Local Govt Ministry Reviews Standing Orders

Hajia Alima Mahama

THE
MINISTER for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, has
launched a revised Model Standing Orders for metropolitan, municipal and
district assemblies (MMDAs).

The
exercise is pursuant to Section 18 (6) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act
936), which mandates the sector minister to, in consultation with the Office of
the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice and other stakeholders,
develop Model Standing Orders to guide and direct the proceedings and
activities in the district assemblies across the country.

At
the launch, Hajia Mahama reiterated the government’s commitment to deepen
decentralization and local governance by ensuring that policies, laws, regulations
and guidelines for local administration of MMDAs are made available at all
times.

“The
absence of revised Model Standing orders has been a gap in local government
administration since Parliament passed Act 936 in 2016,” she bemoaned, adding
that the continuous application of the old Model Standing Orders by MMDAs have
created a number of challenges.

The
revised Model for Standing Orders will, however, facilitate the work of
secretaries of assemblies (coordinating directors) and presiding members for effective
local administration.

Chairperson
for the occasion, Professor S.N. Woode, commended the ministry and all
stakeholders for the effort put into the birth of the document.

He,
however, pleaded with the ministry to endeavour to ‘translate’ the revised Model
Standing Orders into some of the local languages to enhance a deeper
understanding of activities and roles of officers at the local levels.

Some
key features in the revised Standing Orders include expunging the requirement
for an ad hoc committee to vet the President’s nominee for the position of
chief executive and the clarification of “casual vacancy” of presiding members
which has over the years created problems for some assemblies.

By Nii Adjei Mensahfio

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