The Association of District Co-ordinating Directors (ASCOD) was established in 2010 and is made up of Co-ordinating Directors of all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country. The goal of ASCOD is to share knowledge, experience and best practices among members and to promote the highest level of professional standards among heads of the bureaucracy at the local levels. Annually, the Association organises a general conference to take stock, brainstorm and plan with a commitment to enhance the delivery of public services to the citizenry.
The 5th Annual General Conference
The 5th Annual General Conference of the Association of District Co-ordinating Directors was held in Jirapa in the Upper West Region from June 27 to 28, 2019. The conference was under the theme, ‘’Public Accountability, the role of District Co-ordinating Directors’’ and brought together Co-ordinating Directors of all the 260 MMDAs in the country. Among the guest that graced the conference were the Head of the Local Government Service, Ing. Dr Nana Ato Arthur and the Acting Chief Director of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS), Mr James Oppong-Mensah.
Opening the conference, the Head of Service, Ing. Dr Nana Ato Arthur underscored the important role of Co-ordinating Directors and commended them for contributing to effective service delivery at the local level. He admonished them to adhere to laid down rules and procedures in the Service and cautioned against the use of unapproved service providers in the delivery of training programmes. He said those found culpable would be dealt with in accordance with the prescribed sanctions.
The Upper West Regional Minister, Hon. Hafiz Bin Salih also applauded the Co-ordinating Directors for their contribution to national development and encouraged them to continue to provide technical assistance and co-operation to government to ensure the successful implementation of government policies and programmes. He drew attention to the emergence of indiscipline and unprofessionalism among some staff in the Assemblies which according to him, may jeopardise the vision of the Service of becoming a world class decentralised and client-oriented Service.
The Paramount Chief of Lawra, Naa Puowele Karbo II, who chaired the occasion, reminded Co-ordinating Directors of their critical role at the local level and asked them to improve efforts in strengthening capacities of staff to enable them engage meaningful with people at the local level.
The President of the Association, Mr Samuel Donkor, commended government for the implementation of policies and programmes that have the potential to transform the local economy and stimulate job creation to improve the general well-being of the citizenry. He reiterated the Association’s commitment to support government in the implementation of national policies and programmes; and appealed to government to consider the procurement of official vehicles for the Co-ordinating Directors to enhance the performance of their duties. He also expressed the Association’s concern about the payment of honorarium to selected public servants with the exclusion of other including Co-ordinating Directors.
A number of presentations from distinguished personalities including Professors and experts in Public Administration were witnessed. They include: Managing political actors, yet maintaining political neutrality; public accountability; managing stress at the workplace and the Tier 2 Pension Scheme.
In closing the conference, the HoS described the 2019 ASCOD Conference as the best so far. He urged conference delegates to continuously develop their capacities to enable them improve upon the management of the Assemblies. Outcomes of the conference was issued in an eight point communique. The 6th Annual General Conference of the Association is expected to take place in the Ashanti Region.