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18.06.2005 General News

Five-year development plan for Parliament

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Agona Swedru, June 18, GNA - A five-year strategic plan has been drawn to make Parliament more efficient to satisfy the needs of the public.

Mr Felix Owusu Adjepong, Majority Leader in Parliament said this at a two-day workshop on "the enhanced strategic plan for parliament" at Agona Swedru. He stated that by the middle of the plan Parliament and the Parliamentary Service were expected to become more relevant to the needs of the nation to enhance democracy.

Mr Owusu Adjepong said the workshop was to review and asses the strength, weaknesses and opportunities offered by the strategic plan. Mr Alban Babgin, Minority Leader noted that there had been confusion between the parliamentary staff and parliamentarians because of the perception of the workers that they were "forever" while MPs "will come and go". He stated that the workshop was also to plan innovative actions to realize the opportunities for Parliament during the planned period. The Minority Leader said it was expected that under the strategic plan, facilitates such as enough office accommodation, library and a communication system for the chamber were provided.

Alhaji Malik Yakubu Alhassan, Second Deputy speaker, pointed out that plan would help to establish an organisational structure with clearly defined policies and modalities for managing Parliament. He said Parliament had to be well resourced with a "lean" and dedicated staff equal to the task of ensuring a lasting democracy, rule of law and "putting the nation's interest first". Dr Sulley Gariba, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Alternatives and a resource person said the workshop was designed to fashion out plans to help MPs to face the challenges ahead of them. He called on the MPs to endeavour to improve their work to fulfil the aspiration of the people who elected them and to perform their oversight functions effectively.