Politics of Sunday, 18 May 2014
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, Minority Leader in Parliament has called on the National Commission on Civic Education to intensify its public education on the appropriate quarters for the electorate to seek information on development projects.
He said Members of Parliament are lawmakers and that the executive comprising ministers of state and other government officials were responsible for development projects.
The Minority Leader was speaking at the launch of the Rules of Procedure for the Government Assurances Committee (GAC) of Parliament in Takoradi, in the Western Region.
The launch which was jointly held by Parliament, Star-Ghana and Penplusbytes, aimed at enhancing parliament’s capacity to fulfill its mandate, particularly in ensuring transparency, accountability and responsiveness in service delivery of public goods and services.
It was under the theme: “Strengthening Accountability of Parliament: the Role of Committee of Government Assurances”.
Mr. Bonsu noted that often the electorate called on parliamentarians in their homes seeking information about development projects in their communities and other requirements and this did not augur well for the growth of the country’s democracy.
He said the NCCE must take up the responsibility of conscientising the generality of Ghanaians to reverse the current situation.
The GAC is responsible for monitoring government promises and pledges to the citizenry and ensure executions. The launch of the rules of procedure was, therefore, intended to spell out the mandate of the committee, equip the members of the committee on practices and proceedings.
Paapa Owusu-Ankomah, Member of Parliament for Sekondi launched the Manual together with Professor Agnes Apusiga, Development Expert, Dr. Esther Offei Aboagye, Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies and Alhaji Amadu Seidu, Member of Parliament for Yapei/Kusawgu.
He said Parliament needed to find innovative ways to get support for its works; adding, “There is still confidence and hope in the future of the country”.
Mr. Emmanuel Bedzrah, Chairman of the GAC said the Rules of Procedure manual would define what assurances, promises and ways in scrutinizing, promises and undertakings by ministers on the floor of parliament.
He said GAC has deployed an electronic platform to allow the citizenry to participate in governance and ensure that promises were implemented for the good of Ghanaians.
Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, said the move to get the executive arm of government to be more accountable to the needs of the people was in the right direction. He entreated the GAC to ensure that ministers were meticulous about their answers and promises. Kwame Ahiabenu 11, of Penplusbytes said promoting technology application in good governance was crucial in enhancing development.