Uneasy Calm In Parliament: Action To Be Taken On Overpayment To MPs

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Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin
Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin

Parliament will ensure that all outstanding issues of overpayment and underpayment, which has affected some current and former Members of Parliament (MPs) are settled without further delay, Speaker Alban Bagbin has said.

The payments, reported on by the Auditor-General, were from 2001 to 2008 and 2009 to 2016.

Mr Bagbin said this on Tuesday in his formal statement at the beginning of the Second Sitting of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament.

“It is important for us to erase the perception of the public on these matters of overpayments, which are wrongly being politically called double salaries,” he said.

He said those were as a result of the weakness of the system, which was unable to capture some overlaps, including movements of MPs to ministerial positions and their documentations.

The Speaker said the leadership of the House would initiate discussions with the relevant state actors to put in place measures and systems to ensure that all staff of Parliament and the MPs complied with the Declaration of Assets Regulations and tax obligations.

Sooner than later, Members would be informed through the usual channels about how that would be done, he said.

“A team will be put in place to liaise with state and non-state actors to smoothen the compliance and implementation of these initiatives,” Mr Bagbin said.

He assured the public that Parliament would deepen the already cordial relations with the Judiciary to ensure development.
“As Arms of Government, Ghanaians expect nothing from us than to see us work in harmony to the betterment of lives and the development of the country.”

The Speaker took the opportunity to bring to the attention of the House, the unfinished agenda of the First Meeting of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament, adding that there was a lot of outstanding business – Private, Government and Parliament – to be completed.

These included some agreements, resolutions and a number of new bills to be introduced by the Government, for instance the Conduct of Public Officers’ Bill, Contracts (Amendment) Bill, the Ghana Industrial Property Bill, Intestate Succession Bill and the Notaries Public (Amendment) Bill.

He urged the House to accelerate work on the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill to promote women’s participation and representation in decision-making.

The Speaker called on the Business Committee, as well as leadership of the caucuses, to dialogue more often, using the well-known channels of communication in the conduct of business.

“We must eschew excessive partisanship, demonstrate concern for the plight of the ordinary citizen and chart the path that will help ameliorate the pain and suffering of Ghanaians.”

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