conducted the research. I have spoken at length at various media on this and I have been very categorical that the yardstick employed is not comprehensive enough. Madam Speaker, we all do acknowledge that over 60 per cent of the business transacted in this House is conducted at the level of committees. There is this assertion that a Parliament is as strong as its committees make it.
So if one wants to assess Members of Parliament but does not include work that is done at the committee level, certainly, it cannot be complete, it cannot be comprehensive. And in my opinion, that then will imply that the result that ensues from the yardstick employed by the person, would not be entirely accurate.
Madam Speaker, we all know that at committees, we strive to be very consensual and to that extent, it is least partisan. Madam Speaker, at the level of the committees, a suggestion is made by one person or two persons. The committee, because of the depth of the submission, adopts it. When the report of that committee is coming to the plenary, it does not include the name of the person who even made the suggestion. What does that mean? The person whose idea Parliament has tapped, it comes to the plenary, plenary sees wisdom in the position adopted by the committee and plenary by consensus also adopts the report of the committee.
It means that, that report came to be adopted by plenary because of one person; the contribution of one person at the level of the committee and yet when it comes to plenary, the person is not even mentioned, credit is not given to him. And so, it is important if the person wants to help us to have included work at the committee level and to the extent that it does not include work at the committee level, in my candid opinion, I believe the results cannot be accurate.
Madam Speaker, I believe, as we have heard, if we are not careful about this, it may lead to some indiscipline in the House. Some signals have been given by some contributors that they would not wait to be called even if they do not register on your radar, to be called, they will gate- crash your radar and that could be internally disastrous for you. And it becomes difficult for Leadership to help you, Madam Speaker, to ensure that business is conducted in an orderly manner.
It is true that Members would want to speak to issues but given the time that we operate in this House, it is not possible on any single matter, to allow everybody to speak on the issue.
Madam Speaker, if you look at the criteria that the person employed, and I looked at the second one, “how active Members are in legislative business”, Madam Speaker, even if you consider that one alone, how is it to be understood? - that of a person coming to Parliament often? Coming and staying or coming and disappearing?
Are you going to base it on the contribution of that person or the single person, maybe, as many times as often, as many times as possible as the person speaks in this House? Madam Speaker, are you going to just assign weight to the contribution of that person? Somebody speaks once but he makes a very, very intelligent contribution and so, how are you to determine the activeness of the person in legislative business?
Madam Speaker, consider a person like the Member for Akropong (Hon William Ofori Boafo) who everybody acknowledges that since this Fifth Parliament, he has been most helpful in the making of pieces of legislation in this House, especially at the Consideration Stage. I am not too sure of the grade that
“W. O.” got. I am not too sure. “W. O” what was your grade? (Interruptions.] Such a person definitely ought to be given greater recognition than has been given him.
Madam Speaker, the functions of a Member of Parliament in this House, as has been articulated brilliantly by the Hon Member for Bimbilla (Mr Dominic Nitiwul) -- Madam Speaker, the principal functions of a Member of Parliament are legislative, deliberative, which we conduct in this House, representative, informative, the power of the purse and oversight responsibilities -- six in all. One cannot use one or two to assess a person and say that one has done his best. Even if we limit it to the plenary, one would want to know how often the assessors stayed in this House.
So Madam Speaker, on all fours, it becomes obvious that the criteria are not comprehensive enough. Maybe, one could say that it could be a useful beginning, but to the extent that it does not reflect the totality of work in this House, to the extent that the result ensuing from the conducts of the research would not reflect or does not reflect the competences of Hon Members of Parliament here. I believe the results are flawed and are reprehensible. So let us stand up to it.
Madam Speaker, let me assure Hon Colleagues that I was not consulted. I do not even know whoever did this. I am not too sure my Hon Colleague on the other side was also involved or consulted in the assessment. So let Hon Members be assured that Leadership had no role in this, and let our compatriots out there in the constituencies - because of this admission, that the assessment could not
be correct and that the result ensuing from it is also incorrect or inaccurate, let them not hold the results against Hon Colleague Members of Parliament.
Madam Speaker, if they want to do a better job, if maybe, we see them next time round, we would be able to incorporate certain fundamental issues which they may add in order to improve what they have set out to do. But first of all, let them come with a cleaner conscience, a better motive will help them to achieve - because after all, we from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) group have already been mentioned by Dr Matthew Prempeh, that we wanted to assess our Hon Members, which was vehemently opposed by the Hon Member for Sekondi, himself a former Majority Leader.
But we have forgiven him on that because we believe we need to peer review ourselves, to correct ourselves and to set ourselves on a better platform to enhance and expand our democratic governance.
Madam Speaker, I thank you very much
for the opportunity.