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23 MPs are without offices

By
Benjamin Mensah, GNA

Accra, June 28, GNA –
Twenty-three Members of Parliament in the current parliament do not have
offices for themselves and their auxiliary staff.

The situation has
prompted Mr Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwame Dafeamekpor, MP for South Dayi to file a
question that asked the “Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs
when offices shall be provided for the 23 other Members of Parliament who are
without offices.”

Mr Magnus Kofi
Amoatey, MP for Yilo Krobo asked the question on behalf on his colleague.

Answering, Mr Osei
Kyei- Mensa Bonsu, the Majority Leader, said the Parliament House Physical
Infrastructure Enhancement Project approved by Parliamentary Service Board of
the Sixth Parliament at its 21st Regular Meeting held in July 2016,
has engaged the attention of the new 
Board of the Seventh Parliament.

He said even though all
the pre-contract works were duly undertaken, the Parliamentary  Service Board of the Sixth Parliament could
not award a contract to the project for execution as its mandate expired after
the general elections.

The Majority Leader
assured the House: “As you are aware, the Board of the Seventh Parliament has
been constituted and the project under reference has engaged the attention of
the new Board.

“Discussions are going
on the need to increase the number beyond 23.

“As soon as a
determination is made, processes leading to the award of contract in respect of
the project would be triggered and I want to assure the House that the contract
will be awarded in accordance with due process for construction works to
commence in earnest.”

Mr Kyei-Mensa Bonsu
said the Job 600 Office Complex, which was refurbished into offices for MPs
took into consideration the total membership of Parliament increased to 230,
the then  Board ensured an increase in
the number of offices to 252.

This was to make for
the 24 additional offices for purposed as may be determined by the Board.

“Mr Speaker, the
coming into force of the Representation of the People’s (Parliamentary
Constituencies) Instrument, 2012 (C.I. 78) eventually led to an increase in the
number of Members of Parliament from 230 to 275, an addition of 45 new
constituencies.

“At the time the
Membership of Parliament increased to 275, the civil works for the
refurbishment of the Block had been completed and further tempering with the
structure would have involved a lot of demolition with attendant huge financial
implications,” the Majority Leader said.

He said apart from the
huge financial outlay as a result of any demolition, the structural integrity
of the building would have been compromised and hence necessitated relevant
adjustments and reinforcement.

“It is these considerations
and the effect of huge additional loads to a structure that itself was over 50
years that resulted in maintaining the original facility. This therefore
resulted in a shortfall of office accommodation for 23 out of the additional 45
Members that joined Parliament 2012.”

Mr Kyei-Mensa Bonsu
explained that the Parliament House Physical Infrastructure Enhancement project
has three sub-projects components, namely Sub-project I- Supplementary MP
Offices (Job 600 Annex); Sub-project II- Facelift of the Chamber Block Basement
and Related Works; and Sub project III- Re-modelling of Speaker’s Block.

Despite the Parliament
House Physical Infrastructure Enhancement Project, being a three-part component
project, the Majority Leader threw the searchlight on the Supplementary MPs
Offices (Job 600 Annex), and said the project involved the construction of a
seven-storey building which was intended to provide office accommodation for 23
Members and their support staff as well as provide office accommodation for
staff of Parliamentary Service.

He announced that the
total cost estimated for the Supplementary MPs Office Complex at the time was $
23, 074, 249.84 or its cedi equivalent of GHȼ92, 296, 99.36.

“Mr Speaker, I wish to
indicate that prior to approving this project, the PSB of the Six Parliament
accepted a financial proposal from the contractor that refurbished the Job 600
Tower Block, Messrs China Stat Hualong Construction Limited of its willingness
to raise the required funds to pre-finance the project on design-and-build
arrangement,” the Majority Leader said.

GNA

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