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General News of Thursday, 30 November 2017


Parliament unhappy with Executive, Assembly Press over unavailability of documents

Parliamentarians have expressed worry over delay in making documents readily available to them Parliamentarians have expressed worry over delay in making documents readily available to them

Parliament on Wednesday sent signals to the Executive Arm of Government and the Assembly Press indicating its displeasure of apparent delay in making documents readily available to the House.

Minority Chief Whip Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed-Mubarak drew the attention of the House that members were yet to have copies of some documents, including those related to Local Government, Health and Safety, Environment and Data Management that had been laid before the House.

Describing it as a worry, Alhaji Mohammed Murbarak said 14 days had already gone, and sufficient copies were yet to be made available to members, wondering if the delay would prevent the expiry date of 21-day provision for the instrument to mature into laws.

He further suggested that the Executive and the Assembly Press, the agency responsible for the printing of such documents, should ensure that enough copies of the documents were handy before they would be laid before the House.

The impression, he said, should not be created as if the Minister would lay the papers, and vanish to make it sound as if some people wanted to create embarrassment.

Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu said: “What is happening is not the best,’’ and repeated the need for enough copies of such documents to be available before they were laid before the House.

He said that such delays did not inure to openness and transparency of the work of the House.

Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, the Speaker, pointed out that the Assembly Press originally belonged to Parliament, which facilitated their work, and said a possible engagement with the Executive Arm of Government would be held to take control over the Assembly Press to curb the challenge of delay in the printing of materials for the Legislature.

He indicated that the Assembly Press earned its name due to its relationship with the Legislature and, therefore, it would not be out of place for the Legislature to manage it.

At that sitting the Speaker urged the Leadership of the House to meet and resolve all challenges that inhibit the smooth running of business in the House.

He called for the tightening of amended Standing Orders to mandate Ministers of State to make sufficient copies of Bills, Legislative Instruments and other documents presented to Parliament to enhance the work of MPs.

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