Business News of Saturday, 25 February 2017
A day’s workshop on how to monitor budgetary allocations to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) has been held in Tamale for some assembly members and community-based organisations in the three northern regions.
The capacity building workshop was aimed at equipping the participants to be able to track how resources allocated to various assemblies are expended. It was on the theme ‘Building Transparency, participation and feedback around local government plan and budget processes’.
Northern Regional Manager of CDD, Paul Osei-Kuffour, observed that in many African policies, budgets and plans have traditionally been esigned away from the public view.
He indicated that budget transparency in the country has predominantly focused on national government with minimal attention paid to sub-national structures such as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
He said bureaucrats and teams of experts have provided little opportunity for inputs from ordinary community members, which he said, overlook the needs of various societal priorities, especially marginalized groups such as women and person with disabilities.
Mr Osei-Kuffour said although Ghana is among the few sub-Sahara African countries rated high on budget transparency, the country’s performance has declined from an average of 54% in 2010 to 51% in 2015 and challenged the citizenry to hold government accountable.
The Regional Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Shani Abul-Razak said one of the major obstacle that derails the development of the country is the bureaucracy, which he said hinders development at the district level.
He, therefore, appealed to assembly members to be non-partisan to enable them hold Chief Executives, whose personal decisions are deemed final, accountable to the people.
The Director said information indicates that some assemblies write minutes of meetings that never took place.