Withdrawal Of National Security And Intelligence Agencies Bill For Amended One Spark Debate In Parliament
The decision of government to withdraw and re-lay the National Security and Intelligence Agencies Bill has become a matter of contention on the Floor of Parliament.
The Bill, which is to provide the framework for the establishment of District and Regional security Councils was first laid in the House in May 2020.
However, during proceedings on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, requested for the Bill to be withdrawn.
“I want to seek the indulgence of the House to withdraw the one that was laid on the 1st of May 2020. And if that is granted, the presentation can be made in respect of the new one.”
But Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, argued that since the Bill was laid in Parliament by the Minister for National Security, he would have to be the same person to withdraw it.
“You know that a Minister came to lay this Bill, so if it has to be withdrawn, it is the Minister who has to come and withdraw it. If the Minister really wants to withdraw it, he should be here himself to withdraw it because this is a very important matter.”
The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, subsequently granted the request for the Bill to be withdrawn and re-laid.
Mr Kan-Dapaah, Minister for National Security had earlier indicated that there was an urgent need for the country to have a documented National Security Policy framework to protect the state and its citizens.
He said the vision of the Government was to use the document to set the stage for a progressive and secured security governance system.
Mr Kan Dapaah explained that it had not been the practice of the country to have such a policy detailing the strategic framework and defining how to provide security for the state and citizens.
In October 2017, the Ministry of National Security set up a Technical Working Group to initiate the process of drafting a National Security Policy.
The group comprised representatives of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the academia and known security experts.
Mr Kan Dapaah said the group made several consultations with various Ministries and State Departments over the period after which a detailed National Security Policy document was drawn.
He said the draft document had gone through various validation and review processes with selected security and governance experts as well as stakeholder consultations with interest groups and Civil Society Organizations.
Mr Kan Dapaah subsequently laid the National Security and Intelligence Agencies Bill before Parliament on May 1, 2020.