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Overseeing spending of executive relevant for democratic dispensation – Adwoa Safo

Ms Adwoa Safo, the Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, has suggested a high-quality research finding for Parliament to use as evidence in decision making and come out with good policies.

“The gathering of evidence and the use of such data by Parliament to carry out the function of overseeing the activities and spending of the executive is relevant in the democratic dispensation of every country,” she stressed.

Ms Safo made the suggestion in Accra at the opening ceremony of a three-day training workshop on ‘Evidence generation and use of legislative oversight function in Ghana and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliaments.’

It brought together ECOWAS parliaments and administrative staff of Parliament of Ghana, hosted by the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR) of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in collaboration with CLEAR South Africa with support from the World Bank.

Ms Safo, who is also the Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya and the Minister of Public Procurement noted that “most of the evidence in policy-making is not necessarily scientific, but emanated from statistical data, public opinion, input from think tanks, reports of stakeholders, consultation and evaluation of seminars, which are not empirical enough for effective decision making.

“The availability of research and reliable information are critical factors for evident policies and laws in parliamentary procedures” and expressed concern about “the existing bureaucracies within the executive, which occasionally slows down access to critical information, thereby impeding decision making processes of parliament on its oversight functions.

“Parliament is empowered to control the expenditure of the public and also exercises oversight function over the executive, which is imperative in article 93(2) of the 1992 constitution, legislative function of parliament includes passing bills into laws, scrutinising statutory instruments, authorised granting of loans, monitors exchange receipts and payments, which is imperative in article 184 of the constitution.

“The passage of the Right to Information Bill will enhance evidence generation of use by parliament, its various committees, the citizenry, digitalisation of parliamentary activities into e-procurement is a further enhancement of evidence gathering to promote proper oversight over the executive,” Ms Safo observed.

Professor Duku Osei, the Deputy Rector of GIMPA, said training and development of public and private institutions had been the institute’s hallmark and urged participants to make good use of the knowledge acquired and impact it positively to their various countries. –GNA

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