6 departments to be decentralised next year – Dr Mahama

Politics of Friday, 11 December 2015

Source: GNA

The Local Government Service (LGS) is to integrate six departments into the decentralisation system next year, Dr Callistus Mahama, the Head of the LGS, announced on Thursday.

The six are Youth and Sports, Birth and Deaths, Town and Country Planning, Community Development and the Department of Cooperatives.

Dr Mahama said at the opening of the third Local Government Service Professionals Conference, underway in Sunyani.

It is being organized by the LGS, and attended by Directors, Social Workers, Engineering Staff and other professionals at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

The theme for the three-day conference is: “Quality Leadership for Good Local Governance and Effective Service Delivery.”

Dr Mahama disclosed that a draft bill that would help to fully integrate the Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Service into the local government system, had been prepared and would soon be forwarded to Cabinet.

He said 10 departments had already been integrated into the local government system, and explained that this was to ensure that the deepening of the decentralization concept, and enhanced to promote local governance.

Dr Mahama indicated that from next year, the LGS would undertake staff rationalization exercise at the various MMDAs, to identify excess staff and post them to deprived districts.

He said Greater-Accra would be the most affected, due to the over-staffing at many of the Assemblies in the region.

Dr Mahama observed that over-staffing at most of the Assemblies, had led to apathy and laziness, a situation according to him, was affecting performance and quality service delivery by the Assemblies.

Mr. Justice Samuel Adjei, the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister noted that efficient and timely delivery at the regional and district levels required competent and dedicated professionals.

These professionals were key ingredients to prosecute the planned programmes and projects towards the successful achievement of national decentralization processes, he stated.

In addition to capacity building and training, Mr. Adjei said local government professionals must be motivated and inspired to give off their best, not only by payment of their salaries, but should be provided with the needed logistics and funds to discharge their duties.

He emphasized the need to encourage local participation in the decision- making processes at the Assemblies, to achieve good governance.

This bottom-up approach, Mr. Adjei observed, not only guaranteed ownership of the outcomes of the decisions made, but that programmes and projects would also be easily available, as well as ensure that Assemblies became more accountable to the citizenry.