Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of the Office of the Local Government Service (LGS), has said collection of reliable data remains key to ensuring effective planning and budgeting of Regional Coordinating Councils (RCC) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country.
According to him, plans are far advanced to strengthen the developing planning units of the RCCs and the MMDAs to make the country’s decentralization process more vibrant and efficient to propel the development.
Dr. Ato Arthur made this known during an interview with journalists in Accra over the weekend.
He said so much is expected from MMDAs and promised that
building the capacity of staff would be his priority.
Dr. Ato Arthur stated that his outfit would encourage the sharing of skills/knowledge by assemblies as they have varied capacities to help promote best practices in their various offices to ensure balanced development in the country.
In his view, it was needless to use Information Communication Technology (ICT) to improve the Internally Generated Fund (IGF) of MMDAs, noting that some of the assemblies relied solely on the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) for development, despite the fact that such common fund is inadequate.
Dr. Ato Arthur, who is the immediate former Member of Parliament for Komenda/ Edina/Eguafo/Abrem (KEEA) in the Central Region, explained that, the 2016 report on the performance of MMDAs, revealed that out of the 216 MMDAs, 20 of them were adjudged the best assemblies with an average of 33% of their revenue coming from the IGF, while the poor performing assemblies contributed less than 3% of the total revenue from the IGF in relation to the DACF and other grants.
This, he said, formed part of his vision to use ICT to facilitate and develop a Digital Mapping System to assist in the identification of rating properties within a particular assembly and use professionally trained revenue collectors to collect more revenue to improve on the IGF.
He also identified sanitation as one of the core mandates of the MMDAs, adding he would seek to build the capacity of assemblies to improve on sanitation in the various MMDAs.
The head of the Local Government Service said plans are afoot for the Local Government Service (LGS) to enhance the capacity of Environmental Health and Sanitation officers of the 216 MMDAs to ensure that they carry out their responsibilities for improved sanitation.
Dr. Ato Arthur however stated that the major challenge of the LGS, just like many other public institutions, is the inadequate financial resources to support the effective delivery of their mandate of securing effective administration and management in the country.
Other challenges, he said, include lack of funds to offer motivational packages, lack of regular training on knowledge upgrading for its staff, the refusal of staff to adhere to postings from one assembly to another and staff lateness to work, especially in the rural areas, where lateness to work seems to be a normal routine.
“In this regard, the Head of Service is insisting on the use of electronic biometric clocking system in every assembly, where staff would clock in when they report and exit at work,” he hinted.
Dr. Arthur also raised concern about the challenge of some service staff with fake certificates, adding that, “the LGS under my watch would crop out officers with fake certificates.”
To clean the system of fake certificates of staff, he said, the LGS has ordered all professionals of the Service, to submit their certificates for verification and authentication by the requisite awarding institutions.
In addition, Dr. Ato Arthur said individuals who faked their grades with the aim of cheating the system would be placed where they belong, stating, “Some staff are purporting that I have come to witch-hunt them, but this is rather to ensure that the right things are done in the service for the effective delivery of its mandate in developing the country as well as ensuring that the service remains a professional service.”
He pointed out that the LGS had contributed immensely to the decentralization agenda of the country and that ‘ the LGS would do its best to secure effective administration and management of decentralize systems in the country.
He added that the local electoral system, the Head of Service said he is fully in support of the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCES) as proposed by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba.