Speaker urges academia to support parliament with research

By Christopher Arko, GNA

Accra, Sept.10
GNA
The Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye has called on the academia and
think-tanks in Ghana to support Members of Parliament (MPs) with their research
evidence and information to enable them deliver on their mandate.

According to
him, parliamentarians are “lovers” of scientific works and research
publications and for that matter are open to evidence information.

Prof Oquaye
whose statement was read by the Second Deputy Speaker, Mr Alban Bagbin made the
call at the opening of this year’s Africa Evidence Week celebration in Accra.

The three-day
conference is on the theme: “Showcasing the state of evidence use on the
continent”. 

The event is a
collaboration between PACK Africa, an NGO and the Inter-Departmental Research
and Information Group (IDRIG) of the Parliament of Ghana.

The conference
is being attended by participants from Governmental Organisations, Civil
Society Organisations as well as staff of the Parliamentary Service.

Prof Oquaye
also stated Parliaments and other public institutions around the world were
confronted with increasing public demand that outcomes of policy deliberations
or legislation by their representatives are well informed by time tested
evidence.

He said the
essence of the demand by the public is to have legislations and state policies
to be more inclined to their needs and aspirations. 

Prof Oquaye
also maintained that evidence is a critical ingredient for effective delivery
of parliament’s core function.

He said the
members of legislature required research support in a form that is appropriate
for their work.

He said the MPs
needed access to timely, up-to-date accurate and well-resourced information in
order to properly perform their constitutional mandated duties.

Prof Oquaye
further stated that better access to information and research could help
empower legislatures to formulate and pass effective legislation and perform
effective scrutiny of government.

He said
political arguments became richer and better because MPs received up-to-date
information through those departments.  

Mrs Gloria
Insaidoo, Chairperson of the IDRIG in her remark observed that the essence of
the celebration was to showcase how information and research evidence were
being used to inform decision- making to shape policy formulation.

She emphasised
that parliament required more knowledge and information if it must play an
active and significant role in the discharge of its constitutional mandates.

She said
Parliament was a House of records, and therefore any statement made by any
member on the floor of the House was recorded in the Hansard for posterity.

“Therefore to
avoid storing irresponsible and untruth statements made on the floor of the
House, every statement made by any member, or information provided to the House
must be backed by evidence from an authentic source” she added.

Mrs Insaidoo
also stated that the ability of the legislature to perform its constitutionally
mandated function effectively was largely dependent on its access to
authoritative and reliable information.

She said
Parliament and members required research support in a form that was appropriate
for their work.

Mr Kirchufs
Atengbie, Executive Director of Packs Africa in his remarks assured that his
organisation would continue to collaborate with parliament on evidence informed
policy making.

He said the
African Evidence Network was also providing opportunities for capacity building
to other governmental organisations to enable them discharge their mandate.

GNA

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