13.05.2005 Regional News

Increase Assemblies Common Fund 7.5 per cent

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Accra, May 13, GNA - District Assemblies on Friday reminded government to implement the resolution of Parliament to increase the District Assemblies Common Fund from the current 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent.

In a seven point communiqu=E9 138 Presiding Members (PMs) of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies issued at the end of a two-day national conference held at the Institute of Local Government Studies in Accra asked government to re-consider the provision of Act 663 and review the membership of District Tender Committees to include representatives of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies. It said the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development should ensure that metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies complied with the law, which required the approval of recommendations of tender committee reports.

The Communiqu=E9 said the designation of District Chief Executives (DCE), PMs and District Assemblies as provided for in "the Constitution and other enactments are out of tune with contemporary international trends," thus the necessary legal amendments should be instituted to re-designate District Assemblies as District Councils, DCEs as Mayors and PMs as Council Chairmen, to bring them in line with international local government structures and standards.

It noted that salaries and emoluments for DCEs, which have remained outstanding, since January, this year should be paid to them. The tenure of office of PMs should be extended to four years as against the current two years to be in consonance with the tenure of the district assemblies, since provisions for recall already existed in the law.

It added that the tenure of office of sub-committees and their conveners as well as other statutory committees should have a four-year tenure.

The communiqu=E9 urged government to effect the necessary legal changes to enable allowances and other emoluments of PMs to be charged on the Consolidation Fund, instead of the current arrangement whereby these were charged on the Assemblies' Internally Generated Fund which was woefully inadequate to meet the challenging demands of the office.

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