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13.10.2004 General News

Kufuor approves new local gov't service act

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Agona Swedru, Oct 13, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor, has given assent to the new Local Government Service Act and the integration of sector departments into the district assembly system. The New Local Government Act 656, would enhance the implementation of decentralization process, Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, Minister of Local Government and Rural development, said at a meeting on Ghana's poverty reduction strategy programme and decentralization process; status and prospects, at Agona Swedru.

It was organized by the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) and sponsored by the Fredrich Ebert Foundation. He said the new act would inject the needed professionalism for effective delivery of services to the people at the sub-national level government.

Mr Adjei-Darko said a 15 member-Local Government Service Council would be inaugurated by the President Kufuor soon.

Nana Boakye Danquah, Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon would be the Chairman of the Council, which would be the governing body of the Service, the Minister said.

Mr Rex Owusu Ansah, former Clerk of Parliament and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ghana News Agency, has been appointed as the Acting Head of the Local Government Service.

Mr Adjei-Darko said the Ministry of Local Government had also set up a team to review the draft conditions of service for the service. The Minister noted that the 28 new District Assemblies had been provided with finances and human resources to ensure their smooth take off.

He said Regional Ministers had been mandated to take oversight responsibility of the new assemblies, pending the appointment of substantive District Chief Executives.

Mr Joshua Magnus Nicol, Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund, said an effective formula had been prepared with the principles of objectivity, fairness, relevance and reliability to promote the development of the districts.

Mr Wigbert Dogoli, President of NALAG, expressed his appreciation to the sponsors of the meeting for affording members of the Association with an opportunity to update their knowledge on issues and government policies.

Some District Chief Executives, Presiding Members and MPs attended the meeting.

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