Consultant on reconfigured Parliamentary Chamber block “runs” for the fourth time from media and fails to attend a scheduled press…

The Consultant who worked on Parliament’s reconfigured Chamber block today, disappointed members of the Parliamentary Press Corps who had been informed of an imminent press conference meant to set the records straight and justify the upward adjustment of the original cost of the project.

There is an unfolding drama in the controversial acquisition of chairs and other items from China by the leadership of Parliament for the reconfiguration and refurbishment of the House. The chairs and other gadgets have already suffered some setbacks, with some falling apart in the house as MP’s question their quality after the cost of the project ballooned from the initial GH₵ 8 million to GH₵21 million just within a year, raising eye brows of “chop chop”.

The contract sum which was “sole sourced” was said to have jumped from GH₵ 8,704,325.48 to GH₵21,950,855 with Parliament blaming the astronomical rise on the free fall of the cedi.

This was according to a document in the possession of Live News’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Ekow Annan.

According to the report titled “Reconfiguration and Refurbishment of Debating Chamber of Parliament,” the signing of the original contract was at a time, the exchange rate was $1 to GH₵ 2. There was then what they called the “upward adjustment on 15th July, 2014 when the exchange rate was $1 to GH₵3.85, occasioning about 92.5 percentage increase…….[this] thus led to an escalation of the original contract sum.”

A press conference which was to put to rest some probing questions from the citizenry was cancelled at the last minute after the Consultant left media personnel waiting for over thirty minutes.

“We quickly had to reach out to the consulting team, but there were a whole lot of challenges because they had also arranged other meetings…….I called, the lead consultant [earlier] who was somewhere very far from here, I think heading towards the eastern region. He asked me to call his colleague, Nicole Annan, I called him too and he was also attending a meeting. He, came here earlier because he wasn’t sure about when exactly the preparation will be held,” a Deputy Clerk to Parliament and member of the Parliamentary Service Board, Ebenezer Djietror told members of the Press Corp today.

This brings to four, the number of reschedules and disappointments that have been meted out to press men who have sometimes been left waiting endlessly for hours for the actual cost of the reconfiguration works.

The press briefing has however been scheduled to Wednesday, the 12th of November, 2014 at 2pm.

Meanwhile,
Members of the Parliamentary Press Corps have expressed their frustration and lack of respect showed them by leadership of the House including the Speaker. The Press Corps members made up of senior journalists from the major media houses in the country, have long complained about the lack of disrespect showed them during their coverage of parliamentary proceedings.

The members whose core duty is to ensure that members of the public are abreast with parliamentary proceedings as well as bringing other parliament related activities to the doorstep of the citizenry are contemplating a series of actions including a possible boycott of the 2015 budget reading and other important proceedings to ensure they are not treated with any contempt in the near future.

Ekow Annan/Live FM
ekow.annan@ymail.com/twitter: ekowskare

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