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Friday, December 4, 2009

Bagbin: Parliament will sack ministers if…

Alban Babgin, Majority Leader
Alban Babgin, Majority Leader

The Majority Leader in Parliament says the House may be compelled to vote out ministers who flout certain decisions of the legislature.

Alban Kingsford Bagbin said Parliament, under Article 82 of the 1992 Constitution, has powers to censure “ministers of state for failure to behaving in a way that Parliament thinks can disqualify a minister of state.”

Mr Bagbin said this in reference to what he said has been the persistent failure of the Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffour, to release funds approved by Parliament to government institutions like the Auditor General’s Department.

Mr. Babgin cautioned the Finance Minister on the floor when the MP commented on a statement by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase, Alhaji Mutaka M. Mubarak, on how to resource the Auditor General’s Department to enhance its performance.

The Majority Leader firmed his point even stronger in a later interview with Joy News’ Sammy Darko.

“The Auditor General is not subject to the direction or control of any person or any authority. Therefore if monies are approved by Parliament, the Minister of Finance is enjoined to release that money to the Auditor General for him to perform his duties,” he said.

Mr Bagbin indicated that, often times, Parliament “goes cap in hand begging for the release of his funds by the Ministry of Finance; that definitely is intolerable,” adding, “we would see Parliament implement this if our ministers fail to live up to expectation.”

The Auditor General’s Department he said audits over 7000 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Audit by the department has, over the years, unearthed several malfeasance in public records.

Meanwhile, Dr Duffour says although he disagrees with the assertions by the Majority Leader, he would remain tight-lipped on the issues for now and come out at an appropriate time.

Play the attached audio for excerpts of the interview with Alban Bagbin.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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