September 18, 2017

Leader of Government Business and Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has revealed that when work is done on the revision of the standing orders of the House, it will strengthen the various committees of the House.

He noted that, committees as they stand now have not been strengthened enough to stand the test of time, and pointed out that, the committee working on the revision of the standing orders has one more meeting to conclude on its work and present it to the plenary; and promise it will be approved before the end of the year.

He lamented over the delay in presenting the revised standing orders to the plenary, saying the standing orders have under gone some workings, under four different Speakers.

As the current Speaker Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye is very determine to ensure that the House has a new standing order in place to stand the test of time.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs pointed out that, the constitution mandates the President to appoint majority of his Ministers and Deputies from Parliament, hence majority of the MPs in power are appointed and leaves few of the MPs on the majority side to serve, and this, does not make the committees strong.

He further added most MPs do not come to Parliament to learn as lawmakers, but rather come to the House with the hope that their party will capture power and they will be appointed as Ministers or Deputies.

“They pass through Parliament without learning, instead of allowing Parliament to pass through them”.
He advocated for resources to be made available to Committees to carry out their work whiles the capacity of MPs’ are developed to work effectively.

He lamented over a practice where MPs on various committees are not on top of issues, so when Ministers are appearing before them they see it is as a normal appearance. But in other jurisdictions where the committees are strong and well vest on issues, Ministers fear and shiver when appearing before committees.

He observed that the situation does not help our democracy because if a Minister comes to a committee and realized that the committee members do not know what they are about. This is why we want this changes to ensure that we strengthen the various committees, he added.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/