I would take the contributions from Leadership.
Hon Minority Chief Whip?
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC -- Asawase) Mr Speaker, the Statement could not have come at a better time.
Mr Speaker, I would want to support the Hon MP who made the Statement and to say that, as a House, we need to take this Statement seriously and take the necessary measures to help check ourselves first before others continue to give misinformation about us.
Mr Speaker, I would want to continue from where Hon Boniface, who is the Hon MP for Madina, concluded. There are two sides of the coin and we cannot pretend to talk about just one side of it and forget the other.
Mr Speaker, in the United Kingdom (UK), a researcher was asked about whether it was proper to assess an Hon MP. He said it was impossible to measure
in terms of quantity and compare the performance of an Hon MP in general, but some benchmarks could be used.
Mr Speaker, some of the benchmarks that were used were the Hon MP has to be assessed on how he did “surgery”. We call it “interaction” in our constituencies, but in the UK, they call it “surgery” in their constituency. So, how many times in a month, six months or in a year, has the Hon MP been in his constituency to interact with his constituents. So that could be measured.
Mr Speaker, in the House of Commons, in this case Parliament, how many times the Hon MP had been in the Chamber, how many times he or she has attended Committee meetings and what were his or her contributions, whether on the floor of the House or at the Committee level. These are things that are recorded.
Mr Speaker, last year, there was this gadget which with the help of the Clerk to Parliament, we tried to implement. It is biometric data that was put on the Hon Majority Leader, the Hon Minority Leader, the Hon Majority Whip and Hon Minority Whip as a way to check how effective it would be.
When an Hon MP entered the Chamber, he or she would clock in and it would record in the system when he or she came into the Chamber and when he or she moves out, he or she would clock out the time he or she left.
Mr Speaker, we have tested it and we believe it is very effective, so it is time to expand it. This is because even with the attendance sheet, it is said and it is true that some Hon MPs would come and go to the mails room, sign their names and hang around Parliament for some time and then leave.
Mr Speaker, we should not pretend that some of our Hon Colleagues do this. How do we authenticate? It is very important we do this.
Mr Speaker, when we refurbished the Chamber, I was part of the team that went to the UK to assess this gadget before us. This gadget before us can do a number of things. We could vote and within a minute the results would show on the screen.
Mr Speaker, this screen could tell how we vote on issues, but we do not use it because our Standing Orders has not made provisions for it. But we have taken the necessary steps to amend it and we would have to fast- track it.
Mr Speaker, the Votes and Proceedings captures the list of all Hon Members who attend the Committee meetings. These are the things that as a House we must intensify and keep proper record of, so that at the end of the year, as a House, we should do the assessment and know the number of times an Hon MP has absented him or herself.
Mr Speaker, there is a website in the UK, that at the end of the year, one could tell how many times his or her Hon MP has attended the House, how many times his or her Hon MP has voted and on each issue, how his or her Hon MP voted. That is a record where people could easily assess.
When they are able to do this, we could then move to the stage where we would ask people who would do random things and publish them the basis of their research.
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect, we do not keep these records ourselves. Many of the developed democracies have
dedicated television and radio stations so that whatever happens — For example, in the House of Commons, one would not carry a camera and go and sit there and pick which side of the session of the proceedings that the person wants to pick.
The House of Commons has its own cameras and one can only be allowed to plug in from the cameras of the House, unless there are ceremonial activities, then they would allow other cameras to come. Other than that, they would have to plug in into the cameras.
Mr Speaker, when these things happen, people can choose to go live to see the proceedings that happen in those Chambers. Others could tune in to their radio stations and listen to what is happening live. But it is only during the reading of the Budget and some ceremonial activities in this House that private radio stations and sometimes, Ghana Television (GTV) would come and telecast live, and the moment that small session is over, it is taken off.
Mr Speaker, this House has been running for over two decades and we have to look at how to invest in these areas so that we would begin to provide relevant information to the general public as to how they should assess us.
Mr Speaker, the other things that my Hon Colleagues have said, which I agree with — Let us ask ourselves how many of us got here. We got here by undermining those who were here and told lies that when we come, we would do this and that and give this and that.
How many of us sitting in this Chamber, that somebody is not already in our constituencies going around and telling lies that he or she can provide this or that, and he or she has been using money to