Majority Leader: Providing MPs with constituency offices will facilitate parliamentary democracy

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has assured Members of Parliament (MPs) construction of their Constituency Offices which begins in 2022 will facilitate and enhance parliamentary democracy.

He explained that the Parliamentary Service Office Support Project intended to construct 70 such offices, per year over a four-year period, and all 275 constituencies would be provided with such offices.

“To further deepen the representational role of Parliament, the need has arisen for MPs to be provided with constituency offices that will be accessible by the citizenry and residents irrespective of political affiliation.

“It will also afford constituents common platform to engage and interact with their representatives since oftentimes constituents who do not belong to political parties of their MPs find it difficult to, almost impossible to engage their representatives at party office of MPs,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noted.

The Majority Leader gave the assurance in his response to a question on the floor of the House by Mohammed Adamu Ramadan, MP for Adentan in the Greater Accra Region, on the current state of construction of offices for MPs in their constituencies.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu indicated that the government and Leadership of the House recognising defect in the nation’s governance architecture, had put measures in place to ensure construction of offices for MPs in all 275 constituencies to serve as neutral grounds for fruitful engagements to upscale participatory democracy.

In that regard, he said the project intended to construct 70 such offices which was expected in all 275 constituencies would be provided with such offices over a period of four years, adding that “further discussions on the issue, yield consideration amount is programmed for construction of facilities, unit cost will not suffice given current circumstances of cost of building materials.

“It means we will really have to increase level of allocations per unit, for this year we have come to some estimation on the issue, proposals for award of contract has been referred to Entity Tender Committee of Parliamentary Service for considerations and report back to the Board,” the Majority Leader intimated.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu observed that the Committee subsequently met and recommended leadership of the House constituted a committee comprising of MPs with requisite knowledge from both sides of the House to engage the Committee on award of contract.

He conceded that Parliament did not commence the construction of the project in 2021 however, provisions would be made in the rest of three years to accommodate allocation for 2021 and appealed to them to collaborate with respective assemblies for acquisition of land for MPs office project. -GNA

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