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Parliament celebrates research and information week

The second edition of the Research and Information Week celebrations of Parliament has opened in Accra.

 

The Inter-Departmental Research and Information Group (IGRIG) is organizing the event in collaboration with Westminster Foundation for Democracy on the theme: 25 years of Parliamentary Democracy in Ghana: the role of Research and Information.

 

Rt. Hon. Professor Michael Aaron Oquaye, Speaker of Parliament, in an address to open the event, yesterday, noted that without the adoption and use of credible evidence-based information in policy formulation and legislative processes, efforts at maximizing resources for improving developmental outcomes would be in vain, because whatever was done with non-factual information would fail to achieve the desirable impact.

 

It was, therefore, important, Rt. Hon. Professor Oquaye said, that within the Parliamentary polity, the use of evidence-based information in the representational, deliberative and legislative processes was not compromised, adding that conscious efforts should be made at all times to improve the base or sources for the generation of the evidence-based information.

 

He said the need for collaboration with other stakeholders in the policy arena such as think-tanks, the academia and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) was, also, now critical than ever. 

 

He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to assiduously work together to ensure that credible evidence-based information was available to Parliament and its stakeholders on time.

 

Rt. Hon. Professor Oquaye admonished Civil Society Organizations not to be interested only in assessing Parliament with conclusions that thwarted the efforts of the august institution but also proffer ideas and make credible information available to support its work.

 

He expressed delight about the collaboration by Parliament, through the Information Service Delivery Departments, with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Bank of Ghana (BoG) and several others to mount an exhibition on research and information products, as part of the week-long celebration.

 

In his remarks, Mr Emmanuel Anyimadu, Clerk of Parliament, noted that for the Parliament of Ghana to overcome the uncertainties associated with a digital Parliament, there was the need for stronger internal systems and processes supported by state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure and research capabilities.

 

Mr Anyimadu said much as the Parliament of Ghana had evolved and improved in the utilization of ICT and research resources, it ought to be admitted that a lot of work remained to be done to facilitate access of MPs and staff to a wide range of information and research products and services which would propel Parliament to the next level of its technological development.

 

He underscored the importance of information gathering, processing, management and sharing among departments as key to any vibrant and forward-looking Parliament and stressed the need for the various Departments of Parliament to collaborate in the discharge of their respective functions.

 

The Majority Leader and MP for Suame, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, in a statement, said information was vital to all the arms of government and, indeed, critical to the performance of any legislature.

 

Hon. Mensah-Bonsu said Members of Parliament ought to be accurately informed in order to be very effective legislators.

 

He urged the committee clerks to consult the Hansard Department, the library and the Research Department to be served with relevant information and relay same to the clerks.

 

On his part, the Minority Leader and MP for Tamale Central, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, said a stronger Parliament made a stronger democracy. Hon. Iddrisu stressed the need for the Hansard to be accurate and timely, making the best use of the relevant ICT tools available.

 

He urged the IT/Research Department to work towards the digitisation of information as Parliament continued to exercise its oversight role for the development of the nation.

 

Source: ISD (Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah)