MMDAs advised to study revised Standing Orders

By
Kodjo Adams, GNA

Accra, Jan. 22, GNA –
Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development on
Tuesday charged Coordinating Directors of Metropolitan, Municipal and District
Assemblies (MMDAs) to explain the revised Standing Orders to guide Presiding
Members.

She also directed
leadership of all the MMDAs to ensure that Assembly and Presiding Members were
adequately trained on the new Orders to facilitate easy understanding and
application of the document.

The Minister this
stated during the launch of the revised Model Standing Orders for MMDAs in
Accra, to facilitate effective and efficient local level governance.

The Standing Orders
was developed by the Ministry under the powers conferred on it by section 18(6)
of Act 936 after consultation with the Office of the Attorney-General and the
Ministry of Justice and relevant stakeholders in the local government sector.

She stated that
government was committed to deepening decentralisation and local governance by
ensuring that policies, laws, regulations and guidelines for efficient local
administration of MMDAs were made available at all times.

The revised Orders
was an addition to the Ministry’s laws, policies and guidelines developed in
the past three years to deepen effective decentralisation.

It included;
Amendment to the Local Governance Act 2016 (Act 936), Rural Development Policy,
Fee Fixing Guidelines for MMDAs and Revenue Strategy and Management Manuals.

Touching on some of
the features of the new Orders, Hajia Mahama said under types of meeting, the
Orders were realigned with Act, 936 with the introduction of provisions to
cater for circumstances under which an Assembly was unable to elect a Presiding
Member at an inaugural meetings.

The new Orders
present Presiding Members from refusing to call meetings, especially when it
was necessary for the efficient operations of the business of the Assembly.

It also now makes
the Executive Committee more accountable to the General Assembly by ensuring
that their reports are at all-time considered and approved by the General Assembly
and give powers to the presiding Member to exercise discretion at meetings by
allowing him/her to introduce items of businesses that do not appear on the
agenda.

Hajia Mahama
explained that, the features were aimed at improving the content of the Orders,
aligning it with the requirements of the Local Governance Act (Act 936) and
improving deliberations at the sittings of the various MMDAs.

She announced that
all the MMDAs would be inaugurated on Thursday, January 23 in the District
capitals of the various Assemblies across the country, and entreated the
Assemblies to swiftly pass a resolution and adopt the new Orders as required by
Act 936 and begin work immediately.

The new Orders was
issued on the basis of the Local Government Act (Act 462). In 2016 Act 462 was
repealed with other legislations leading to the development of a Local
Governance Finance Act 2016 (Act 936).

Professor Samuel
Nunoo Woode, former Chairman of the Public Service Commission said the
documents were designed to ensure that there was order, reliability and
predictability on the part of MMDAs in discharging their duties.

He said the
documents were based on the experiences and ideas gathered over the years on
local governance procedures based on constitutional mandates to ensure legitimacy
and orderliness in the system.

The Professor
suggested that the document be translated into local languages to ensure easy
comprehension among the citizenry.

GNA

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