Takoradi-Wednesday August 11, 2021: The Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS) ended the series of nationwide training in projects and contracts management in which Nine Hundred and Ninety-Six (996) staff of the Service benefitted. The training beneficiaries included Coordinating Directors, Engineers and Procurement Officers of RCCs and MMDAs. The trainings which begun concurrently at Ho and Kumasi on July 25, 2021 winded up on Wednesday August 11, 2021 at Takoradi and Sunyani concurrently. The other training centers were Elmina and Tamale.
The opening ceremonies at all zonal centers were attended by Honorable Regional Ministers or their Regional Coordinating Directors. They expressed their appreciation to the Service for the continuous efforts aimed to develop the capacities of staff at all levels. Their submissions also lauded the Head of Service for exemplary leadership, hard work and dedication in providing the requisite human resource to drive Ghana’s decentralization agenda as enshrined in chapter 20 of the 1992 Constitution.
The dignitaries entreated participants who are also key actors in projects and contracts management at the local level to ensure that public funds are judiciously used for intended purposes and for positive development outcomes. They hoped that the MMDAs will change the development narrative through a leverage on their resource for wealth and job creation to address the unemployment situation and better the lots of the under-privileged in society.
Statements made by the Head of Service, Ing Dr Nana Ato Arthur as well as others made on his behalf challenged participants to apprise themselves of the relevant laws and regulations governing projects and contracts management to inform decision making and ensure value for money in the administration of the districts and regions as a way to curb audit infractions to the barest minimum. He observed with concern the reckless award of contracts by MMDAs functionaries without recourse to their Annual Actions Plan (AAPs) and composite budgets. He called on participants to be resolute and ensure projects initiated are fully completed and in use before new ones commenced.
Dr Arthur cited instances from the Auditor General’s report where 44 out of 50 MMDAs paid contractors for no work done or executed with inferior materials. Others included projects implemented outside the procurement plans; and the circumvention of procurement processes and budget over-runs by project managers. He called on participants to live above reproach and ensure effective collaboration in projects and contracts management.
The training sessions at the various centres were facilitated by seasoned resource persons drawn from the Institute of the Local Government Studies (ILGS) and the Public Procurement Authority (PPA). The training deepened understanding on the requirements for effective management of local government (LG) projects and contracts as well as discussed appropriate strategies to dealing with contract breaches and irregularities associated with abandoned, delayed and defective projects at the local level. Participants also had the opportunity to draw up a post training action plan to ensure improved practices in projects and contracts management.
The Head of Service used the occasion of training closure in Takoradi to commend participants for the level of discipline and comportment exhibited throughout the training period and encouraged them to put to practice the knowledge acquired to improve service delivery.
Dr. Arthur also used the platform to commend MMDAs that performed creditably in the 2020 Performance Management rankings. He disclosed that the best ten (10) MMDAs would be rewarded and the last ten (10) also sanctioned for poor performance.