Members of Parliament (MPs) have urged civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media to review their approach and mechanism for assessing legislators. They said those gathering the data limited themselves to MPs’ contributions on the floor of Parliament and attendance and ignored their contributions at committee meetings and in their respective constituencies. The MPs said such skewed assessment of legislators had the tendency to unduly create the impression in the minds of constituents that the MPs were non-performing and had to be subsequently voted out. They said some MPs had lost their seats in the past as a result of the publication of such rankings. The MPs’ concerns followed a statement made by the MP for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, in the light of a recent assessment of the performance of MPs by CSOs and the media. The most recent one rated the performance of MPs of the Sixth Parliament on the basis of their contribution in the House and their attendance. Mr Annoh-Dompreh expressed worry at the growing phenomenon of individuals, CSOs and concerned groups coming up with all sorts of assessment criteria to assess Parliament and MPs. He said from his checks and research, it was difficult to arrive at a meaningful and universal applicable statistical measurement for the performance of MPs. That, he said, was because "views differ, constituencies vary, the political context of each committee is unique" and, therefore, it would be unfair for any organisation or media house to use one performance indicator to measure the performance of a parliamentarian within a given period of time. Mr Annoh-Dompreh said he welcomed fair, transparent and a more inclusive approach of assessment by individuals and organisations. Wrong methodology The Deputy Majority Leader, Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, who was rated low by the recent assessment and subsequently received an apology from the organisation, said the work of Parliament included oversight, the legislative function, the ratification of treaties and international assignments. Besides, she said, there were committee meetings, but it was only the meetings of the Appointments Committee, the Public Accounts Committee and the Government Assurance Committee that were telecast live. She said it was therefore wrong for any organisation to base its assessment of MPs on their contributions on the floor of the House. MPs welcome fair assessment The MP for Tamale Central, Alhaji Inusah Abdulai Fuseini, stressed that the business of Parliament transcended what pertained in the chamber to include committee meetings and facilitation of development in their respective constituencies. "MPs work actively and vigorously in committees, in the chamber and in constituencies," he said. Alhaji Fuseini said legislators would not run away from any assessment, but it required that any such assessment be done "in a holistic and all-encompassing manner".
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