Rt. Hon Speaker
November 26, 2021

The Rt. Hon Speaker Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin is advocating for strengthening of Parliament’s oversight and accountability role when members of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) had an engagement with him on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

According to him CSOs need to know what parliament is doing in other for parliament to tap into their long years of experience so that Parliament would be able to stand against the all mighty Executive to ensure that what Ghanaians voted for and are promised them is achieved.

As the youth and people of Ghana and Africa can no longer wait, and parliament needs to rely on the expertise of CSOs.

Mr. Alban Bagbin revealed that parliament’s corporate strategic plan talks about them engaging with CSO, but he would want to qualify it as, “creating the enabling environment to partnering CSOs as  we do the same thing eventually when it comes to law making or oversight a lot of you are doing that in the various areas of governance”.

Again, with the long experience and research of CSOs, he noted that they have a lot of documents which Parliament does not have and they need them to support parliament to legislate on critical areas of governance that they have overlooked.

Members of CSOs engaging Speaker

“I have told my colleagues and we have looked at the legislations and we realised that since 1993 we have been passing laws that only talk about the Executive but not Parliament. When I took over office it was an empty office, no handing over note, no staff”.

He recounted that the country has developed a Presidential Transition Act but nothing for parliament. “So we are more concerned with transition in the presidency not parliament”. “How do I get to know what happened before I came,  who am I to work with, and how are they going to be recruited, what is the structure of the Speaker’s secretariat,  what are the professional mix you need? There is nothing to guide the Speaker”, he emphasized.

The Speaker asserted that Ghanaians think that parliament is just MPs, but there are a whole lot of other civil servants. “They do not know that the parliamentary service is part of parliament; they do not know we have auxiliary services here; we have a division of health personal who work in parliament and are paid by the resources of parliament; again they do not know we have police and fire service units who work with parliament.”

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com