Committee suspends hearing on Communication Ministry budget estimates
Parliament’s Committee on Communication has suspended the hearing on the 2022 budget estimates of the Ministry of Communication and Digitalization over the failure of the ministry to submit six outstanding annual reports of the NCA to the committee.
According to the Committee members, the ministry’s inability to furnish them with the six outstanding reports from 2015 to 2020 was a clear violation of the law.
“We have made persistent attempts to get the ministry to address the issue but without any success… In our view, certain material violations have gone on in the ministry.”
Alhaji Abdul Bassit Ahassan Fuseini, Ranking Member on the Communication Committee, made the observation when he addressed the media in Parliament and called on the Ministry of Communication to do the right thing.
Alhaji Fuseini explained that the issue of the outstanding reports took centre stage when members met to consider the estimates.
He said members made it clear that the material violations could not continue indefinitely.
He said as long as the issue remained, the committee would not be in a position to hear the Minister on the estimates.
Mr Samuel Nartey George, Deputy Ranking Member of the Communication Committee, in his comment, stated that while the committee was considering the budget estimates, a preliminary objection was raised by Mr Abenego Bandim, MP for Bumprugu, thereby arresting the process.
He said the Minister had failed to comply with section 23 of the National Communication Authority (NCA) Act, Act 769: Annual and Other reports.
“The board shall within one month after the receipt of the audit report submit an annual report to the Minister covering the activities and operations of the Authority to the year to which the report relates.
The annual report shall include the report of the Auditor General and shall be submitted in the form and contained in the scheduled set out. the Minister shall within one month after the receipt of the annual report submit the report to Parliament with the statement the minister considers necessary.”
He said it was clear that from 2015 till date, the Minister had not brought any report to the committee or even laid in the House.
He said the Minister, however, indicated that three of those reports, covering 2015 to 2017, would be provided on Tuesday and additional two reports for 2018 and 2019 on Friday while the 2020 report would be ready at the beginning of Parliament next January.