Parliament but I can comfortably say that this is demoralizing to the Members who are in the House for the first time. Because this House is a House of procedure; this House is a House of order, this House is a House that respects seniority.

So nobody says Members of Parliament should not be assessed, but in doing the assessment, it is just like going to the secondary school or the university, one will first have lectures up to mid-term, take mid-semester examination and then at the end of the semester, the person will take an end of semester examination.

Madam Speaker, this assessment, as well intentioned as it might be, is not fair to the Hon Members who are in the House for the first time. Because what it means is that, it is in the long-run going to completely demoralise very well initiated Members of Parliament who are here and who are very determined to work hard and put them into complete confusion and disarray.

If we look at those who had the “Fs”, I would say that majority of them are Members who are in the House for the first time and Madam Speaker, I know, at the committee level, in some of them we see the eagerness to learn. All of us, when we came to this House, I can say for the first one year, all we were doing was learning, asking seniors or those who were ahead of us about how these things were done. And immediately, while the Member is in the process of learning, they come out with this kind of report to demoralise the person. I do not think it is fair.

Madam Speaker, we are in a House that with the greatest respect, we ourselves do not know ourselves completely. Madam

Speaker, you have been chairing this House for almost the past one and a half years now; you will agree with me, if all of us, the 230 Members are lined up and you are even asked to mention only our constituencies, I doubt whether Madam Speaker will be able to mention even150. This is simply because it is not very possible for you to, within this short period, know all the 230 by name and by constituency.

Madam Speaker, you have been Sitting in this Chamber almost every other day or everyday for the past one and a half years; so do the Leaders. If we take all the Leaders, some are in the House for the first term and some for the fifth term; if we line up all the 230 of us, they may be good to know Hon Members on their side of the House but when we call the whole House, I can comfortably say it is not all the Leaders who can mention the 230 Members of Parliament by name and constituency.

Madam Speaker, how can someone who is sitting far away pretend to know all the 230 Members by constituency, by name and even by performance at committee level and on the floor of the House? Madam Speaker, as I keep repeating, we are not against being assessed by the people who elected us, but we should do it in a manner that does not portray any Member of Parliament in a bad taste.

Madam Speaker, let me say, about a code of ethics -- This House is in its fifth term; we are in the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic. Parliament of Ghana does not have code of ethics; we are struggling ourselves to put up a code of ethics. I believe this might also be a wake - up call to our Leaders that we must have our own code of ethics. This is because if people sit far away and they

are using their own assessment to judge us on ethics, I think it is very wrong. After 16 years of practising democracy, we do not even have a code of ethics.

So I believe that we must be fair to Members of Parliament in carrying out this assessment. I will also want to urge my Hon Colleagues, let us call a spade a spade. Madam Speaker, many of our Hon Members are just found walking in and walking out. With some of these things that are happening, I want to plead with my Hon Colleagues, if it is not about a Business of Parliament at committee level, let us take the opportunity to always Sit in the Chamber to carry out the functions that we were elected to carry. I believe that these are some of the things that will go a long way to reduce this kind of unfair assessment of Hon Members of Parliament.

Madam Speaker, because there are so many Hon Colleagues who would want to contribute, I would want to end saying that we Members of Parliament are not against being assessed but we believe that it is only fair that we know the criteria that were used in assessing us. It should be in a transparent manner and we should be able to question the method used in assessing us.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Madam Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Well, thank you, Hon Member.
Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku (NPP -- Evalue Gwira) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you Madam Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this controversial issue by Africawatch.
Madam Speaker, I am terribly sad because women in this House are only 19 -- I repeat, 19 women out of 230 Members of this august House -- and Africawatch has even done more damage to the few women who have strived to stay in this august House.
Madam Speaker, you are to go down in
Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku (NPP -- Evalue Gwira) 11:30 a.m.

our dear Speaker, who has been an acting President, even if it is for one day, is not fair.

We should urge all Hon Members from both sides to come in unison to condemn this report so that people who are out there, using it mischievously to attempt to derail parliamentary effort by the few women who are hanging on to the straws of helping to build Ghana, would be given that room to support the effort of the onward forward march of good governance, democracy and equal access by females and males alike.

With these few words, Madam

Speaker, I will join hands with all my Hon Colleagues to condemn the act of Africa- watch.

Mr Simon E. Asimah (NDC - South

Dayi): Thank you Madam Speaker, for this opportunity to comment on the Magazine.

Madam Speaker, even in calling me, you had a little of problem -- before you could called me to speak, and for somebody who does not know the procedures in Parliament or on the floor of Parliament, to begin to assess Members of Parliament, using these criteria, is very, very unfortunate.

But I am happy that all Hon Members from both sides have a common stand today on the Magazine's assessment.

Madam Speaker, I am waiting for a

day when such a Magazine would begin to honour hard work and talk about people who are contributing so much, day and night to build this country. The assessment that that Magazine came out with, is a way of undermining the law-making body of this country, and it is undermining

democracy for that matter. And this person, the Editor of this Magazine must be brought to book.

Madam Speaker, I was very sad when my son called me and told me that I had “D”. He drew my attention to the few contributions that I had made on the floor of Parliament and said he was very shocked. I told him that that Magazine was very good for the dustbin. Nobody should consider it because the work does not merit what he has written. This attempt is being made to actually make money for himself and he is using Members of Parliament of Ghana to make money for himself, and I call on everybody to condemn it and put it in the garbage can.

Madam Speaker, I also want to say that we need to look at ourselves in the mirror, look at our strengths and weaknesses, take advantage of the strengths that we have and turn round the weaknesses that we have so that we would be very, very effective. I know that on the floor of Parliament, many people contribute, at the committee level, many people contribute, but such people have been graded either “B” or a failure, and I think it is not a fair way of treating this august House.

I would call on the Leadership to

actually bring this Editor and question him on how he went about it.

He mentioned in the document the method he used and I call that method a very colonial method of assessment. We are in modern times and the modern method of assessment, monitoring and evaluation borders on participatory evaluation and monitoring.

One does not assess somebody when one has not talked to the person. The people who are involved in the assessment, he said, were former Members of Parliament and some journalists. Where are those former Members of Parliament who did the assessment? What do they know

about each and every one of us over here? Where are those journalists who did the assessment? What do they know about each and every one in this House? I call on everybody to condemn this and put it in the garbage can.

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker,
Mr Samuel K. Obodai (NPP - Agona West) 11:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I rise to support the Statement made by my Hon Colleagues and to commend them for coming out with these Statements.
Madam Speaker, my worry about this issue is that the Editor is a Nigerian - [Interruptions] - In any case, he lives in the United States of America (USA).
Let us ask ourselves, the Congressmen in the USA are much more close to him there, what assessment has he been able to do? Madam Speaker, I think that we need to condemn it totally. We should not encourage this at all in this country.
Madam Speaker, if we are not careful, they can undo a government. They can throw the country into chaos. So I call on our Leaders and Madam Speaker, your goodself, to come out with a strong Statement, condemning this action so that we will never entertain this thing in our country.
On this note, I want to thank you for
the opportunity.
Mr Sampson Ahi (NDC - Juaboso) 11:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my Hon Colleagues for bringing out these important Statements.
Madam Speaker, I have a problem with the grades given to Leadership.
Mr Sampson Ahi (NDC - Juaboso) 11:30 a.m.
If you go through the report, you would see that among the Leadership, the least they got was “B”. We all know that sometimes, when an important issue comes out for us to comment on, lists are given to Madam Speaker and even if one wants to contribute, because one's name is not on the list, one would not be called. But our Leaders, because they are in Leadership, whatever comes up on this floor, they get the opportunity to comment on it.

Also, I call on the Leadership that henceforth the list of people to contribute on issues on the floor should not be given to Madam Speaker again. [Hear! Hear!] They should give equal opportunity to all Members of Parliament to express themselves. [Hear! Hear!]

If this thing happens, all of us would be given better grades, even though I am condemning the grading from Africa- watch Magazine.

Madam Speaker, the most dangerous

aspect of this is that, when you go to the various regions -- our friends from the media are now categorising it according to the regions. And they say Western Region, Papa Owusu-Ankomah had “A-”, he is the first -- and they will be reading it -- In the Volta Region, this one was the first Member of Parliament, that one was the last. The damage this thing is doing to Members of Parliament is very serious.

That is why I am calling on the Leadership to see this issue as very

critical and important. I want to also echo that the Editor should be called to face the Privileges Committee because all of us are taking this thing seriously.

This thing has a tendency of preventing Members of Parliament (MPs) who are performing creditably here from coming to Parliament after 2012. I just came from my constituency. Some people have just photocopied it and have posted it on public notice boards - [Laughter.] It is very serious. And the simple interpretation they are giving to it is that, Members of Parliament wrote an examination and the results came out and Member of Parliament “A” had this, Member of Parliament “B” had that.

Examination? When did we sit to write examinations in this Chamber?
Madam Speaker 11:40 a.m.
I thank you, Hon Member.
Mr Maama Y. Afful (NPP - Jaman South) 11:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I rise here to condemn the bogus piece written by Mr. Mallory. Before anything, I would like to quote from the Editor's own mouth:
“Our aim is not to disgrace or to bring any politician down.”
He went on to say, “for now Africa- watch will not comment on the grades”. They will leave the interpretations and the analysis to their readers. If he tells me the aim of doing this is not to disgrace Hon
Mr Maama Y. Afful (NPP - Jaman South) 11:40 a.m.

Members, and also went ahead to tell us he is going to leave the analysis and the rest to the readers, in my opinion, clearly, what the guy did was to disgrace Hon Members.

Madam Speaker, listening to the previous contributors, it looks as if all of them are welcoming the piece or the work being done by Mr Mallory. I do not think I agree with them. I do not think we should set a precedent. Since this thing came out, I have been on the internet. I have looked in Parliaments all over the world, I did not come across anywhere in the world where Hon Members are graded. What I came across was that the institution itself is graded. So if Hon Members are saying they welcome this, I do not agree with them. I think we should condemn this.

As much as I disagree with Mr Mallory, I also disagree with Hon Members trying to call him to the Privileges Committee. I think if one is a public figure, these things come with it. So bringing him to the Privileges Committee, I do not think it is important.

Madam Speaker, the guy gave five benchmarks that he used in coming up with this assessment. I would like to go over three of them. The first one is knowledge about lawmaking and the Constitution. Madam Speaker, it is like going to Kumasi Magazine and meeting a bunch of mechanics and without talking to them, one walks out and says, “Oh I went to the Kumasi Magazine and even though I did not talk to them, I am going to give mechanic “A”, a “C+”, mechanic “B”, a “D-” and mechanic “E”, an “F”

The criteria used in giving those grades are, one, removing engines from cars and installing them”. How does one grade those mechanics without actually finding out from them how to remove engines and how to replace engines? That is the

first one.

Number four on the list - “tolerance of views divergent to his/or her party's policies and agenda”. Madam Speaker, this is another bizarre case here. I do not know how he graded me on this front. I do not want to say anything there.
Madam Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member, yes?
Mr Afful 11:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, this guy, in coming out with this product, he said he consulted senior Members of Parliament , former Members of Parliament and our friends up there -- some of them. My question here is, who were those Members of Parliament? Were they those who were defeated in the primaries or those who lost in the general elections? I must say I do not know anybody who was defeated in the primaries or lost the general election to a new person up here. If you should call that person, I do not think that person is going to give any fair assessment of the one he lost to. So that alone, in my opinion, was very flawed in his assessment.
I do not want to waste time here. I believe
Madam Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Wind up.
Mr Afful 11:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I believe what this guy is up to is to - I think he has two motives here. One is to try to make money, that is for sure; and number two; what he said, he was not going to do that. The second one was to actually bring down Hon Members, I think. So I believe we should all condemn this piece of garbage. But I do not think we should bring him to the Privileges Committee. He is a journalist, he is doing his work. Let us leave him but at least, somebody should tell him that if he wants to do this thing, he must make sure he does it right --
Madam Speaker 11:50 a.m.
If you do not think it is a breach of anything, then why are you condemning it? In any case, I think we have a few minutes. Let us hear our Hon Leaders and then I will make the decision - [Pause.]
Yes, shall we start with the Hon Minority Leader? Hon Minority Leader, do you have something to contribute? Well, I am being prevailed upon to have one more from each side. [An Hon Member - Two, two.] So let us hear you, and then we hear Hon Nitiwul. Yes, and very quickly, please.

Deputy Minister for Energy (Mr Inusah A. B. Fuseini): Madam Speaker, I am rising to support the call to haul the Editor of the Africawatch before this House. Madam Speaker, I am doing so not because I am a Member of Parliament -- and many other Hon Members of Parliament were assessed and graded by this man who purports to have recruited senior journalists who watched us from afar and assigned marks to us.

I am doing so because, Madam Speaker, in purporting to assess Parliament, the Editor has roped in the Speaker and that is the most serious of the matters.

Madam Speaker, you are not a Member of Parliament but you preside over this House. If we can talk of a constituency with regard to Madam Speaker, probably, we would say that Madam Speaker's constituency is this Parliament. But Madam Speaker, this is not a constituency.

The Standing Orders of this House clearly say that your decisions and rulings in this House cannot be questioned in any court of law or outside this House. Madam

Speaker, your assessment, even though you have been given a “B+”, is an affront to the dignity of this House. It means your presiding over decisions in this House and over the conduct of business in this House have been called into question by the Editor of the Africawatch. And in calling your decision into question, he has purportedly graded you. And that is a breach of the Standing Orders of this House.

Madam Speaker, the Standing Orders of Parliament, especially Order 20 says clearly and with your permission, I beg to quote:

“There shall be freedom of speech, debate and proceedings in Parliament and that freedom shall not be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.”

Madam Speaker, even though this is a general provision and that is why I started my intervention by saying that we are Members of Parliament and by reason of that, any person who purports to have an interest in the democratic development of this country must not question our conduct in this House.

But Madam Speaker, you are not. You cannot by anyway or by any stretch of imagination be re-assessed. It is important that Steve be brought into this House to answer to the question why in purporting to grade Hon Members of this House, he has added you.

Madam Speaker, you do not go to sit on radio; you do not go to sit on television; when you are attacked, you do not intervene to clear your name; when your ruling is questioned in this House, it is questioned pursuant to Orders of this House. Someone thinks that, sitting far away in America, he can question your decisions.

Madam Speaker, many have said and that is true, that you are new, you are barely two years in the Chair, you have been graded vis-à-vis those who have been here many, many more times. The same criterion has been used for the Members of Parliament who have just come into this House.

Madam Speaker, Steve Mallory appears not to know the nuances of this House; the conventions and practices of this House, that we have frontliners and backbenchers. Madam Speaker, this is why Steve Mallory and Editor of Africa- watch must be brought to answer to questions that have been raised in this House this morning about his capacity and breach of privileges of the Orders of this House.
Madam Speaker 11:50 a.m.
I thank you.
Hon Member for Bimbilla, Mr Nitiwul, last word before I get to the Leaders.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul (NPP - Bimbilla) 11:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thanks for giving me the last opportunity just before Leadership.
Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate the two Hon Members who first made the Statements. They did very well in their submissions and their analyses. But Madam Speaker, if the publishers and editors of the Magazine wanted to make money, they would have achieved it and if they wanted to make money in the future and they continued with it, they would achieve that aim, because I can be sure that many people who would want to contest Members of Parliament (MPs) and many people who would want to stay back would want to see what they can do to get better marks next time.
Madam Speaker, but the Magazine has caused a permanent damage to Parliament and very soon I would prove why I say that. It has caused permanent
damage to Hon Members of Parliament, to Madam Speaker, your goodself and to the Leadership as well.
Madam Speaker, the first time I heard this -- I heard it - I do not speak Twi very well but Madam Speaker, I heard somebody say: “MPs abon abon, abon! [Interruptions.] Madam Speaker, that is exactly what I heard; that those who got “Fs” were the Members of Parliament who knew next to nothing. That they Members of Parliament just come and sit here and drink tea. I heard it myself. Madam Speaker, what was worst off is that they alluded to the fact that you do not call some Member of Parliament because you know they cannot perform.
Madam Speaker, it is a threat to your leadership. The next time a backbencher gets up and Madam Speaker, you do not call him/her, you know what would happen. It is a threat to your leadership. And for Leadership themselves, I do not know how many backbenchers would sit down and say that, well, Committee Chairmen, Ranking Members should speak and back- benchers should not speak. There is going to be trouble.
Madam Speaker, the impact on the Member of Parliament themselves can be both positive and negative. Positive, especially when the Member of Parliament decides to work well and negative, when people are using this in your constituency to run you down. So many Members of Parliament would rather run to their constituencies to protect themselves than sit in Parliament to work.
Madam Speaker, there is a possibility that there could be rebellion in this Parliament because of what this Magazine has done. When our sovereign Speaker of Parliament, our hard working Speaker of Parliament has been graded a “B+” and her two Deputies have been graded “A- ” What is the meaning of that? Madam Speaker, what is the meaning of that? It is the biggest insult to the sovereign Parliament of Ghana.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul (NPP - Bimbilla) 11:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, when one Leader has been graded and an “A” and another Leader has been graded a “B+”, what is the meaning of that? What is the impact of that? What does he want to show? It is a recipe for disaster and the earlier we called this Mr Steve Mallory to order, the better for all of us, especially in Parliament. I know the man very well. In fact, I have taken dinner in his House in New Jersey before, so I know him very well.
Madam Speaker, if Leadership and your goodself do not take very stringent measures, he would continue and continue and continue. What we are discussing here would go next to nothing. I believe we should report this man to the National Media Commission (NMC) to come and explain why he graded us the way he graded, to come and testify that if you cannot do a good job, then you do not start it.
Madam Speaker, if you know you cannot grade Members of Parliament well, if you know you cannot grade Members of Parliament in the four core functions of what the Member of Parliament does; the legislative function, the oversight function, the developmental function and the representative of the people function. If you know you cannot grade a Member of Parliament effectively based on these functions and you just take the ability to show vote in the House here, that is the ability of the Member of Parliament to stand on his feet and talk for hours on end; if you use that alone to grade a Member of Parliament, Madam Speaker, I beg to differ. I think it is not good for Parliament and he is setting a very bad example.
The man should be called to the National Media Commission (NMC) to explain and I want representatives or I want people who will support me to take him to the NMC to explain to us the criteria he used, because I disagree with what he said. What is ethics? Madam Speaker, when we say ethics, what ethics
did he use? Is it ethics of Parliament or his own ethics? I do not think he has one that he used. Is it dress code, is it the fact that the Member of Parliament is free with others, is it that - What is it, what did he use?
Madam Speaker, when he says “knowledge about lawmaking and constitution”, has he tested any Member of Parliament on the Constitution and he found that he failed? Has he tested any Member of Parliament on the floor of the House and he thinks that he or she did not do well? Madam Speaker, when we go to the committee level, we are able to do our work and do it properly; I contribute and my Chairman comes to read it on the floor of the House and then you give the Chairman an “A” and you give me a “D” or an “F”; I think that there would be rebellion; I think that there would be a challenge to the authority of Parliament.
Madam Speaker, I believe there should be a way forward for all of us. It is a wake-up call for Parliament as well, that look, people are not watching us just because they think they can watch us for good, they also use it for disservice to Parliament. Madam Speaker, I believe that Parliament itself should now use this as an opportunity to ensure that we have offices both in our constituencies and then in Accra. And have research assistants who will do proper job for us to be effective on the floor of the House.
Madam Speaker, I cannot understand that there is any Parliament in this world that does not have offices. I cannot understand that this is the only Parliament where the offices are in the car booths of Members of Parliament and that every time the Executive comes to give us promises. Madam Speaker, but unfortunately, our hands are tied.
Article 181 of the Constitution states clearly that as Parliament which is supposed to be the lawmaking body,
cannot make any law that has financial implications, and for that matter, Parliament cannot look for offices itself except the Executive comes to say, “well, today we want to improve your work, so we will give you offices.”
I believe it is time for Parliament to do a lot of capacity building for Members of Parliament , I believe it is time for Parliament to do a lot of workshops for Members of Parliament , I believe it is time for Parliament to get effective support staff. Go anywhere, no Member of Parliament has less than five effective support staff. You come here and Members of Parliament are given one national service personnel, you have no place to use him to work and the man becomes ineffective and the next day you give him an ‘F'.

Madam Speaker, thank you very much and thank you for giving me the opportunity.
Madam Speaker noon
I thank you, Hon Nitiwul. You have summed up the whole matter in your speech.
Now, I will go to the Hon Leaders if they want to make contributions.
Hon Members, the Leaders will help to solve this matter. Let us take five minutes each from them and then we go on. Hon Members, this is your work, this is the work of the Hon Leaders. Five minutes each, then we move on.
Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) noon
Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to add my voice to the complaints that have come from two of our Hon Colleagues.
I have listened to the contributions from Hon Members and I think that is what it should be.
Madam Speaker, before going further, I believe the assessment per se if it is correctly motivated, maybe, should be commended. But first of all, we must question the motive of the person making the assessment --
Madam Speaker noon
Five minutes each and then we move on.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noon
The person making the assessment, Madam Speaker, I have not read the document but listening to Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (Member of Parliament for Manyhia), in his presentation, he quotes from the Magazine and for emphasis, let me quote what it said. The Magazine goes further to say that:
“We are in a deep and a new democratic era in which political officials entrusted with the destiny of the country can no longer be allowed to just float, collect their emoluments and remain unaccountable to the people who elected them”.
Madam Speaker, right from the very outset, the motive of the person then is unveiled. Clearly, my understanding of this is that, it is informed by mischief, to ridicule Hon Members of Parliament and that is where I have my problem. If we are to accept it, then the person must demonstrate to us that, really, the purpose for setting out to do this job, maybe, is to help us if there are any deficiencies in our work, to help us effect remedies to the shortcomings in order to enhance our democratic governance. But if he sets out in this manner, then clearly, he establishes a path of mischief, and in my opinion, that is very worrying.
Madam Speaker, then you go to the yardstick employed by the person who
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
conducted the research. I have spoken at length at various media on this and I have been very categorical that the yardstick employed is not comprehensive enough. Madam Speaker, we all do acknowledge that over 60 per cent of the business transacted in this House is conducted at the level of committees. There is this assertion that a Parliament is as strong as its committees make it.
So if one wants to assess Members of Parliament but does not include work that is done at the committee level, certainly, it cannot be complete, it cannot be comprehensive. And in my opinion, that then will imply that the result that ensues from the yardstick employed by the person, would not be entirely accurate.
Madam Speaker, we all know that at committees, we strive to be very consensual and to that extent, it is least partisan. Madam Speaker, at the level of the committees, a suggestion is made by one person or two persons. The committee, because of the depth of the submission, adopts it. When the report of that committee is coming to the plenary, it does not include the name of the person who even made the suggestion. What does that mean? The person whose idea Parliament has tapped, it comes to the plenary, plenary sees wisdom in the position adopted by the committee and plenary by consensus also adopts the report of the committee.
It means that, that report came to be adopted by plenary because of one person; the contribution of one person at the level of the committee and yet when it comes to plenary, the person is not even mentioned, credit is not given to him. And so, it is important if the person wants to help us to have included work at the committee level and to the extent that it does not include work at the committee level, in my candid opinion, I believe the results cannot be accurate.
Madam Speaker, I believe, as we have heard, if we are not careful about this, it may lead to some indiscipline in the House. Some signals have been given by some contributors that they would not wait to be called even if they do not register on your radar, to be called, they will gate- crash your radar and that could be internally disastrous for you. And it becomes difficult for Leadership to help you, Madam Speaker, to ensure that business is conducted in an orderly manner.
It is true that Members would want to speak to issues but given the time that we operate in this House, it is not possible on any single matter, to allow everybody to speak on the issue.
Madam Speaker, if you look at the criteria that the person employed, and I looked at the second one, “how active Members are in legislative business”, Madam Speaker, even if you consider that one alone, how is it to be understood? - that of a person coming to Parliament often? Coming and staying or coming and disappearing?
Are you going to base it on the contribution of that person or the single person, maybe, as many times as often, as many times as possible as the person speaks in this House? Madam Speaker, are you going to just assign weight to the contribution of that person? Somebody speaks once but he makes a very, very intelligent contribution and so, how are you to determine the activeness of the person in legislative business?
Madam Speaker, consider a person like the Member for Akropong (Hon William Ofori Boafo) who everybody acknowledges that since this Fifth Parliament, he has been most helpful in the making of pieces of legislation in this House, especially at the Consideration Stage. I am not too sure of the grade that
“W. O.” got. I am not too sure. “W. O” what was your grade? (Interruptions.] Such a person definitely ought to be given greater recognition than has been given him.

Madam Speaker, the functions of a Member of Parliament in this House, as has been articulated brilliantly by the Hon Member for Bimbilla (Mr Dominic Nitiwul) -- Madam Speaker, the principal functions of a Member of Parliament are legislative, deliberative, which we conduct in this House, representative, informative, the power of the purse and oversight responsibilities -- six in all. One cannot use one or two to assess a person and say that one has done his best. Even if we limit it to the plenary, one would want to know how often the assessors stayed in this House.

So Madam Speaker, on all fours, it becomes obvious that the criteria are not comprehensive enough. Maybe, one could say that it could be a useful beginning, but to the extent that it does not reflect the totality of work in this House, to the extent that the result ensuing from the conducts of the research would not reflect or does not reflect the competences of Hon Members of Parliament here. I believe the results are flawed and are reprehensible. So let us stand up to it.

Madam Speaker, let me assure Hon Colleagues that I was not consulted. I do not even know whoever did this. I am not too sure my Hon Colleague on the other side was also involved or consulted in the assessment. So let Hon Members be assured that Leadership had no role in this, and let our compatriots out there in the constituencies - because of this admission, that the assessment could not

be correct and that the result ensuing from it is also incorrect or inaccurate, let them not hold the results against Hon Colleague Members of Parliament.

Madam Speaker, if they want to do a better job, if maybe, we see them next time round, we would be able to incorporate certain fundamental issues which they may add in order to improve what they have set out to do. But first of all, let them come with a cleaner conscience, a better motive will help them to achieve - because after all, we from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) group have already been mentioned by Dr Matthew Prempeh, that we wanted to assess our Hon Members, which was vehemently opposed by the Hon Member for Sekondi, himself a former Majority Leader.

But we have forgiven him on that because we believe we need to peer review ourselves, to correct ourselves and to set ourselves on a better platform to enhance and expand our democratic governance.

Madam Speaker, I thank you very much

for the opportunity.
Madam Speaker 12:10 p.m.
I thank you,
Majority Leader (Mr Cletus A.
Avoka): Madam Speaker, I want to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by many of our Hon Colleagues who have spoken already, that the grading that we are reading now is not a fair assessment or a fair reflection of the input or the work of Hon Members of Parliament in this august House. Madam Speaker, let me make some few or preliminary observations before I go to what I mean by this.
First and foremost, I want to state, like
the Hon Minority Leader has just ended in his speech, that we the Leadership on the Minority side and the Majority side are
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
not privy to this assessment. We were not consulted and were not sensitised and we are not part of this assessment. We want to let all Hon Members know that this has taken us by surprise and that as Leaders of this august House, we have confidence and faith in our Hon Members of Parliament and in ourselves and therefore, we are not privy or part of this assessment.
Secondly, let me also observe that
I wonder whether the Magazine or the author of this assessment has the ability and capacity to undertake the assignment that we are now complaining about. Do they have the knowledge and the experience to be able to assess 230 Hon Members of this august House? I am asking that because if you look at the factors that they used and the conclusion that they arrived at, you would agree with me that the Magazine or the author of this assessment does not have the ability and the capacity, the knowledge and the experience to be able to have undertaken this assessment the way they have done.
Madam Speaker, first and foremost,
you the Rt. Hon Speaker provide the platform for us to do business in this august House and nobody since January 2009, that you assumed the leadership of this august House, can fault you. You have been able to moderate the work between the Majority and the Minority sides. You have been able to ensure that there is smooth discharge of government business in this House. You have been able to ensure that all shades of opinion are canvassed in this House and that we have passed laws that we have not been faulted.
Yet some members, be they your deputies or leadership or some Hon Members can be graded higher than the fellow who has provided this platform. That is scandalous. That is very, very scandalous and that is why I started by saying that I do not think that the
Magazine has the capacity and the ability to undertake that assessment that they have done.
Madam Speaker, let me just briefly,
without repeating what Hon Members have already said, examine the criteria, the factors they used in assessing us. The first one is knowledge about lawmaking and the Constitution. If we talk about knowledge, about lawmaking and the Constitution, Madam Speaker, with the greatest respect to the Magazine, this is not a consultative or constituent assembly.
This is not a constituent assembly that is to draft a constitution. It is not that everyday, every time we are applying the Constitution. No. There are so many things that we do here and sometimes we do not refer to the Constitution. So to grade Hon Members who have not had the opportunity to discuss from article 1 to the end or to debate the Constitution that they are deficient in the Constitution, I think that it is unfair.
Similarly, if we talk about lawmaking, lawmaking, like the Hon Minority Leader said and others have also said, does not necessarily begin in this Chamber and end in this Chamber in all. A lot of the law- making process is also done outside this Chamber and as some Hon Members have observed, the committees that contribute a lot to lawmaking are done in camera. So what is the basis of this assessment of Hon Members on lawmaking and the Constitution?
I think that is where we think that the Magazine has erred in using either wrong statistics or wrong data to assess us and to indicate that some Hon Members are not knowledgeable in either lawmaking or Constitution making. We are not here to make a constitution and that is where I say they have faulted.
Madam Speaker, if we take the second one, it says, “how active they are in legislative business.” We have already exhausted that one. Legislative business is not done in the Chamber alone. It is done even outside the Chamber.
Then “contribution to Parliamentary
debate and how their ideas and suggestions reflect society's needs and interests.” How can one man assess this? How possible that somebody can arrogate to himself the power to have gone to all parts of the country and to determine that our ideas do not reflect the needs of society? Is it your society or whose society? That is certainly wrong.
It is unfair.

Look at the fourth one, “tolerance of views divergent to his or her party's policies and agents”. “Tolerance to views”. Is it the Leadership? Is every Member of Parliament here a Leader or the President of Ghana? How can he make this assessment and find faults with some Hon Members of Parliament, that they are not tolerant to views? What is the basis for saying that?

Are we not entitled to different opinions? Is that not why we have formed different political parties, that we have one goal but different methods of arriving at that goal? A penalty goal or a goal set up by set pieces; a corner goal or whatever, is still a goal but there are different approaches.

So, the fact that we have disagreed to agree does not mean that we are at fault. And indeed Madam Speaker, in almost 99 per cent of the cases here, we arrive at them by consensus. There have been very few occasions where we do not arrive at matters by consensus and that constitute about a negligible percentage of the business we do here. But in many cases, we arrive at the conclusion of the business of this House by consensus. That is why we say that either they lack the ability or the experience or the knowledge or they are being mischievous.

Madam Speaker, the other one is ethics, manners; I do not know the definition of “ethics” that they have. But if you are talking about ethics, you are talking about the ethics of Parliament. Is it our dress code? Is it our conduct in the Chamber? Is it the way we speak? Is it the way we address issues, et cetera? What type of ethics did they employ to be able to assess us? This is a grey area and I think it is unfair for one man to assess me and my Colleagues and grade others “F” as failures. They have failed in what aspect?

Madam Speaker, one could go on lamenting on this subject but many Hon Members have spoken so eloquently on it that I do not want to belabour the point. I would want to conclude by reassuring Hon Members, that we have confidence in all of them, we have faith in them. Their constituents have faith and confidence in them and elected them. [Hear! Hear!] . Whatever level that you find yourselves and let Leadership at the end of the day and the good people of this country judge us and not one magazine and one author.
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
I thank you very much, Hon Leader of the House. I will
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
now consider the request made to refer this matter or not to the Privileges Committee.
Hon Members, I admitted two Statements from Hon Members of Parliament and that brought the issue as to the facts of this matter where one Mr Steve Mallory, Editor of the Africawatch Magazine had published ratings of Members of Parliament, the Speaker and Ministers of State by his own criteria unknown to any of us.
I have considered the contents of the Statements carefully and I have heard from Members of Parliament, your comments on this matter. It is left to me to make a decision what we should do. Our Leaders have led the way and in their submissions, have contributed to helping me to come to a fair conclusion and decision.
It is to be remembered that the Cons t i tu t ion , a r t i c le 122 s ta tes categorically and with your permission, I quote:
“An act or omiss ion which obstructs or impedes Parliament in the performance of its functions or which obstructs or impedes a member or officer of Parliament in the discharge of his duties, or affronts the dignity of Parliament or which tends either directly or indirectly to produce that result, is contempt of Parliament.”
Hon Members, coupled with that is our own Standing Order 30 (2):
“Any act or omission which affronts the dignity of Parliament or which tends either directly, or indirectly to bring the name of Parliament into disrepute.”
I have come to the conclusion after hearing everything that the publication has done exactly that. It has contravened the constitutional provision; it has also contravened Standing Order 30 (2) and has brought Parliament into disrepute -- [Hear! Hear!]-- by attacking Hon Members of Parliament, the Speaker and members of the Executive like Hon Ministers.

My duty is to keep the integrity of Parliament and I will do so and I am sure Hon Members of Parliament will also do so. And our Leaders will make sure that Parliament is kept sacrosanct and we do our work according to the law. I refer it to the Privileges Committee for investigation and report.

Whatever report is brought to us will be considered when we receive it because we have to nip this thing in the bud before it escalates.

Thank you Honourables.

Mr Nitiwul - rose
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Not you but the Hon Member in front of you. Hon Joe Appiah, I shut you down when you got up about something and I said let us finish with the list. Do you have something or you are satisfied?
Mr Justice Joe Appiah 12:30 p.m.
Speaker, we received the Business Statement last week Friday and there were Questions to be answered this week. But looking through the Order Paper, there are no Questions. So, I need your guidance on this issue.
Madam Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Well, I will go to
the Leader but if they have not listed them, then it means they are not coming on.
Mr Avoka 12:30 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Hon
Member is right in that the Hon Minister for the Interior was scheduled to answer Questions today but due to circumstances beyond his control, he has to travel to the Northern Region in the Bunkpurugu/ Yunyoo District or Constituency, where there was some conflict there some two months ago and there are alleged to be Ghanaians who have fled the area to Togo as refugees.
So there has been pressure on the part of Government to file a report in respect of that development. Unfortunately, the Business Committee could not reach the Minister to be able to ascertain his availability before programming him to come and answer the Questions. After he was programmed, he had to travel to
the Northern Region at this short notice to solve this matter. That is why we have left Question time out for today.
We assure Hon Colleagues that the Hon Minister for the Interior will be reprogrammed to appear on a later date to answer the Questions. That is why I want to apologize to those who have lined up Questions to ask the Minister today and at this short notice, they cannot ask those Questions.
We hope that in the future, we will notify Members early enough. We should also be able to find out from Ministers who are available and can come and answer Questions before we programme them.
The Business Committee has accepted this responsibility and will take note accordingly.
Thank you.
Mr Appiah 12:30 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think
we have the Deputy Ministers.
Madam Speaker 12:30 p.m.
I think we should
accept it that it will come on when it is listed.
Thank you Hon Member.
Yes, Hon Leader, the next item is the Commencement of Public Business - Students Loan Trust Fund Bill - is it coming on?
Mr Cletus A. Avoka 12:30 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
we will like to have the winnowing process so that we can reduce the number of amendments at the committee stage before we come back here.
So, against that background, I beg to
move, that we do adjourn proceedings for today until tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
Those who have filed amendments in respect of the Students Loan Trust Fund Bill, please, come to the new block,
Mr Cletus A. Avoka 12:30 p.m.

the committee room and the committee members will be there, the Minister for Education and the Attorney General and Minister for Justice herself will be there, so that we will do some winnowing. Those we winnow today, we will take them tomorrow as amendments.

Thank you.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I rise to second the Motion for adjournment but before doing that, to remind that the Special Committee on Constitution Review met last week and we programmed to receive memoranda from Members of Parliament. If Members are ready, they may channel their memoranda to the Clerk of that Committee, Mr Ebenezer Djietror. So hence, if anybody has anything, any suggestion, any memorandum, he may submit them to Mr Djietror.
Madam Speaker, on that note, I beg to second the Motion moved by the Majority Leader.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:30 p.m.