General News of Monday, 17 July 2017
The Chairman of the Committee on Government Assurances (CGA), Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo, has cautioned that ministers of state who fail to honour their promises, assurances and undertakings may lose their positions as Parliament will recommend their removal.
He said the committee would hold public hearings to question ministers of state on the extent of work they had executed per the timelines they had given on the floor of Parliament or at committees of Parliament. It would also visit the project sites for verification.
Thereafter, he said, the committee would write a report to Parliament for a debate on the performance of the minister of state in question, and if “Parliament feels that the performance of the minister of state is so abysmal, it will recommend his reshuffle to the Executive”.
Speaking with the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a two-day orientation workshop for members of the CGA at Ada at the weekend, Mr Addo said the decision to remove or reshuffle a minister of state would be in the domain of the Executive.
“If their performance is deemed so bad, there are means that we (the Parliament) can use to either refer you to the Executive to be reshuffled or make the recommendation; but it is up to the Executive to act,” he said.
Mr Addo said the Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament allowed the committee to question ministers of state on the promises and pledges made in connection with their specific ministries in the State of the Nation Address and budget estimates.
Therefore, he said, the CGA would seek answers on the extent of work on and implementation of key government policies, including the execution of the ‘one district, one-factory’ policy, the implementation of the free senior high schools policy and the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme.
Mr Addo assured ministers of state that the CGA was not interested in witch-hunting and indicated that the interest of the committee was to see to the implementation of government policies, programmes and projects, saying, “We want the government to succeed.”
He said if the challenge in implementation had to do with financial constraints, the public presentation of the case would compel the relevant authorities to release the funds for the execution of the projects.
Speaking earlier at the workshop, the Ranking Member on the CGA, Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah, gave an assurance that members of the Minority on the committee would cooperate with the Majority members “to make the committee work”.
He said the CGA would constitute a five-member committee to take down notes on the promises and assurances given by ministers on the floor of Parliament.
He added that the committee would go through the hansard to agree on the statements that constituted assurances or promises in the presentations of ministers.
The Second Deputy Majority Whip, Mr Moses Anim, assured the CGA that it had the support of the leadership of Parliament in its work of pursuing ministers to honour their promises, assurances and undertakings to the citizenry.
The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng, urged members of the committee to improve their engagement with the media to be able to communicate their message more effectively.