Presidency Urged To Make Available To Parliament The Presidential Office Staff Report

presidency urged to make available to parliament the presidential office staff report

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, has urged the Presidency to furnish the House with the Annual Report on Presidential Office Staff.

He said Section 11 of the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463) requires that the President shall within three months after the end of each financial year submit to Parliament an annual report containing the number of presidential staff employed at the Office; the rank or grade of such staff; and employees in the other public services assigned to the Office.

Mr Ablakwa made the appeal on the floor of Parliament, in a comment on the Business Statement of the House, which was presented by Mr Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader, for the 11th week ending, Tuesday, April 5.

“So, Mr Speaker today is the 1st of April, the President is in clear breach of the Presidential Office Act, I recall that some three weeks ago, I raised this matter and urged the Majority Leader to liaise with the Presidency to present this annual report in compliance to the Presidential Office Act.

“Mr Speaker, that has not been done. We still do not have the Annual Report on the staffing status at the Presidency,” Mr Ablakwa said.

“Mr Speaker, we cannot accept this as a House. If this delay continues it undermines the authority of this institution.”

“I recall that virtually every year, the President is in breach of this provision, and I have to be screaming and crying and yelling before the Presidency will comply.”

“Today is the 1st of April and notice must be served that the House will not accept the breach of the Presidential Office Act, Act 1993.”

Mr Ablakwa said it was a legal requirement, which the Presidency must comply.

“So, I will like to find out if the Deputy Majority Leader has any information as to why the President has failed to comply with this provision.”

Mr Afenyo-Markin in his response said Mr Ablakwa knows that the Business Committee does not cover the issue he just raised.

“If he strongly feels that there is a matter that has to do with issues of the law, as a Parliamentarian, he knows what to do; to file a question, so that appropriate Minister can come and explain or use other tools that are available within the rules. To attempt to smuggle a supposed concern through comment on the Business Statement in the least is unacceptable……..,” he said.

However, the Deputy Majority Leader’s response did not go down well with Mr Ablakwa.

The MP for North Tongu, said he and the Deputy Majority Leader were both in the third terms as MPs, and matters to do with annual reports, the compliance of the Presidential Office Act, Act 1993 the House had always used the Business Statement to draw attention to it.

“I recalled that when we were in power, Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, (MP for Okaikwei Central), specialized in that, and the Deputy Majority Leader is aware he used this same forum,” Mr Ablakwa said.

“I cannot be accused of using a wrong forum or the wrong tools; this has been the forum we used always since I entered this House.”

He said Mr Boamah would use Business Statement to draw attention that the time was approaching.

“If there is a breach, he (Mr Boamah) would bring it up. If Mr Boamah used this forum time without number, the records of this House would show, using this forum to raise this matter. How can I be accused of being mischievous for using the wrong forum or applying the wrong tools?”

“He (Mr Afenyo-Markin) is the one who is out of order,” Mr Ablakwa said.

He said he was raising a fundamental issue which had to deal with a breach of the law of the country and that the President had up to 31st March to present the report, and that they were now in April, which was a major concern.

He said that Mr Boamah used the same forum, time without number and nobody attacked him or subjected him to any vilification; saying “So, why should the response be different when I raise the same matter?”

The House is expected to adjourn sine die on Tuesday, April 05.

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