March 2, 2014

An Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) survey of the performance of Members of Parliament affirmed that 8% of the respondents think MPs’ performance is excellent and overall, MPs received an average rating.

The largest Majority of respondents (34%) considered that the performance of their MP was average. Approximately 26% considered their MP’s performance as ‘good’ and 22 percent rated them as ‘poor’. Only 8% of the respondents rated their MP’s performance as ‘excellent.’ 10 percent of the people surveyed said they were not able to rate their MP’s, according to the report.

The study, called the “Public Perceptions of Members of Parliament,” began in 2011 across Ghana’s 10 regions with the support of The International Development Research Center (IRDC)/ Think Tank initiative.

A total of 2,356 individuals aged 16 years and above, representing a cross-section of educational backgrounds, were selected from across the 10 regions of the country for this survey.

The surveyors elicited information on the manner in which MPs, and their roles, were perceived by Ghanaians. The survey also looked at the performance of MPs, education standards for MPs, as well as views on the appropriateness of ex-gratia payments made to MPs.

The results also indicate that the strongest negative perception of MP performance is in the Northern and Greater Accra regions. The most positive views on MP performance are in the Ashanti, Western and the Upper Eastern and Upper Western Regions.

“This survey was not intended to act as a poll- more of a means of highlighting potential areas of improvement,” the IEA noted.

On ex-gratia payments, a very small minority of respondents (3 percent) considered at the current amounts given to MPs at the end of each term was sufficient while half of respondents considered that they were excessive, and 28 respondents considered that they were insufficient.

The results also showed that majority of those who rate their MP’s performance as excellent also think that the MP’s ex-gratia is sufficient. However, as the performance drops from excellent, the respondents think that the MP’s ex-gratia is excessive.

On Education standards for MPs, an overwhelming majority of respondents (83.68 percent) believed that there should be minimum education level. About 75 percent of respondents without any education level considered that there should be some minimal qualification to become an MP.

The survey further interrogated respondents on this issue. Notably, for those who agreed that there should be a minimum education level, respondents were asked what level that should be – English proficiency, High Education Certificate or University Qualification. A significant majority of 67.42 percent of respondents believed that the minimum level should be set quite high – as a tertiary qualification.

The study also affirmed that a significant majority of Ghanaians are aware of who their MP is. However, this awareness decreased in larger and relatively wealthier regions, notably Greater Accra and Ashanti.

Source: InfoGhana