27th May 2024

Ato Forson

Parliament says that it is yet to receive a filed question on the expenditure returns of GHC280.3million allocated for the fight against COVID-19 during the three-week partial lockdown.

It has explained that per the rules and practices of the House, questions are not filed in the name of, or by caucuses.

“Rather a member seeking a response to a specific issue would file a question in his or her name, signed by the member as provided for in Standing Order 64,” said a statement from the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament.

The statement was a reaction to an allegation by the Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Essiam, Cassiel Ato Forson, that a question on the expenditure returns of an amount for the fight against the coronavirus during the lockdown period is yet to receive an answer, three weeks after the question was filed.

The allegation

The NDC wants the Auditor-General to undertake a special audit into the GHS280.3 million that was allocated by the government for the provision of food, water and sanitation under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).

Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson, said the media must hold the government to account for huge financial resources entrusted into its hands during the COVID-19 period since, in his view, the programme is associated with “unprecedented levels of profligacy, waste and corruption that Ghanaians have witnessed under the Akufo-Addo government in the last three and a half years.”

Clarification

The statement noted that, having looked into the matter, there seemed to be no indication from the MP that he had filed an earlier question.

“From our records in Parliament, there is no specific Question with the said amount filed by the Honourable Member or any Member for that. Rather reference is made to a Question filed earlier by a Member of the Minority seeking to ‘ask the Minister of Health what emergency preparedness and response plan the Ministry has put in place to help contain the spread of COVID-19 virus and the details of how the 100 Million Dollars announced by the President will be spent’,” it noted.

The statement further indicated that “upon further consultation with the Honourable Member, he indicated that he intends to file a Question today (June 2, 2020) on the matter raised in the media.”

Parliament says once the question is filed, it will be processed in accordance with the rules of the House.

Business Committee

Similarly, the statement debunked comment which suggested that the Majority Leader, who is also the Chairman of the Business Committee, had alluded the creation of new constituencies in his presentation on Friday May 20, 2020 of the Business Statement for this week.

“No such presentation has been made by the Majority Leader. In fact, the Majority Leader, in the said presentation, stated categorically that Committee on Subsidiary Legislation should endeavour to submit its report on the Public Elections (Registration of Regulation of Voters) (Amendment) 2020 for the consideration of the House on or before the coming into force of the Instrument,” it clarified.

Per the statement, the Majority Leader insisted that “the Committee must submit their report to the House by Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 for consideration on Thursday June 4th, 2020. The attribution to him with regards to the creation of new constituencies is therefore wrongful.”

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