Motion by Minority to probe Covid-19 expenditure dismissed by First Deputy Speaker

A motion filed by the Minority in Parliament for a probe into the COVID-19 expenditure has been dismissed by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu.

The Minority had requested for a seven member committee chaired by their side to probe into the matter.

But the First Deputy Speaker who presided over sitting on Tuesday said the work of such a bi-partisan committee is already provided for by the Constitution, to be conducted by the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

“All the committees of the house including the Public Accounts Committee are bipartisan, and the Public Accounts Committee is designed by nature to be chaired by members of the Minority. In all its form, the Public Accounts Committee, if it is minded to investigate anything related to the Covid-19 expenditure, fully sees to the authority and power to investigate that, particularly because all the accounting of it has been provided for in the budget which budget has been provided by the House and is before the committee. My view is that this motion ought not to have been admitted, and it’s improperly before the House.”

Earlier, the Speaker Alban Bagbin admitted the motion from three Members of the Minority Caucus for an inquiry into the expenditure made by the government since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Leader Haruna Iddrisu and two other MPs, the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak; and the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, filed the motion.

Their motion was to help constitute a bi-partisan parliamentary committee chaired by a member of the Minority to probe COVID-19 expenditure.

But the Majority group argued that the motion if approved would undermine the work of the Auditor-General.

Deputy Leader Alexander Afenyo Markin said it was unconstitutional and inappropriate.

He asked the Minority to summon the Minister of Health and demand answers from him on the matter instead of calling for a committee to probe a matter meant for a constitutional body.

The Private Member’s Motion was captured in the order paper for Thursday, November 4th, 2021.


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