A delegation from the Communication Bureau of Parliament led by Superintendent Effia Tenge (retired) paid a working visit to the Information Services Department (ISD) on Friday.
The purpose of the visit was to discuss ways the two institutions could work together to strengthen public understanding of democratic governance and the role of Parliament.
Madam Effia Tenge, who led the delegation, announced the creation of three Departments in Parliament from the Public Affairs Directorate namely, Public Engagement, Media Relations and Broadcasting.
“So, we happen to be the vanguard of this great initiative. One of the key roles of the Public Engagement Department is to ensure public-citizen-parliament engagement for more participatory, more inclusive and more responsive democratic processes.
“And if we have to do this, then what it means is that we need to get the public to understand the work of parliament.”
She pointed out that to engage the populace in democratic processes, they must understand the role of parliament and its functions.
She stated, “In Africa, just over the last three years, we have not less than 10 coups with recent been Gabon and Ghana had been saved from these instabilities and coups. So, what is it that we are doing right? How can we continue to strengthen it and the sovereignty of the people is in parliament? Everybody is represented in parliament. So, we need to start engagement.”
In doing so, she added, “We thought it wise that we need concerted efforts between members of parliament and citizens, much focus being on citizens to encourage them to be more engaged and participatory.”
The Ag. Chief Information Officer, Mr David Owusu-Amoah, assured the delegation that ISD was ready to collaborate with the Bureau to disseminate credible information to the public and combat misinformation to promote accountability and transparency.
He explained that the Department has been retooled to make it the leading government Public Relations outfit of the government.
“Under the transformation agenda, critical divisions of the Department, including the Research Unit, which collates public reaction reports on issues of national interest, has been refurbished and retooled to gather these reports scientifically so that they can better inform governments policies,” he added.
On his part, Mr Obed Appiah, Citizens Bureau of Parliament, stated that the Speaker established the Citizens Bureau in August this year to facilitate engagements and information sharing between parliament and Civil Society Organizations.
“The Citizens Bureau supports in a way of being a synergy or interface between parliament and citizens. We publish committee reports and clarifications on the parliament website for the public,” he stressed.
Patience Anaadem, ISD