Speaker of Parliament denies selling vehicles to friends
THE Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, has denied media reports which suggest that he has sold buses to his friends and cronies in Parliament.
A statement signed by the acting Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, Ms Kate Addo, and issued in Accra yesterday said Parliament would like to put on record that the Speaker of Parliament was not involved in the disposal of vehicles in the House.
The statement said as was the convention of Parliament, the House, from time to time auctioned vehicles deemed to be obsolete and unserviceable to interested staff and members.
In line with that practice, the statement said, 13 vehicles were offered to selected Members and staff of Parliament after extensive assessment by the Intercity State Transport Corporation (STC) and approval by the Parliamentary Service Board that they be auctioned.
Laid down procedures
"There are laid down processes by which vehicles deemed to be obsolete and unserviceable are disposed of, and this is through an administrative committee also referred to as the Board of Survey.
This Board of Survey has overseen this process since the inception of the fifth Parliament," it said.
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The statement said the criteria for the selection of beneficiaries in that particular instance as approved by the Parliamentary Service Board included the fact that those who were to benefit should be a member of staff due for retirement from the Parliamentary Service within the next two years in recognition of that person’s loyal contribution to the Parliamentary Service and the need to cushion the staff during retirement.
Other factors taken into consideration in determining the beneficiary of the disposal of the vehicles also included the fact that the main duties of a member of staff required the provision of essential and emergency services to the mobility of that person and enhance his or her service delivery by improving on the officer’s response time during emergencies.
Another factor was that a beneficiary of the vehicle should be a member of staff who had displayed loyalty through long service to the Parliamentary Service for a period of not less than 20 years.
The statement said where the number of applicants was more than the vehicles, a method of balloting was adopted to determine which of the short-listed applicants who did not satisfy the criteria but had expressed interest benefited from the disposal of the vehicle.
The statement said the Office of Parliament "sees as mischievous and frivolous, the attempt to bring the name of the Speaker and by extension, Parliament, into disrepute and would like to register its strongest reservation with the report and request to have it withdrawn with an unqualified apology to the Speaker, the leaders and the entire Parliament."
It asked media practitioners and individuals seeking information or clarification concerning Parliament and its members to contact the Public Affairs Department of Parliament for same.