Home » Parliament of Ghana Laments Lack of Infrastructure and Visibility

Parliament of Ghana Laments Lack of Infrastructure and Visibility

by Victor Adetimilehin

The Parliament of Ghana has expressed its dissatisfaction with the government’s neglect of its infrastructure and visibility needs. The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, said that unlike the judiciary and the executive, Parliament has been sidelined and lost all its properties.

He revealed that the residence of the Speaker was almost sold to the private sector and that Parliament was struggling to get its lands to build some structures to accommodate it. He also said that Parliament did not have offices across the country, apart from Accra, and that MPs had to fund their own activities and outreach to their constituents.

The Speaker made these remarks at a forum aimed at consolidating the relationship between Parliament and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and exploring new ways of working together for accountable governance. The forum was part of the celebration of 30 years of uninterrupted parliamentary democracy in Ghana, with support from Star Ghana Foundation.

The Speaker also lamented the limited engagement between MPs and the public, which he said had created a disconnect and a misunderstanding of the work of Parliament and MPs. He cited the contrast between the international and local ratings of Parliament’s effectiveness and the high attrition rate of MPs who get rejected for the wrong reasons at the polls. He said that regular and structured engagement, including regular constituency visits by MPs, would help to foster transparency and accountable governance. He also said that Parliament had undertaken a number of reforms and restructuring to make it more engaging and open to the public and the media.

He mentioned the breakdown of the Public Affairs Department into three units, the creation of a Citizens Bureau to better engage the public and CSOs, the approval of a new organogram and revised Standing Orders, and the development of a manual titled “Working with Parliament of Ghana, a guide to CSOs.”

He also said that the Citizens Bureau was working to complete the “Open Parliament Action Plan” and to create a government partnership caucus in Parliament to ensure stronger oversight over the partnership. The Speaker expressed his hope that these initiatives would enhance the role of Parliament as a representative and accountable institution and strengthen the collaboration with CSOs and the public.

Source: [Graphic Online] 


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