Executive Director of PNAfrica,Mr Samuel Obeng has revealed that Members of Parliament (MPs) attendance for the first quarter of the year 2018 fell as compared to those of the same period in 2017.
According to him, an average number of MPs present per sitting per day declined from 245 recorded during the same period last year to 218, leaving 57 MPs averagely missing each sitting day.
The trend, according to the Executive Director of PNAfrica – a civil society parliamentary monitoring organization was scary and needed to be curbed.
Mr Obeng made the revelation at the 5th Crystal Ball Series organised by The Parliamentary News Africa in collaboration with Centre for Democratic Development at the D F Annan auditorium at Job 600 Office Complex in Accra.
He explained that the latest report of Odekro PMO, on the First Session of the Seventh Parliament 2017, calculated that the nation lost GHC 1.481 million to MP absenteeism.
Mr Obeng also revealed that MPs committed much less amount of time to Chamber business in the year under review which was in sharp contrast to the high number of working hours put in during the very first Meeting of this Parliament in year 2017.
He explained further that an average of two hours and 40 minutes per sitting day only made up for two-thirds of the amount of time ordinarily prescribed by Order 40(2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament which indicates that sittings ordinarily commence at 10am and conclude at 2pm.
The drop from 4 hours and 32 seconds last year as compared to that of this year leaves much to be desired. The Executive Director of PNAfrica lamented.
In his response the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Majority leader in Parliament, Mr Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu assured the gathering that steps were being taken to address the issue.
He explained that the work of a parliamentarians “is not the one on which take place on the plenary”.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in their presentation called on Parliament to delete the entire clause 13 of the Right to inform bill which is at the consideration stage in parliament.
Explaining why the clause should be deleted, media and law practitioner, Mr Sampson Anyini who represented CDD said that particular clause if maintained will make the entire RTI law useless.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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