MPs Battle With Public Officers’ Bill

Members of Parliament (MPs) on both sides of the political divide continue to battle with the content of the Conduct of Public Officers’ Bill (2013). The majority chief whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, at yesterday’s sitting, pleaded with the Speaker to allow for more time for ‘winnowing’ or further consultation and consensus building to be done in order to have a bill that will stand the test of time.

Just after an hour of proceedings, sitting was adjourned for the ‘winnowing’ to be done before substantive consideration of the bill could take place.

It was penciled to be considered during Wednesday’s sitting but most of the minority members asked for it to be suspended to allow for further consultation and the participation of both the majority and the minority leaders, who are on an international assignment.

The majority had pushed for the consideration of the bill but there were convincing arguments from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs for Old Tafo and Manhyia South, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei and Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh respectively, that there had to be more ‘winnowing’ and consensus building to have a more credible bill.

The first deputy speaker, Ebo Barton-Odro, who was presiding over deliberations at the time, accepted the arguments of the minority members but warned that the ‘winnowing’ should not be used to delay the consideration and passage of the bill.