Mr Liam Byrne, the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Inclusive Growth, has congratulated Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin for his lead role in setting up the Parliamentary Network on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Africa.
“I am proud of your role in the current difficult situation of a hung Parliament in Ghana, and your efforts at maximizing the power and authority of parliament,” he said.
Mr Byrne, a member of the British Parliament and member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was impressed with the patronage and interest in the network that Mr Bagbin had been able to generate among MPs on the continent and the strides that the network had made so far in countries where they had been set up.
He was speaking at a meeting with Ghana’s Parliamentary Delegation to Westminster in London led by Mr Bagbin, a statement issued by the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament said on Saturday.
Mr Byrne was at the meeting with Dame Caroline Dinenage (DBE MP), former Minister of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The meeting focused on ministerial obligations and parliamentary scrutiny.
He commended Mr Bagbin for being able to manage the conflicts in the legislature as well as his endeavours at promoting collaboration and consensus building.
One of the best ways for Parliament to hold ministers accountable was through the Ministers' Question Time on the floor of the House, he noted.
Mr Bryan, therefore, described the concept of Urgent Questions as one of the most innovative interventions in Parliamentary democracy in the last decade.
The British MP advised ministers of state, who inevitably would have to respond to questions from Members of Parliament, to develop the capacity to anticipate when they could be invited to the House to respond to questions from MPs and pre-empt those with statements on the vexed issues, which provided some steer on how they were being managed.
Dame Caroline Dinenage, former Minister of State at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said the conundrum of MPs juggling two roles (that is the addition of ministerial appointment to the job of the MP) was real.
“Success, in this case, depends largely on one's ability to assemble a strong team for the constituency work and an equally strong team for the ministerial job,” she said.
Mr Bagbin, on his part, said the dual role of MPs who were also ministers, was a challenging one.
“Developing policies and other instruments for parliament to approve and then sitting in as an MP to scrutinise to approve it, and then exercise oversight responsibility for how it is implemented could be puzzling,” he said.
However, the role of MPs as leaders was also to provide hope and optimism for the majority of the population, Speaker Bagbin said.
"…Consequently, MPS must not be seen complaining about situations in which they find themselves, or else it will generate despondency among the populace, even though current uncertainties within the political domain have had adverse effects on the work of the MP.”
Mr Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, the Clerk to Parliament; Mr Ebenezer Djietror, the Assistant Clerk; Mr Magnus Kofi Amoatey, Legal Counsel to the Speaker; Mr Gayheart Mensah, the Director of the Speaker's Communication Team, and Mr Charles Dery Tenzagh, the Deputy Director of Parliamentary Relations were members of Speaker Bagbin's team to the Westminster meeting.