AT A GLANCE

  • Report of the Parliamentary Committee probing the “Cash-for-Seat” saga clears the Ministry of Trade and Industry, saying the motion has no merit

  • The Committee has asked Parliament to reconsider the mechanism for recalls to the house as it describes some recalls as “needless”

  • The Committee has recommended that members who troop to the media to make allegations should not to be heard in Parliament when they approach the house with same matters 

The Parliamentary Committee set up to investigate the Ministry of Trade and Industry on monies collected from the Ghana Business Expatriate Awards (GEBA) has cleared the Ministry of any wrongdoing.
A copy of the Committee’s report intercepted by adomonline.com has concluded that “after the hearings and evaluation of the evidence adduced before it [the Committee] has come to the realization that there is no merit in the allegation leveled against the Ministry of Trade and Industry as contained in the motion”.
Also Read: Speaker sets up 5-member C’ttee to probe cash-for-seat saga after thorough debate
The Committee through the report is also recommending a re-look at the re-call mechanism of parliament as it seeks to suggest that the mandatory nature of the mechanism has made it easy for it to be invoked “needlessly”.
The report which is yet to be laid before plenary subtly chides some members of the minority as it recommends among other things that “the practice of some members trooping to the media to make allegations against highly placed officials must cease”.
Also Read: Minority request emergency parliamentary sitting on cash-for-seat scandal
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye set up a five-member Committee to probe the alleged sale of presidential seats to expatriates by the Trades Ministry following a an urgent motion filed by the Minority demanding a full-scale investigation into the matter.
The constitution of the Committee was done in spite of the Majority members of the house challenging the competence of the motion on the grounds of, what they described as, “irregularities”.
After a lot of back and forth, however, the Speaker set up a five-member Committee with the mandate to look at:
When did the matter under consideration arise; can it be perceived in terms of what is described as Novus actus interveniens (meaning is this something new that has arisen; could the matter have been raised during the regular sitting session with prudent vigilance; and has the matter been raised in any form whatsoever during the session and why raise it in moment Parliament is on recess.
Also Read: Minority request emergency parliamentary sitting on cash-for-seat scandal
Adomonline.com can report that based on the Committee’s terms of reference, therefore, it has recommended:

  1. That the Controller and Accountant General and the Ministry of Finance should consider in the formulation of the new Regulation of the PFM [Public Financial Management] Act, adequate provision to cater for public private partnership arrangement and emerging and contemporary issues
  2. That there is the need to have a second look at the recall mechanism and ensure that it is not needlessly invoked any time because of its mandatory nature in the Constitution if the Speaker is not satisfied with that there is a good reason for the summoning, he may dispense with the meeting. This test is likely to curtail frivolous and vexatious request for a recall.
  3. That the practice of some members trooping to the media to make allegations against highly placed officials must cease. The Committee if of the view that Members of Parliament who indulge in such acts ought not to be heard in Parliament if they should thereafter bring those matters before Parliament to deliberate on them.

Even though the Minority is yet to make their views known on the report, it is expected that they may voice their displeasure as they had earlier threatened to issue a dissenting report.


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