Ghana: Parliament unveils new online digital platform

The platform is integrated with Mobile App, SMS and social media features and was developed with clear focus on the needs of the end users.

The Government Assurance Committee (CGA) of the Parliament of Ghana, has unveiled a new online digital platform project in order to engage with citizens and amplify their voices on promises made by Ministers to ensure accountability. The online platform can be visited here.

According to the CGA, the platform is integrated with Mobile App, SMS and social media features and was developed with clear focus on the needs of the end users, and a vision to ensure that citizens are able to engage with parliament to monitor the implementation of government assurances and actively participate in the process of assessing government and hold it more accountable via an innovative, easy to use, interactive online platform.

The project aims to assist the CGA to undertake its mandate of monitoring all assurances and promises made by the executive arm of government.

The project, which is in collaboration with Penplusbytes, with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), seeks to create a digital platform for the general public to share information with the committee.

Chairman of the Committee, Emmanuel Bedzrah, and MP for Ho West, at the ceremony, held in Accra dubbed “Connecting Citizens to Parliament” project, said the work of the committee in ensuring accountable governance had been further boosted by the inclusion of technology in their activity.

Bedzrah said the platform presented a new way of engaging the citizenry, adding that the committee was the first in Parliament to go digital.

Bedzrah also stated that the committee had the mandate to follow any minister who made any promise, pledges on the floor of Parliament or before any committee without referral by the Speaker.

According to Bedzrah, “Citizen engagement is vital to the survival of democracy in current democratic dispensation, and that any government that wants to survive its mandate must engage those who elected them.”

He used the occasions to announce the modalities of the committee’s work; making known all the available platforms and how they could be utilized.

Jerry Sam, Project Director at Penplusbytes said the “connecting citizens to Parliament” project had successfully enabled CGA and key stakeholders to actively keep track of key government promises in the last year.

He said they had expanded the array of avenues that citizens could engage using short code 9030, mobile app admin.assurance. /mobil, as well as social media tools such as Facebook, and Twitter@govassurance was hopeful Penplusbytes would consolidate the vitality of the interaction between Parliament and citizens with more effective tracking of assurances that would be followed up by the committee to provide feedback to citizens.

The Committee on Government Assurances (CGA) is a Standing Committee of Parliament, created by the standing Orders in 1998 to exercise oversight responsibility over the Executive.

Order 174 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament indicates that it shall be the duty of the Committee on Government Assurances to pursue all assurances, promises and undertaking given by Ministers from time to time.

It shall also be the function of the Committee to report to the House on the extent to which such assurances have been fulfilled.

Staff Writer