Mr Edward Korbly Doe Adjaho, Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday sent caution to the Ministries and Ministers, who fail to respond to call of the House to answer questions.
Invoking Article 28 of the Standing Orders of Ghana’s Legislature, the Speaker reminded Members of the House that anything that impedes the work of the law-making body constitutes contempt of Parliament, and cautioned Ministries, Ministers and their Deputies that he would henceforth apply to the rule in dealing with those who refuse the call of the House to answer questions.
The warning followed the inability of Mr Vincent Oppong Asamoh, Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, who appeared on the floor of the House to respond to a question related to the Ministry on behalf of his boss, who is on another assignment.
Mr Asamoah could not answer an urgent question and another question, both of which stood in the name of Mr Augustine Collins Ntim, MP for Offinso North, because he did not bring his prepared notes.
The urgent question, advertised in the Order Paper of the day, was to ask the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing what measures had been put in place by the Ministry to ensure that the Tanoso Water Works, which broke down as a result of vehicular accident was repaired and made functional.
The other question, which was said to have been presented to the Ministry about six weeks ago, was to ask the Minister of what measures the Ministry had put in place to replace the overhead reservoir tank that had broken down for the past one year at Nkenkaasu in the Offinso North District.
But the Deputy Minister could not answer the questions under the pretest that he had not received written answers to the questions from the Ministry.
Mr Adjaho, however, warned that the House had tolerated “these issues” for far too long and there is no way the work of Parliament could move with schedule if such things continue.
He explained that the House approved Deputy Ministers because they had the capacity to assist the Ministers, and therefore they should be ready to step in their shoes.
Mr Adjaho cautioned that he would refer Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Ministries who would fail to respond to the call of the House to the appropriate committees.
He gave the Deputy Minister up to Friday to give his response.
The Speaker announced the presence of a delegation from the Committee of Equal Opportunities from the Parliament of Uganda on a visit to the House.
The Committee is on a four-day visit to Ghana, and would share in Ghana’s experience in the development of legislation on the disabled and the disadvantaged.
The visit is also to deepen the relations between Ghana and Uganda’s Parliament.