The construction of constituency offices for all 275 Members of Parliament is expected to start in 2022 in phases.
This is contained in the 2022 budget presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
The move, according to the Minister, is one of the many activities being undertaken under the Parliamentary Service Office Support Project (PSOSP) to strengthen Parliament and boost the work of the legislators.
“The PSOSP will be fully completed in 2022. Phase I of the construction of constituency offices for Members of Parliament will commence in 2022,” the budget states.
The chamber of parliament is also expected to get a facelift in 2022 with the ICT facilities being upgraded.
“In 2022, Parliament will upgrade ICT facilities in the Debating Chamber and Committee meeting rooms to improve the quality of video and replace consoles to improve feed for live broadcast of proceedings… Other projects at various stages of completion are: the e-Parliament project; Phase II of the Table Office MIS; the Data Centre; and the operationalisation of the Budget and Fiscal Analysis Office,” the budget adds.
The government had earlier programmed to provide some money towards the construction of the constituency offices with an initial support amount of GH¢45.5 million.
The amount caters for the first phase of the project which is intended to provide constituency offices for all the 275 MPs by 2024.
A report of the Special Budget Committee of Parliament looking at the 2021 budget said the Parliamentary Service intended “to construct 70 of such offices annually so that by the end of 2024, all 275 Constituencies will be provided.”
“Successful execution of the project will further deepen the representational role of Members of Parliament by bringing them closer to their constituents,” the report said.
There have been widespread concerns that the project is an additional burden on the public purse and must therefore be aborted, but some legislators have defended it, saying it will help deepen democracy. – CNR