In Parliament…

House forms Committee of Parliament Assurances

Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, Speaker of Parliament

Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, Speaker of Parliament

Parliament has formed a Committee of Parliament Assurances to ensure the implementation of important statements made and decisions taken on the floor of Parliament.

The decision to form the committee was taken by the Parliamentary Service Board, according to the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye.

At the signing of a partnership framework and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Parliament and STAR-Ghana in Accra last Monday, Prof. Oquaye said lavish statements were made by Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House but they were not followed through.

He said the formation of the Committee of Parliament Assurances was to ensure that Parliament did not become a talking shop, and indicated that “we want to go beyond the rhetorics”.

The two-year framework of collaboration, estimated at GH¢5.4 million, focuses on building the capacity of leadership of Parliament, members of the health, education, gender and local government committees and staff of the Parliamentary Service.

It is expected to enhance the effectiveness of Parliament to be able to discharge its constitutional mandate and contribute to the deepening and consolidation of democratic governance in Ghana.

Legal department

Prof. Oquaye mentioned that the Parliamentary Service Board had also decided on the formation of a legal department in Parliament to scrutinise bills.

He said the committee would be able to polish bills before they were taken to the House, and indicated that it would also work on the Private Members Bill.

Prof. Oquaye stated that the partnership between Parliament and STAR-Ghana had contributed to the strengthening of Parliament, and added that the new partnership would further ensure accountable governance.

Leadership

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said since the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution, the exercise of oversight in Parliament had always been exercised by the Minority.

He, therefore, called for the development of a new culture of oversight by legislators to make their work more transparent and responsive.

The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, said the first phase of the programme had improved the capacity of MPs greatly.

He said the second phase was expected to enhance the interface among Parliament, civil society and other participants.

STAR-Ghana’s take

The Programme Director of STAR-Ghana, Mr Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, said the second phase of the programme was expected to improve inclusive and accountable governance.

He said the aim was to deepen democratic governance and facilitate national development.

The Chairman of the Steering Committee of STAR-Ghana, Prof. Akilagpa Sawyer, said the objective of the STAR-Ghana support was to ensure that the country’s democratic gains went beyond elections to “living realities”.

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