Over the past year, Odekro has written articles highlighting the worrying rate of absenteeism in Ghana’s Parliament. In January last year, in a follow up to our research we petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to vacate the seats of 125 MPs and following his failure to respond to us, we asked an Accra High Court to vacate their seats in accordance with Article 97(1)(c) of the Constitution.
Our MPs Scorecards extend our analysis of MPs performance to incorporate data on MPs attendance in 2016 into our attendance record. For the first time we also measure the number of statements each MP has made in Parliament between 2013 and 2016. We believe all Ghanaian citizens must incorporate the performance of MPs in Parliament over the last 4 years into their voting decisions on December 7th.
Each Scorecard has the following components:
1. Attendance Score. ( Comprising 40% of the total score)
We calculated each attendance score by counting the number of times each MP was present divided by the total number of sitting days(working days in Parliament). We then multiplied the dividend by 40 to produce the MP’s attendance score. We weighted attendance at 40% of the total score because an MP who attends many parliamentary sittings but doesn’t contribute to discussions is less effective than one who attends a few sittings but contributes to discussions, makes amendments and asks questions.
b. “Red Cards”
Each Red Card = 15 sittings(working days) of Parliament Absent without the Permission of the Speaker. According to Article 97(1) (c) of the Constitution if an MP is absent from 15 or more sittings without permission and can’t provide a reasonable explanation to the privileges committee his or her seat should be vacated by the Speaker and a by-election held to replace him or her.
2. Contribution Score ( Comprising 60% of the total score)
The contribution score is calculated by counting the number of times each MP made a statement in Parliament. We then calculate the number of statements every MP made against the highest number of statement made by any single MP. Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the Minority Leader made the highest number of statements at 4446. Therefore a full 60% is 4446.
We also record two subsets of the total contributions made by MPs , Number of Amendments Made and Number of Questions Asked.
The Number of Amendments Made is the number of amendments each MP suggested which were accepted by Parliament and incorporated into Bills passed by Parliament.
The Number of Questions Asked is the number of questions each MP asked Government Ministers during Ministers Question Time in Parliament.
The Total Score is computed by adding the Attendance Score and the Contribution Score. MPs are then ranked against each other using their total scores, to produce the Ranking of MPs placed by each MP’s picture.
What is the Source of our Data?
We collected Attendance data by extracting MPs names from the Votes and Proceedings document (the journal or minutes of Parliament) . The document list MPs Present, Absent and Absent without Permission of the Speaker for each sitting ( working) day of Parliament.
Contributions data was collected by counting the number of times an MP’s name appears in the column where a speaker’s name is recorded on the Hansards. The Hansard is a document which records verbatim every statement made in Parliament. The questions MPs asked and the amendments they contributed were extracted from the Votes and Proceedings document. We extract all our data form documents created by the Parliamentary Service.
Ghanaians can find out exactly what each MP has said by visiting www.odekro.org and searching for their MPs records.
Who designed the Scorecards?
The team which worked on these scorecards includes Ian de Souza, Lolan Sagoe-Moses, Ernest Nii Ashitey Armah, Emmanuel Sarfo , Gifty Mensah, Sampson Adotey Jnr. Emelia Agblevor and Samson Lavoe. The team was supported by Kinna Likimani and Nehemiah Attigah of Odekro.
Who sponsored this project? The MPs Scorecards are part of a comprehensive report on the 6th Parliament of Ghana’s 4th Republic. The report and scorecards are produced with the generous support of STAR-Ghana in Collaboration with DFID, The EU and DANIDA. The full report will be launched in January 2017.