The third Annual Parliamentary Workshop on Local Government Reforms has been organized in Ho at weekend on the theme “The Roadmap to Administrative Decentralization (2011) and the Composite Budgeting (2012): The Role of Parliament”.
Mr. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, the Local Government Minister who opened the workshop noted that the workshop is to build the capacity of parliamentarians on administrative decentralization and composite budgeting.
He said for the first time the budgets of decentralized departments which hitherto have their allocation embedded in their mother ministries budget will be integrated into the district assemblies’ budget to enhance the capability of assemblies to improve local service delivery. In a communiqué signed by Mr Dominic Azimbe Azumah, Mr Kwame Osei-Prempeh and Mr Emmanuel Kwesi Bandua, chairpersons for Parliamentary committees on Local Government and Rural Development, Subsidiary Legislation and Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs respectively at the end of the workshop, lauded the composite budgeting and said it was about the best to deepen fiscal decentralization and promote good public financial management systems and called for the adoption of the “required legal framework for its effective delivery” of what looked like an “efficient, effective and transparent process that will facilitate efficient service delivery”.
The communiqué said the approval of the composite budgeting process to begin in 2012 was refreshing and urged all “stakeholders to fully support this endevour” and advised that “decentralization transfers of funds to the District Assemblies should include releases from the Getfund and the Road fund”.
The communiqué also pledge Parliament support to vigorously exercise its oversight responsibilities over the process (composite budgeting) which would attain full implementation in 2013, leading to administrative as well as fiscal decentralization”.
It said Parliament should through similar workshops build its capacity to oversee the effective transfer of administrative power and resources to the local level.
The communiqué urged that the process of decentralization be quickened and recommended the adequate resourcing of the Local Government Service to carry out its mandate under the requisite laws and also call on Government to as a matter of urgency “consider increasing the threshold of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) from 7.5 per cent to at least 10 per cent.
It also commended the German Development Cooperation for its support of decentralization reforms over the past three years.
The workshop which was organized by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural dev’t, Parliament, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Institute of Local Government Studies with support from the German Development Cooperation tackled the status of administrative and fiscal decentralization, various organizational structures and reporting relationships of the local governing areas, economic development in local governance among others.
In another development, the local government minister, Mr. Ofosu Ampofo has indicated that government will still stick to the new districts that have been announced though there were agitations from some communities where these new districts were created concerning the location of the district capitals. But Mr. Ampofo said the location of the new district capitals were based on the recommendations of a technical committee after considerable consultations were made. He therefore assured that every community in the new districts will have their fair share of development.
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