Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has assured members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) of the august house, fervent effort in building their capacity to enhance quality reportage.

According to him, parliament as an institution would continue to organize capacity building training exercises as part of an effort to keep the citizens informed of the work of Parliamentarian through the media.

Speaker Bagbin gave the assurance at the opening ceremony of a two-day training workshop for members of the PPC on the Revised Standing Orders of Parliament at Ada in the Greater Accra Region on Saturday, March 9, 2024.

He charged members of the parliamentary press corps to apprise themselves with the revised Standing Orders of the House and apply it accordingly.

Mr. Bagbin said as part of the effort to keep members of the public informed, Parliament would also engage civil society groups on the revised Standing orders to ensure that Parliament becomes a more efficient and effective institution.

The revised Orders, which were adopted by a Resolution of the House on Thursday, December 21, 2023 and took effect on January 2, 2024. It introduces practices and procedures, including the recital of the National Pledge, the conduct of parliamentary business through virtual platforms, and clearly delineates the hierarchy of the Leadership of Parliament.


The new Standing Orders has been structured to conform to changing trends in parliamentary democracy. The old Orders existed for almost twenty-four years under the Fourth Republican.

The 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) have since been orientated on the new Orders.

Currently, some sixty members of the PPC are taking part in a training workshop at Ada aimed at familiarizing them with provisions of the new Orders.

Rt Hon Bagbin explained that the initial concept in the 1992 constitution was for multiparty democracy, but the first parliament was branded a one-party system despite the fact that there were independent Members of Parliament.

“Gradually, the country is moving towards two major political parties representation, but the previous standing orders does not make provisions for an Independent MP, hence the new standing orders had made provisions to address the needs of Independent Members of parliament as well as address the issue of a hung parliament as the 8th parliament is experiencing, the previous standing orders was inherited from the third Republic,” he stated.

He cited the late Hawa Yakubu, a former MP for Bawku who was an Independent MP in the first Parliament of the fourth Republic did not want to identify with the then Majority side the National Democratic Congress (NDC), because her preferred party – the New Patriot Party (NPP) had boycotted the House.

Similarly, he said Samia Nkrumah of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) also did not want to belong to either the Majority or the Minority sides.

The Speaker noted that parliament exist to serve the interest of the people. “They do what can better the lot of the people and develop the society’s call, as there is a gap between the people and their representatives, the media is the only link to bring constituents and lawmakers closer.

“As such, Parliament has to work with the media, the media has to understand what they do and why they do what they do and the changing nature of parliament and the democratic development challenges Parliament is facing with their rules,” he stated.

The Clerk to Parliament, Mr Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, in his remarks noted that contemporary challenges including demands for higher levels of transparency in the democratic process; inadequacy of manual work procedures in the effective discharge of the mandate of the Legislature; and the Covid-19 pandemic revealed some gaps in the Orders of House, requiring that the adaptation of innovative techniques and strategies in order to deliver on the mandate of Parliament.

He said the hung nature of the Eighth Parliament, which is the first of its kind since the inception of the Fourth Republic, presents a number of novel situations and challenges that were not within the contemplation of the drafters of previous Orders of the House.

“Under our current Standing Orders, the number of parliamentary Committees has increased from thirty-one (31) to forty-four (44) to emphasize the new focus and direction of the House, as part of efforts to expand and improve parliamentary oversight of activities of public officials.

“As partners in the advancement of parliamentary democracy, the critical role of the media in the reportage of parliamentary proceedings, as well as facilitating the scrutiny of activities of the representatives of the people, cannot be overemphasized. Indeed, the work of Parliament in our governance architecture could only be well understood and appreciated by the citizenry through the dissemination of relevant information pertaining to the mandate, procedures and the conduct of business of the House.

“This orientation programme, therefore, affords members of the parliamentary press corps the opportunity to familiarise yourselves with the contents of the revised Standing Orders, to enable you report accurately, not only on the proceedings and other activities of Parliament, but also the intricate practices and procedures that underpin certain decisions, motions and resolutions of the House,” Nsiah stated.

A Deputy Clerk to Parliament, Mrs Gladys Kumawu, said the purpose of the workshop was to introduce the Revised Standing Orders to members of the Parliamentary Press Corps and as well to enhance their understanding of the Standing Orders.

He said the workshop provide the press corps with the opportunity to apprise themselves with the key significant changes introduced in the revised standing orders to help them in their reportage in the august House

Source: expressnewsghana.com

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