General News of Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Majority leader Alban Bagbin has said he is at a loss as to why Ghanaians mount undue pressure on parliament to pass bills that come before the house.
His comments come in the wake of questions on why the legislature has not yet passed the Conduct of Public Officers’ Bill 2013 following President John Mahama’s car gift saga.
Anti-graft campaigners have argued that the bill will clearly spell out how public officials should conduct themselves in an array of instances including receiving gifts.
But speaking to Class News, Mr Bagbin said the Conduct of Public Officers Bill and other equally important bills before the house, cannot be rushed through, arguing that such bills need time and meticulous attention to forestall negative consequences in the future.
“I don’t know what they want us to do in parliament. Sometimes when some bills come, they are so sketchy that we have to take our time to do a good job and we go back to the people, digest the bill, refine it and do what is best for this country. Then Ghanaians come and stampede us. You pass the bill and there is a problem, then they descend on us. Now anytime anything comes and they say it is under the certificate of urgency and you pass it, they say you have rubber stamped, so now we don’t know what they want us to do”, Mr Bagbin complained.
“We are going through the Conduct of Public Officers Bill and don’t forget this bill was referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and we have so many of such key bills before that committee. It is one chairman, one vice, ranking [member] and the rest, and they are going through those reports. I have chaired the committee before; I went through some of the bills. We submitted some reports including the Right to Information Bill, which, together with the Coalition of Right to Information, we completely transformed the bill that was brought to parliament into a new concept, new policies and everything to fall in line with the African module, which was approved by the AU, so it takes time to do such a good job and anytime we want to do it, then again the people descend on us that we are delaying”, the majority leader added.