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Parliamentary committees should be open to public

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Member of Parliament for Tamale South and Minister of Trade and Industry-designate, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has called for the review of the Standing Orders of the House to enable the sittings of all committees to be open to the general public.

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It is only the sittings of the Appointments Committee and the Public Accounts Committee which are open to the general public since the advent of the Fourth Republic.

Mr Haruna made the suggestion during the discussions on the report of the Committee of Selection on the composition of committees in the House.

According to him, it looks as if the public do not appreciate the enormous work that MPs do at the committee level, adding that it was time that the committee sittings were opened to the public.

Contributing to the debate, the NPP MP for Tarkwa/Nsuaem, Mrs Gifty Kusi, said it was unfortunate that women were not represented on the Standing Orders; Defence and Interior; Works and Housing; and Mines and Energy committees and called for corrections to be made.

However, the Majority Chief Whip, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, explained that it was difficult for the committee to include females in all the committees.

Fourteen out of the current 274 MPs are females.

Meanwhile, the list of members of the various standing and select committees of the House has been released.

Notable among the list is the Member of Parliament for Dormaa Central, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who has been selected as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee with Mr Samuel Atta Kyea as his vice.

Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakari Dey, MP for Salaga South, is the Ranking Member of the committee. This committee is chaired by a member from the Minority side of the House.

The Finance Committee is chaired by the MP for Ketu South, Mr James Avedzi, with Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, NPP MP for Old Tafo, as the Ranking Member.

Emmanuel Bedzra, NDC, Ho West, is the Chairman of the Government Assurance Committee while Mr Joe Baidoe Ansah, NPP MP for Kwesimintim, is the Ranking Member.

The Subsidiary Legislation Committee is chaired by Mr O.B. Amoah, NPP MP for Aburi, with Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh as the Ranking Member. This committee is one of the two committees which is chaired by the Minority.

The House Committee, which looks into the welfare of MPs, is chaired by the Majority Leader, Mr Benjamin Kunbuor, while Mrs Irene Naa Toshie Addo, NPP MP for Tema West, is the Ranking Member.

The Members Holding Office of Profit Committee by the Standing Orders has the Second Deputy Speaker, Mr Joe Ghartey, as its chairman with Mr Joseph Sam Amankwanor, MP for Upper West Akim, as the Ranking Member.

The Privileges Committee is chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, according to the provisions of the Standing Orders of the House.

The Gender and Children Committee is chaired by NDC MP for Agotime-Ziope, Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, with Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi, NPP MP for Tarkwa/Nsuaem, as the Ranking Member.

Mr Charles Obeng Inkoom, NDC MP for Agona West, chairs the Judiciary Committee, while the Ranking Member is the NPP MP for Abirem, Mrs Esther Obeng Dappah.

The Poverty Reduction Committee is under the leadership of the NDC MP for Ablekuma South with NPP MP for Lower West Akim as the Ranking Member.

The Special Budget Committee is under the chairmanship of the Majority Leader, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, with Vice Chairman being the Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.

The Speaker, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, chairs the Standing Orders Committee, while the Lands and Forestry Committee is chaired by Mr Albert Abongo, NDC MP for Bongo, with the NPP MP for Kade, Mr Ofosu Asamoah, as the Ranking Member.

The Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee is chaired by Dr Alhassan Ahmed Yakubu, NDC MP for Mion, with Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, NPP MP for Kwadaso, as the Ranking Member.

Chairing the Local Government and Rural Development Committee is the NDC MP for Garu, Mr Dominic Azumah Azimbe, with the NPP MP for Sunyani East, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, as the Ranking Member while the Works and Housing Committee is chaired by NDC MP for Shai-Osudoku, Mr David Tetteh Assumeng, with Mr David Oppong-Kusi, NPP MP for Ofoase/Ayirebi, as the Ranking Member.

The Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is chaired by NDC MP for Bolgatanga East, Dr Dominic Ayine, with  NPP MP for Bekwai, Mr Joe Osei-Owusu, as its Ranking Member.

The Health Committee is chaired by the NDC MP for Wa West, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, with Dr Richard Anane, NPP MP for Nhyiaeso, as the Ranking Member while the Communications Committee is chaired by Mr Herod Cobbina, NDC MP for Akontombra, with Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, NPP MP for Assin Central as the Ranking Member.

The Roads and Transport Committee is chaired by Mr Michael Coffie Boampong, NDC MP for Bia West, with Mr Kwabena Owusu Aduomi, NPP MP for Ejisu, as the Ranking Member while the Defence and Interior Committee is under the chairmanship of Mr George Kofi Arthur, NDC MP for Amenfi Central, with Mr William Ofori Boafo, NPP MP for Akropong, as the Ranking Member.

Mr Emmanuel Bundua, NDC MP for Biakoye, heads the Foreign Affairs Committee, with the NPP MP for Subin as the Ranking Member while the Youth, Sports and Culture Committee is chaired by NDC MP for South Tongu with the NPP MP for Atwima Mponua, Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah, as the Ranking Member.

Chairing the Education Committee is the NDC MP for Daffiama/Bussie/Issa while Professor Dominic Fobih, NPP MP for Assin South, is the Ranking Member while the Mines and Energy Committee is chaired by Dr Kwabena Donkor, NDC MP for Pru East, with NPP MP for Adanse Asokwa, Mr K.T. Hammond as the Ranking Member.

The Environment, Science and Technology Committee is chaired by Mr Simon Edem Asimah, NDC MP for South Dayi, while Mr Francis Addai-Nimo, NPP MP for Mampong, is the Ranking Member while Mr Joseph Amenowode, NDC MP for Afadzato South, chairs the Employment, Social Welfare and Enterprises Committee with Mr Benjamin Kofi Ayeh, NPP MP for Upper Denkyira West, as the Ranking Member.

Story by Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah