The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has expressed worry about the high attrition rate in Parliament and has suggested periodic training of parliamentarians for the incoming ones to gain the requisite knowledge and skills in parliamentary work.
“Parliamentarians may have some expertise pertaining to their careers and backgrounds, but may not be experts in everything and it is important for periodic training to upgrade their knowledge and skills, especially in the face of high attrition rate,” he stressed.
Prof. Oquaye expressed the sentiment at the opening of a three-day workshop for chairpersons and ranking members of eight select committees in parliament, on Parliamentary Review and Approval/Ratification on International Agreements, in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
It focused on strengthening the capacity of the participants to shape their understanding in international agreements by seasoned experts such as Nana Professor S.K.B Asante, a retired diplomat and Justice Professor Samuel Date-Bah, a former Supreme Court Judge.
He explained that the social impact in terms of economic, environmental and health implications on the citizenry as a result of various international agreements approved or ratified by parliament is not just a matter of merely calculating budget but parliamentarians must have the understanding and in-depth knowledge and skills of the agreements to ensure value for money.
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority leader, throwing more light on the training, said the workshop would interrogate five major issues including the Introductory Survey of the Constitutional Mandate of Parliament to Review and Approve Various Types of International Agreements and other Transactions under Article 75(2), Article 18(1,2,3,4,5) and Article 268 of the 1992 Constitution.
“The workshop will look at Issues in Parliamentary Review of International Loan Agreements (Legal and Financial), an Examination of the Steps and Procedures Preceding Parliamentary Review including the Negotiation Processes at the Executive Level and Documentation submitted to parliament for purposes of review.
“In addition, the participants will also be taken through approval of Public Private Partnership Agreements in a well configured template in order to ensure that in giving approval to them, the country is not short-changed,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noted. -GNA