KUMASI: FRIDAY, 5TH May, 2017– A 3-day retreat for Directors of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS) and Regional Coordinating Directors (RCDs) has been held in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital. The retreat which is organized annually by OHLGS is a review mechanism of the Service to deliberate on issues of local governance and decentralisation, review previous performances, share ideas, experiences and chart a new course for the advancement of the Service as a whole. This year’s retreat was an opportunity for the new Head of Service, Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, to officially familiarize himself with the RCDs and acquaint them on his vision for the Service.

At the opening of the retreat at Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, commended the Service for instituting a Performance Management System (PMS) which enables managers and staff of the Service to plan towards the achievement of organizational goals and called on them to identify skill gaps and model capacity-building programmes to ensure the success of the PMS. She urged RCDs and Directors of OHLGS to give the Head of Service the support and corporation needed to enable him succeed.

On his part, the Mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Mr. Osei Asibey, who spoke on behalf of the Ashanti Regional minister, urged RCDs to remain committed to the government in implementing its good policies. He commended RCDs for their hard work and commitment, working under challenging conditions and encouraged them to continue to motivate and inspire their subordinate to move along with the government in its quest to accelerate the pace of development in the country.

The Head of Service, Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, congratulated all RCDs and Directors of OHLGS for their unflinching support in bringing the LGS to its current state. He charged RCDs and Directors to exhibit the highest form of work ethics and work with utmost dedication and commitment for other staff to emulate while ensuring they live up to the Services’ motto of Decentralisation , Democracy and Development.

He also admonished them against’’ excessive bureaucracy in the discharge of their duties to avoid development lagging behind’’. He disclosed that the Capacity Building Framework (CBF) developed by the LGS will be adhered to religiously in its implementation to cater for capacity building needs of staff at the national, regional and district levels.

Dr. Arthur re-echoed his plan to ensure that digital mapping system is embraced by MMDAs to improve revenue mobilisation and management. He promised to frequently engage RCDs on development within the Service and assured that the OHLGS will continue to provide the necessary technical support to facilitate monitoring and coordinating of roles.

He also made his vision for the Service which is encapsulated into 5 key thematic areas – ‘’ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of RCCs and MMDAs; proper fundamentals put in place to ensure smooth elections of Chief Executive for Assemblies; strategically positioning MMDAs for the implementation of the One-District-One-Factory program; empowering MMDAs on best practices in administration, development planning and management; and Improved revenue through workable ICT units in the MMDAs’’, known to the RCDs.

A number of presentations were made during the retreat. RCDs and OHLGS Directors were enlighten on the District Assemblies Enabled Programme for Accelerated Economic and Social Development and part-two of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936), which spells out the mandate, functions and roles of the LGS together with its accompanying reforms. Other presentations touched on the use of ICT in income generation in MMDAs, Capacity Building Framework for the Service, LGS Communication Strategy, Developing performance indicators for performance contract, and Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 931). Regional Coordinating Directors also had the opportunity to individually take turns to share the progress, successes and challenges of their respective Regions.

The Regional Co-ordinating Director for the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr. Felix Chahaah, on behalf of the Regional Co-ordinating Directors expressed their gratitude to Head of Service for the opportunity given them and said, ‘’the knowledge acquired at the 2017 retreat will go a long way to build consensus for development’’. He said, RCCs will continue to discharge duties with loyalty to ensure that the Head of Service succeeds during his tenure.

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