MMDAs Must Have Offices For Independent Government Institutions – Prof. Ahwoi

 A local government expert says all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) must have functional offices for Independent Governance Institutions (IGIs) in their jurisdiction, in order to ensure good governance, transparency and accountability.

Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, a lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), said as far as practicable, MMDAs must ensure that independent constitutional bodies such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ghana Audit Service, and Electoral Commission among others, have office and staff accommodation, vehicle logistics and equipment to make them functional in their domain.

He said under the new decentralization programme 60 per cent of the national budgetary allocation is for the MMDAs, hence the need for the IGIs to be in every administrative district to ensure transparency and accountability.

Prof. Ahwoi, who is also a former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, was speaking at a workshop by the Local Government Service (LGS) on “Inter-Service and Sectoral Collaboration and Co-operation System (ISCCS)” for participants from the IGIs, decentralized and deconcentrated/non- decentralized sectors and departments.

Prof. Ahwoi cautioned that without functional IGIs in place at each MMDA, central government’s budgetary allocations to them could easily be mismanaged.

He said the purpose of the ISCCS is to facilitate unity of effort, achieve common objectives; provide common understanding and development of an effective local platform to work.

On the new Consolidated Local Government Draft Bill, Prof. Ahwoi said it would soon be placed before cabinet for endorsement and subsequent submission to Parliament for approval.

He said under the Bill, the District Assemblies Common Fund of 1994, the Local Government Act of 1993, the Local Government Service Act of 2003, the Internal Audit Agency Act of 2003, the Public Procurement Act of 2003 and LI 1964 of 2009 are being considered for a review.

He said Ghana needs a binding decentralisation policy which cannot be altered by any successive governments in the future.

Mr. F. N. Andan, the Chairman of the LGS Council, said the development and implementation of an ISCCS would enhance holistic planning and judicious use of resources for efficient and effective service delivery.

Dr Callistus Mahama, the Head of the LGS, said as an effective system for integrated service delivery, the ISCCS takes various forms such as inter institutional engagement, networking and communication, coordination of functions, resource and service sharing, capacity development, definition of reporting relationship, conflict resolution and joint service delivery.

Nana Kwesi Agyekum Dwamena, the Head of Civil Service, said decentralization is all about service delivery and the people of Ghana, and he pledged the Civil Service’s full support for the implementation of the decentralisation programme, declaring that “we need to collaborate to avoid duplication of functions”.

Source: GNA

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