Introduce biometric attendance to curb absenteeism – Parliament implored

Professor David Abdulai, Senior Advisor, Africa Parliamentarians Network against Corruption, has called for the introduction of a biometric attendance system in Parliament to curb legislators’ absenteeism.

“It is about time Parliament introduces a biometric system to ensure Members of Parliament (MPs) attended Parliament frequently,” he noted.

According to him, some MPs had been sneaking their names onto the attendance sheet without being in the House, hence, a biometric system would prevent absent MPs from continuing the act.

This follows comments by Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu in the Volta Region, alluding to the fact that MPs absenteeism in recent times has been adversely affecting Parliamentary business and it was unnecessary to burden electorates to punish their MPs for absenteeism when that can be done by the House.

He said it was farfetched for some people to impress upon their constituents to punish their absentee MPs for not engaging in government business by voting them out of Parliament during elections which goes beyond just being in Parliament, an issue of what people punish their MPs for. 

However, Prof. Abdulai indicated that“we can use technology efficiently and effectively to ensure MPs are actually in Parliament, I mean there is no way your biometric thumbprint will be the same as another MP’s, you cannot have your name smuggled into the attendance sheet, you will have to be there till end of sitting and that is one way I think is important for us to address absenteeism”.

He noted that MPs should avail themselves to the fact that they were not in Parliament to represent their personal interests rather that of their constituents, and they should hold their duties in the House to high esteem.

“Our MPs should understand they were voted into Parliament to do business of the people since they are not representing themselves, it is important we get it clearly for them to understand it is their duty to always be there unless they are in their constituencies dealing with other issues but at least for not showing up just because they do not feel like it,” Prof. Abdulai averred. –

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