The Working Group set up by the Rt Hon Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye to gather views for the possible establishment of a new Parliamentary Assurances Committee has held a consultative meeting with some key stakeholders on Thursday in Accra.
The meeting solicited ideas from participants on what can be done in order to enhance the image of parliament in the public eye.
Stakeholders who appeared before the Working Group with various presentations comprises the Ghana Bar Association, the Ghana Journalists Association and the Parliamentary Press Corps all agreed with the proposed establishment of the Parliamentary Assurances Committee which is expected to pursue all assurances within Parliament.
These include directives of the Speaker, referrals to committees, assurances of Members of Parliament among others which may be determined.
Chairman of the Working Group, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh expressed satisfaction about all the suggestions from the stakeholders who lauded the spirit behind the establishment of the committee.
According to him, the perceptions presented are crucial towards setting up the new committee which is expected to chart a new path for the way forward for Parliament.
President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Dr Roland Affail Monney appealed to Parliament to check basic issues such as lateness and absenteeism of the lawmakers to help improve its image.
He observed that the Government Assurances Committee has not lived up to expectation whiles describing the Public Accounts Committee as “the purest gem of Parliament” in the conduct of its duty.
President of the Ghana Bar Association, Tony Forson urged Parliament to take advantage of provisions of Article 103 of the 1992 constitution in the discharge of its function to become more relevant to the public,
He called for more partnership and assured of the BAR’s support to the legislature at all times.
Dean of the Parliamentary Press Corps, Nana Agyeman-Birikorang in a presentation recommended Parliament to institute a yearly award scheme dubbed “the Speaker’s Award” to award outstanding lawmakers yearly in order to enhance the work input of MPs.
The Press in Parliament also called for Hansards[official reports of parliament] to be distributed to all relevant institutions frequently especially university libraries for the public to abreast with the work of Parliament.
The Dean also suggested the need for chairpersons of the various Committees of Parliament to constantly brief the media about their works.
The stakeholder meeting was under the auspices of Star Ghana Foundation, a civil society organisation.