It has emerged that for four solid years, a total of 19 Members of Parliament who were part of the Sixth Parliament under the Fourth Republic did not make a single statement on the floor of Parliament.
A STAR-Ghana funded project also revealed some MPs including NPP firebrand Ken Ohene Agyapong and former Deputy Central Regional Minister Queenstar Pokua Sawyerr were among the worst performing MPs, who also never contributed to deliberations in Parliament.
The revelation was contained in a report by Odekro, a transparency organization with focus on proceedings in parliament, which was launched on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.
The 19 Members of Parliament who did not make a statement were part of 275 MPs who were elected during the 2012 parliamentary elections and took their oath of office on January 7, 2013. That parliament was dissolved on the night of January 6, 2017.
They are made up of 16 MPs who belong to the National Democratic Congress (who were then the Majority) and three (3) MPs of the New Patriotic Party.
Interestingly, seven out of the 19 were re-elected by their constituents and are currently members of the Seventh Parliament.
According to Odekro, the documents it assessed were obtained primarily in soft copy either from Parliament’s website or from a member of the Parliamentary Service. It said after data set was checked for completeness, some gaps were identified but the missing data was obtained in hardcopy from staff of the Parliamentary Service.
It therefore assigned a weight of 40% of total score to attendance and 60% to the contribution score. “Our rationale is simple. An MP’s presence in Parliament is practically of no effect if he or she does not contribute to deliberations in the house. MPs who are both present and contribute should therefore normally be ranked better than MPs who make regular appearances in Parliament but do not contribute to the work of the house.”
According to the report, only 52 MPs or 18.9% of the 275 MPs contributed amendments to the over 81 bills which were approved by Parliament. Of the 79 Bills passed, 31 Bills or 43.3% were “tax bills”, introduced to impose or revise (mostly increase) taxes, customs duties and levies.
The report further noted that 255 out of 275 (92.7%) of MPs made at least 1 contribution to debates during their 4-year tenure in office.
“73 MPs were absent without permission, a clear violation of article 97(1)(c) of the constitution. 28 MPs never absented themselves without permission.
“19 MPs did not make a single statement in 4 years in Parliament.
“NPP MPs made an average of 199 statements over the 4 year period; 33 statements more than NDC MPs (166 statements).”
In all, the MP for Old Tafo, Anthony Akoto Osei was adjudged the overall best MP with a total score of 94.12%. He was followed by James Klutse Avedzi 93.39%;Joseph Yieleh Chirech 92.21%; Papa Owusu-Ankomah 92.17%; and Alexander Afenyo-Markin 91.03% in that order.
The worst performer in the Sixth Parliament, according to Odekro, is Evans Paul Aidoo who scored paltry 11.50%; Queenstar Pokua Sawyerr 16.98%; Dr. Nii Oakley Quaye-Kumah 17.09%; Ken Ohene Agyapong 18.29%; Dr. Mustapha Ahmed 18.60%
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