Outgoing Speaker urges Parliament to improve scrutiny over executive

January 6, 2017
Source: Eugene Davis|thebftonline |Ghana
Outgoing Speaker urges Parliament to improve scrutiny over executive

Outgoing Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho has urged the incoming Speaker to take up the mantle and finalize the processes for the full operationalization of the Scrutiny Office, in order to equip members of Parliament in analyzing budgets and financial agreements from the executive.

 According to Mr Doe Adjaho the Parliamentary Service Board has initiated processes for the establishment of a scrutiny office to provide members with independent technical support in scrutinizing national budgets and international financial agreements.

Addressing the legislature during the final sitting of the third meeting of the fourth session of the sixth Parliament, Mr Doe Adjaho stated that they have come under criticism from some quarters on the level of scrutiny exercised by the House over the executive.

He said; “There is no alternative to resolving this issue, except to take the bull by the horns and deal with this matter once and for all.”

Mr Doe Adjaho, also indicated that significant level of preparatory work has been concluded on the establishment of the scrutiny office, which is being modelled in conformity to international best practice.

The project which received initial support from STAR-Ghana, is currently being supported by the African Development Bank.

Mr Doe Adjaho who prior to his position as Speaker was the former Member of Parliament for Avenor-Ave, only served as a one term Speaker, having joined Parliament some 24 years ago in 1993.

Furthermore, the leadership of the House also took turns to give their final remarks, Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin noted that there was the need for Parliament to intensify its efforts at educating the public on the nature of the work.

“I would wish to appeal to the leadership of the incoming Parliament to reconsider some of the outreach programs introduced in the previosu Parliaments in the quest to bring Parliament closer to the people.”

Some of these, according to Mr Bagbin include Annual Public Fora, the Speaker’s Breakfast Meetings and the establishment of the Youth Parliaments in various institutions of higher learning.

Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu bemoaned the high attrition rate in Ghana’s Parliament.

He explained that the Minority group started with 123 members, later reduced to 122.

 “Of the 123 that we began with, 60 were new entrants. Today, of the 169 that will be entering the next Parliament on the ticket of NPP,80 are continuing MPs and as many as 89 are new breed.”

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also added that he remains the lone ranger in his party’s caucus from 1997-2001 stock, with just 2 remaining in the 2001-2005 stock and reckons that the in-coming minority will suffer from the same affliction.

“This outrageously high attrition rate cannot facilitate the growth of Parliament. It cannot proficiently grow our democracy, neither can it adequately grow our parties.The political parties need to do serious introspection and reflect on their respective constitutions.”he said.