Group to petition CHRAJ over new parliamentary building

A group calling itself the Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana (DYMOG) is expected to petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice to investigate what it calls a “gross inconsistency” in the procurement process regarding the construction of the 450-seater parliamentary chamber block.

The group argued that details of the procurement process appear to be “shrouded in secrecy” given that “key stakeholders such as members of parliament were completely unaware of the project until the unveiling ceremony.”

“There is the possibility that, the Public Procurement (Amended) 2016 Act, Act 914 may have been violated in the procurement process. Most importantly, the inadequate openness and absence of stakeholder engagement (Members of Parliament, General Public and Civil Society) prior to the unveiling ceremony may be motivated by the sheer impulse on the part of key actors to satisfy ‘personal interests’ in the process thus far,” portions of the statement said.

The group is asking CHRAJ to among others “determine whether or not, the Entity Tender Committee of Parliament performed its lawfully mandated duty in the appointment of Adjaye and Associates as consultants for the construction of the new 450-seater parliamentary chamber block.”

The decision to construct this chamber has been widely criticized by Ghanaians.

Some groups have threatened to stage a protest against the planned construction of the chamber.

The civil opposition to the project also accompanies criticism from legislators from both sides of Parliament.

At a press conference on Thursday, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu assured that the interest of the public will be considered in the final determination of the project.

He said the plans for the construction had not been finalised and were set for debate in Parliament.

“The process is not concluded and the financials have not been concluded, procurement has not been concluded. The agreement has not been firmed up because these ones have not been completed. If the agreement is firmed up, it must come to Parliament for approval.”

But there have been contradictory signals from the arms of government on the project.

The President was scheduled to attend the sod cutting of the project in June according to a letter sighted by Citi News.

The letter signed by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye indicated that the ceremony was to be done in the last week of June 2019, subject to the President’s convenience and confirmation.

The construction of a new parliamentary chamber was expected to begin before the end of 2019.

However, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has denied that the Presidency had any involvement in the proposed construction of the parliamentary complex.

A model for the project has also been designed with timelines already set, according to the David Adjaye, who served as architect.