Summoned Ministers must write to Parliament if they’ll be absent – Oquaye orders
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, has directed Ministers of state to write expressly to Parliament if they cannot be in the House to answer questions.
The directive follows the failure of Fisheries Minister, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, to show up in the House without any notification causing the suspension of sitting for hours.
The Speaker, therefore, said Chief Directors must ensure that Parliament is appropriately informed of the absence of Ministers.
“I am directing that, in the future, Ministers who know that they must move from place to place, time to time all in the course of official duty must ensure that, written communication of their absence must be made available to the Clerk of Parliament when such emergency and situations arise so that at least Parliament can advise itself and refix such questions accordingly.”
“It is good for the good order of events and also to show due regard to this honorable house. Mr. Clerk, we will make sure that this is appropriately conveyed to all ministries through the appropriate ministers,” he said.
Fisheries Minister’s absence forces Parliament to suspend sitting
Parliament on Thursday suspended sitting to allow the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to respond to questions asked by some Members of Parliament.
The House was informed by the Majority Leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, that the sector Minister, Mrs. Elizabeth Afoley-Quaye was unavailable because she was out of the jurisdiction.
But the Speaker was dissatisfied with the fact that none of the two Deputy Ministers or the Chief Director was present to respond to the questions.
The questions which centred on the payment of contractors who executed contracts in restocking of selected dams, waiver of tax on aquaculture input materials and the construction of a fish landing site at Dzemeni were to be asked by Mr. Frank Annoh-Dompreh, Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, and Mr. Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, Member of Parliament for South Dayi.
Parliament on Tuesday commenced sittings for the Third Meeting of the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic after resuming from their August recess.