Marking present at the Plenary while absent is a bad practice – Hon. Osei-Owusu to MPs

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The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, has stated that the practice where Members of Parliament mark themselves present while absent at the Plenary is bad and must be discouraged.

Mr. Osei-Owusu pointed out that the habit of absenteeism by Members of Parliament is a matter that ought to be looked at.
Presiding over the proceedings of the House, the First Deputy Speaker indicated that MPs smuggling their names into records, pretending to be present while absent is a serious matter that affects the integrity of Members.
This came to light when some Members of Parliament from both sides raised concern about the daily records of MPs at the Plenary.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament who doubles as the MP for Bekwai, told the House that Members should not give room for the public to doubt the integrity of Parliament.
“Some MPs’ names have appeared in the records but I have not seen them in the Chamber for the whole month.  That practice is bad and we should not encourage it. For those who have other official assignments, the Standing Orders are clear. Seek permission from the Speaker. We should not encourage a practice where Members enter their names to be present but go out to do their private business and claim that they are at the Chamber”, he added.
Mr. Osei-Owusu cautioned that if an MP claims to be in Parliament but is found to be engaged in something else, that becomes a matter for the Privileges Committee.
The Bekwai MP reiterated that when a Committee has been scheduled to have a meeting, such a Committee is expected to come to the Chamber first, to report and seek leave.
“From the Votes and Proceedings of yesterday, I have marked 15 MPs who were not in the Chamber but have been recorded to be present. I did not see them anywhere and they do not belong to any of the Committees that held meetings yesterday”, He revealed.
Source: GhanaJustice/S.Ayisi


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