Promptly release Auditor-General's reports — Boadu-Ayeboafoh
The Director of Newspapers of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, has called for the speedy release of the Auditor General's reports to ensure their effective scrutiny by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament.
He said the current situation where the reports delayed for about four years before they were released to the PAC was not the best.Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh was delivering a paper on: "Effective parliamentary reporting: A tool for the integration agenda" at a two-day symposium and media summit in Accra last Tuesday.The summit, organised by the West African Parliamentary Press Corps (WAPPC), was on the theme: "Sustaining parliamentary democracy in the West African sub-region: The role of the media." It ended yesterday.Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh said a member of the Minority was made to chair the PAC to scrutinise the transactions of ministries, departments and agencies.However, he said, due to the delay in releasing the reports, the PAC would occasionally be considering the reports of a previous government.That, he pointed out, would mean that the Chairman of the PAC would be considering the reports of the political party he belonged to, which would defeat the purpose of making a Minority member the chair of the PAC.Parliamentary processesHe tasked journalists covering Parliament to be abreast of the leadership composition and the rules and processes governing the conduct of business in the House, saying knowledge of the rules and processes would empower them to appreciate the happenings in Parliament and report accurately.He said if journalists did not understand the issues in the House, they would misinform the public about the business transacted there and that would be a disservice to Parliament and the country's democratic march.Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh mentioned the role and the power of the Speaker and his deputies as an area that journalists could explore."You have to understand the rules and processes for decision making, so that people following can understand, because if you (journalists) do not understand, you will misinform us," he said.Hate speechDelivering a paper on: "The role of the media in the fight against hate speech", Dr Kwesi Jonah of the Institute of Democratic Governance said hate speech incited people to hate and kill their neighbours.He said hate speech was spread through the media, adding that the media had the responsibility to avoid the communication of hate speech.According to him, that imposed a responsibility on journalists not to sit on the fence but join the defence of human dignity and human values."Unite media efforts in the fight against hate speech across national boundaries. Inform and educate people against the dangers of hate speech," he urged journalists.