The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Aaron Quaye has indicated that lack of specialization is grossly affecting performance of members on the various committees of parliament, especially the Appointments Committee.
The Appointments Committee made up of 25 members is responsible for vetting nominees of president for appointment as ministers, Supreme Court judges among others, and recommend to Parliament for approval or otherwise.
Interacting with journalists from four selected media organizations, including the Media General, on Monday November 12, Prof. Oquaye remarked that it was time the various standing or select committees of parliament are given the powers to vet nominees whose roles fall under their supervision.
He revealed that there is currently ongoing revision of Standing Orders of Parliament which seeks to improve the work of parliamentarians.
After approval, there would be no need to have an Appointments Committee, he asserted.
A member would be assigned to a committee based on his or her area of knowledge in order to do away with the “jack of all trade” phenomenon, the Speaker added.
According to him, it has been proposed that a Chairman of a committee should be given powers akin to a Chief Whip with the necessary facilities available to him or her.
Going forward, the Speaker of Parliament explained, nominees for foreign affairs and agriculture would have to be vetted by empowered Foreign Affairs and Agriculture Committees respectively.
The status quo where an MP serves in two or more committees would be scrapped: a member will belong to just one committee.
“We have all agreed, both sides of the house, the leadership at least, that this is not good enough. It doesn’t help us in doing our job well.
“In the revision of the Standing Orders, we are proposing that a member should become a member of only one committee and be specialised.”
Prof. Quaye further noted that a committee would now be full of “technocrats and experts” with in-depth knowledge in a specialised field to get the best out of a nominee and undertake committee’s work with some level of professionalism.