Ms Sarah Adwoa Sarfo, the Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, has call for a high-quality research finding for Parliament to use as evidence in decision making and come out with good policies.
“The gathering of evidence and the use of such data by Parliament to carry out the function of overseeing the activities and spending of the executive is relevant in the democratic dispensation of every country,” she added.
Ms Sarfo made the call on Monday in Accra at the opening ceremony of a three-day training workshop on “Evidence Generation and use of Legislative Oversight Function in Ghana and ECOWAS Parliaments”.
The workshop brought together ECOWAS Parliaments and administrative staff of Parliament of Ghana, hosted by the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR) of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in collaboration with CLEAR South Africa with support from the World Bank.
She said most of the evidence in policy-making was not necessarily scientific, but emanated from statistical data, public opinion, input from think tanks, reports of stakeholders, consultation and evaluation of seminars, which were not empirical enough for effective decision making.
Ms Sarfo who is also the Minister for Public Procurement and a Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya said the availability of research and reliable information were critical factors for evidence policies and laws in parliamentary procedures.
She expressed concern about the existing bureaucracies within the executive, which occasionally slows down access to critical information, thereby impeding decision making processes of parliament on its oversight functions.
“Parliament is empowered to control the expenditure of public of the country and also exercises oversight function over the executive, which is imperative in article 93(2) of the 1992 constitution”.
She said Legislative function of Parliament includes passing bills into laws and scrutinizing statutory instruments, authorized the granting of loans and monitors the exchange receipts and payments, which was imperative in article 184 of the Constitution.
Ms Sarfo said the passage of the Right to Information Bill would enhance evidence generation of use by Parliament and its various committees as well as the general citizens, adding that the digitalization of Parliament activities into e-procurement was a further enhancement of evidence gathering to promote proper oversight over the executive.
“The training programme will promote evidence used by Parliament through building the capacity of parliamentarians to use monitoring and evaluation as part of its oversight functions”.
Mr Frederick Opare Ansah, a representative of ECOWAS Parliament Delegation, said the training would empower participants with the needed skills to improve service delivery in public administration.
Professor Philip Duku Osei, the Deputy Rector of GIMPA, said training and development of public and private institutions had been the institute’s hallmark, urging participants to make good use of the knowledge acquired and impact it positively to their various countries.
Dr Charles Amoatey, the Coordinator for CLEAR GIMPA, said participants would be taken through topics including National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy, Evidence-informed Policy, and Approach to Assessing Evidence.