Parliament is set to deal with issues of overpayments and underpayments of members as captured by the Auditor General from 2001-to 2008 and 2009-to 2016.
A proposed team of both state and non-state actors will be constituted to smoothen the compliance and communication of this initiative.
Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin disclosed this in his formal communication on Tuesday when the House resumed sittings for the 2nd Meeting of the 2nd Session of the 8th Parliament.
According to him, Parliament needs to erase the perception of the public on the matters of overpayment that are wrongly and politically tagged as double salaries, which incidentally is a result of the weakness of the system.
All Presidential Committees, he said, have commented on these matters in their reports, which have been the experience from 1993 to date that has led to these unfortunate overpayments.
He said, “These occur because of the movement of members of Parliament from just an ordinary MP to becoming Deputy Minister or a Minister and movement of documentation to be able to capture him sometimes lead to this overlap or movement of members to other functions.”
“And, as an experienced Member of Parliament, what members do is to call their bank and ask do I have some money in my accounts.”
“Once the bank says no, you don’t issue a cheque for some activity in your constituency, or to support a member or student that needs the help of the MP.”
According to Speaker Bagbin, that is what members do and that they do not go to the bank and ask whether the money in their accounts is salary or an allowance.
These overpayments, he said, are therefore the result of the weakness in the system and not that MPs intentionally go round taking ‘double salaries.
“We need to put this to rest to position ourselves properly to be able to do our work and I intend, in the support of leadership and the Parliamentary Service Board to do this with dispatch,” he added.
Parliament and the Judiciary
The Speaker assured that the leadership of the House and the Parliamentary Service Board will continue to deepen and widen the scope of the already cordial relationship between the Judiciary and the legislature.
He noted that as arms of government, Ghanaians expect nothing from these two institutions than to work in harmony for the betterment of their lives and the development of the country.
Speaker Bagbin disclosed that due to a ruling of the Supreme Court that struck out Standing Order 109 (3) which prevented Second Deputy Speakers from voting while presiding, the house will need to review its composition and procedures.
According to him, Parliament alone cannot do this hence other stakeholders will have to be invited for assistance.
He disclosed that in consultation with leadership a platform will be created for academia, legal and governance practitioners to lead a more focused detailed discussion on the implications and effects of the decision on the practice and procedure of Parliament and the relationship between the Judiciary and the Legislature.
Meanwhile, the second meeting is scheduled to consider agreements, resolutions and bills that are at various stages.
These include the Affirmative action Bill 2022, the Aged Persons Bill, the Auto Industry Development Council Bill, the National Sugar Industry Development Board Bill and the Ghana Roads Fund (Amendment) Bill among others.