Be warned! No report, no foreign trip – Speaker tells MPs, Clerks

The Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, has cautioned  Members of Parliament (MPs) and Clerks serving on the various Committees of the House to change their ways of doing things after embarking on foreign trips on behalf of the legislature or risk incurring his wrath.

In the view of the Speaker, failure on the part of the MPs and Clerks to submit their reports to the House to serve as a bank of knowledge to others is becoming too much for him to contain, insisting that he will be left with no other choice than to crack the whip if he sees no change.

Worried about the phenomenon, the Speaker has in effect, directed that his office be furnished with reports of all conferences since January, 2017. Any committee that fails to comply with the directive before the year ends should consider traveling no more.

“I would like to reiterate that Hon. Members are expected to incorporate the knowledge acquired through these international exchanges to the full benefit of the business of the House. Thus, delegations are reminded that reports are required of them after participating in these trips to serve as a bank of knowledge for this august House. Indeed, any Clerk who fails to comply with the directive will be sanctioned”, he noted.

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He added “My office is demanding reports on all conferences since January, 2017, to be filed in my office before the end of the year. Those Committees which do not oblige should not expect to travel anymore anyway. The reports are the property of Parliament and we should seriously build the institution. We require both hard and soft copies, please”.

Speaker Oquaye made this observation, Tuesday, October 22, 2019, when welcoming Members to the House for commencement of the Third Meeting of the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

The Speaker has since January 7, 2017, briefed Members about all his official foreign trips made on behalf of the legislature as well as delegations or visitors he has received in the country.

For instance, during the recess, he received the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Ambassador Julian Ventura Valero.

Together with Leadership of the House, they discussed issues pertaining to food security, African Continental Free Trade where Ghana is a key player and how Ghana and Mexico can take their relationship forward by engaging in knowledge exchanges to enhance the country’s agriculture industry, particularly, the One District One Factory (1D1F) Project, to promote the interest of Ghanaians in the hinterlands.

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He also received a delegation from the European Union Election Observer Mission led by Mr. Tamas Meszerics, in relation to Parliament’s preparedness ahead of the 2020 Elections.

The Ambassador of Colombia to Ghana also paid a good will visit to the Speaker to discuss bi-lateral issues.

Furthermore, the Hon. Speaker of the National Assembly of The Gambia, together with some Members of Parliament and Senior Parliamentary Staff of the Parliamentary Service Board of The Gambia also undertook a four-day study visit to the Parliament of Ghana.

However, same could not be said of the MPs and Clerks who have on numerous occasions attended conferences on behalf of the House either in the course of a Meeting or during recess.

Members and Clerks serving on the Pan-African Parliament and that of ECOWAS Parliament could be singled out for praise as they have at all times furnished the House with a report covering their activities at the regional and continental community.

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