September 18, 2019

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Legislature, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonus has said they are under nourished as an arm of government to properly perform their oversight responsibility.

According to him, when it comes to the power struggle between the Executive and the Legislature, the Executive comes first because they are well resourced and they need to position themselves.

“If we indeed want to pride ourselves as a body to oversee the Executive, how can we do that effectively when we are not properly resourced, if the people to do the job are not competent enough the first thing is to have able representatives and provide them with the tools to work with”, he stated.

The Majority leader noted that if Parliament has to look at the work done by the Executive in an objective manner and be able to assess them critically, the legislature should have tools to inspire them.

“I am not a jack of all trades, we try to be generalist as lawmakers, we cannot accomplish all tasks on our own, each needs the service of relevant professional, even if you make your own discoveries you must bench mark it against what they provide you”.

The Leader of Government Business was speaking to journalists in an interview in Parliament at the end of four days conference of African Parliamentary Budgetary Officers (PBOs).

“We are unable as it were to confront the Executive with real facts and figures that is why we are calling for the establishment of a Budget Office, to be an information base for Parliament in that, in case we require competent professionals who are objective in their own right non partisan”.

He further emphasized the need for an independent body to provide information to Parliament on budgetary issues, which government may find such information from such office distasteful, hence the need to craft a piece of legislation to guarantee the independence of the Parliamentary Budget Office.

“So that no government would say that information coming from that office is distasteful and would find a way of taking away the existence of such a body. For us as a Parliament we need to come together as a collective and get that cool environment for that office, with top notch professionals and adequately equip them to do their work”, he concluded.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/