Parliament adopts report on the State Interests and Governance Authority Bill, 2019


Parliament has adopted the report on the State Interests and Governance Authority Bill (SIGA), 2019 after the drafted Bill was laid and referred by the Speaker of Parliament.

Presenting the report on the Bill by the Chairman for the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Member of Parliament for Offinso South, Mr. Ben Abdallah Banda, he indicated that the Bill seeks to reform the governance structure of all State entities.
Mr. Abadallah Banda said none of the interventions of the government to help streamline the operations and activities of the State entities have had the intended impact.
He pointed out that as a result, the government has resolved to adopt the single entity model to help harmonise guidelines and policies, to oversee and administer entities, which the State has interest as well as State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
Mr. Abdallah Banda reiterated that the model will involve the establishment of an Authority, to enhance co-ordination in the management of state interests and ensure a clear line of accountability from State-Owned Enterprises and other State interests.
He further explained that it is expected that the Authority will boost performance and enhance the profitability of the entities.
Mr. Abdallah Banda added that the Authority will ultimately lead to increased returns to the State in the form of dividends and surpluses.
The Chairman for the Committee revealed that the Authority is expected to oversee three categories of entities; State-Owned Enterprises, Joint Venture Companies and other entities including regulatory bodies which the State has an interest in.
The Committees report: Responses on job losses
The Committee met with the Deputy Ministers for Finance, Mr. Kwaku Kwarteng and Mrs. Abena Osei Asare, and officials from the Ministry of Finance, the Attorney-Generals Department and the State Enterprises Commission.
In an answer to whether under the proposed structure there would be job losses, the Ministry for Finances averred that jobs would be lost.
The Ministry further assured the Committee that after the reorganisation of the entities, any staff found to be misplaced would be absorbed into another public service organisation where his or her expertise would be most needed.
In responding to a question on the state of the debts owed by the SoEs, the Committee was informed that the State Enterprises Commission is in the process of compiling an up-to-date debt position of the SoEs.
The Committee was further informed that under the proposed law, the Authority is mandated to report on the financial status of the SoEs, including their debt portfolios annually.
Projected Revenues
The Committee was informed that the SIGA Bill provides for not more than 5 percent of dividends received and accruing to State-owned Enterprises and joint venture companies on an annual basis, loans and grants, monitoring fees, administrative penalties, and other internally generated funds accruing to the Authority.
In a response to whether provision was made in the 2019 Budget for the implementation of the bill, the Committee was informed that for the 2019 financial year, Parliament approved a total amount of GH¢13,659,309.00 to operationalise the Bill.
On estimated set-up cost, the Committee was informed that the initial cost of setting up SIGA is estimated at GH¢15,151,076.51, which includes compensation of employees, use of goods and services as well as capital expenditure.
Bill laid on the floor
The State Interests and Governance Authority Bill, 2019 was first presented to Parliament and read the first time on March 8, 2019.
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, referred the Bill to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.
The Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee referred to the 1992 Constitution, the State Enterprises Commission Act, 1987 (PNDCL 170), the Divestiture of State Interests (Implementations) Act, 1993 (PNDCL 326) and the Standing Orders of Parliament in its report.
Source: GhanaJustice/S.Ayisi


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