General News of Friday, 17 March 2017
Development Partners (DPs) in the Decentralisation Sector in a memoir lauded Dr Callistus Mahama, the Head of the Local Government Service (LGS) for the critical role he played as Chairman of the Decentralisation Sector Working Group (DSWG).
The memoir, which was signed by Mr Ignacio BURRULL, Head of Co-operation, European Union (EU) Delegation to Ghana, also commended Dr Mahama for his commitment to work in moving the group forward and the successes chalked out during his tenure as the Executive Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Co-ordinating Committee (IMCC) on Decentralisation.
Under the leadership of Dr Mahama, the IMCC through the support of the DSWG and active participation of key stakeholders in the decentralisation process, the first National Decentralisation Policy Framework and Action Plan (NDPF&AP I) was reviewed through a bi-partisan process and a second (NDPF&AP II) developed.
The NDPF&AP II (2015 – 2019) is anchored on five thematic areas namely; Political and Legal Reforms, Administrative Decentralisation, Fiscal Decentralisation, Decentralised Planning and Popular Participation.
A number of achievements were realised under each of the thematic areas during his tenure of office.
In the area of Political Decentralisation, a number of legislation were enacted including the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936), National Sports Authority and Youth Authority Acts, Local Government (Sub-Metropolitan and District Councils) Establishment Composition and Functions Instrument, 2016, Land Use and Spatial Planning Act and the National Development Planning (System) Regulation.
Fiscal Decentralisation witnessed a number of successes and for the first time; a budget guideline for the appropriation of Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) was developed for the implementation of the Regional Integrated Budgeting System (RIBS).
Mr Ignacio BURRULL who is also the Co-Chair of the DSWG commended Dr Mahama for helping bring finality to the development of a Sector-Wide Approach (SWAp) to decentralisation.
The SWAp is to ensure funding of the decentralisation process in line with this arrangement requires the DPs to channel their resources to specified areas aimed at achieving the objectives of decentralisation.
Major reforms in the area of Administrative Decentralisation include the development of an Inter-Service and Sectorial Collaboration and Co-operation System (ISCCS) to facilitate unity of efforts, foster common understanding on development issues, provide a common platform to work and enhance the achievement of common objectives.
The ISCCS also serves as an effective system for integrated service delivery between the LGS and MDAs, other Services, Sectors, SOEs and NGOs.
A Performance Management System was also developed and operationalised across the various levels of the LGS in addition to the development of a Capacity Building Framework.
A major achievement under Decentralised Planning was the enactment of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2016 (Act 914), which amends sections of the existing PPA Act 2003 (Act 663) and the National Development Planning Instrument.
Popular Participation is integral to the provisions of the 1992 Constitution on decentralisation as development cannot be achieved without the active participation of the citizenry.
In this regard, a National Framework for Popular Participation and a Practitioners Manual has been developed to improve engagement, accountability and service delivery.
Dr Mahama’s influence as Executive Secretary of the IMCC and Chairman of the Decentralisation Sector Working Group has culminated in the achievement of the results.
Development Partners in the Dececentralisation Sector includes the World Bank, the EU, DANIDA, German Development Agency, Canadian International Development Agency, Japan International Co-operation Agency, United States Agency for International Development Norway and United Nations Development Programme among others.