The government has assigned security and intelligence agencies to the Minister for the Interior, the Speaker, Edward Adjaho, announced in Parliament yesterday.
The Speaker, who was reading a communication from the Office of the President signed by President John Dramani Mahama, said the directive was in accordance with Section 17 of the Security and Intelligence Agency Act 1996.
Section 17 (1) of the Security and Intelligence Agency Act 1996 states that “the President shall assign ministerial responsibility for the intelligence agencies to such minister as the president shall consider appropriate”
Clause (2) further states that the minister assigned the responsibility under sub section one of the section shall in respect of each year submit a report to Parliament on the intelligence agencies.
Mr Adjaho said the Minister for the Interior now has oversight over the various security and intelligence agencies, but did not specify the intelligence agencies involved.
It is unclear whether the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) falls under this directive since the bureau is not on the list of institutions under the Act.
The various agencies under the Security and Intelligence Agency Act are National Security Council, Regional and District Security Council, the Internal and External Intelligence Agencies, National Security Coordinator, among others.
In another development, the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Bill, 2015 was taken through the Consideration Stage.
The Right to Information Bill which seeks to, among other things, give the public the right to access information from the government, was also taken through the Consideration Stage.
Both bills are expected to be read the third time and passed before the expiration of the current Parliament.
By Yaw Kyei