The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Manso Adubia Constituency, Mr Frimpong Yaw Addo, has proposed a national discourse on the presentation of Ex-gratia to MPs in the country after their tenure of office.
He said the frequent and unending complaints and criticisms from members of the public and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) about the gratuity paid to the Law Makers for offering services to the nation, ought to be put to rest by initiating a national debate to collate the acceptability or otherwise of the public on ex-gratia for the MPs.
The MP made this proposal at a collaboration forum on anti-corruption convened by Star Ghana Foundation in Accra for its Partners working on Anti-Corruption Projects throughout the country.
The participants’ interactions with the MP who currently serves on the Environmental Sub-Committee of Parliament and former member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), was to enable the Law Maker to give insight on the work of Parliament in responding to corruption and its related issues.
The MP, who engaged the participants in a frank, fair and genuine partnership discourse, explained that even though the cost of political campaigns had become expensive to run, it invariably impacted the cost of the ex-gratia paid to MPs at the end of their tenure.
He said frequent demands from constituents, other social obligations, and support to needy people at the constituency level all come to play to raise the expenditure of an MP which also had the tendency to aggravate the spending portfolio of the MP, and therefore by estimates the gratuity at the end of the four year sitting as MP may not be too much to receive.
According to the MP, the essence of ensuring that MPs delivered their roles effectively could not be separated from genuine motivation, hence the need to ensure that value for money played well in motivating the MPs to give off their best.
The MP who answered questions on the passing of the Right to Information (RTI) Bill before Parliament into law, gave the assurance that parliament was doing everything in its capacity to ensure that the Bill was passed into law.
He explained that there were several Bills before the house that also needed immediate attention, adding that “as for this Parliament, we will ensure that it is passed”.
Mr Addo shared experiences on the role of parliament in fighting corruption and said the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC), the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), and the Governance Assurances Committee (GAC) were all structures established by Parliament to manage issues related to corruption.
He indicated that capacities of MPs ought to be built to give them the opportunity to be familiar with legislation against corruption and said there were assumptions that “as MPs we know everything about the law, but it is not so.
“We need to build our capacities to appreciate the laws fully to deal with corruption, because of constitutional provisions”, he added.
He conceded that “openness in governance brings about accountability” and said he endorsed public disclosure of audited property as part of efforts to encourage transparency and check corruption in the country.
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