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06.12.2005 General News

Increase DACF budget allocation - Owusu-Adjapong

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Accra, Dec 06, GNA - The Special Budget Committee of Parliament on the 2006 budget estimates of the Office of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) has urged the Ministry of Finance to supplement the DACF's budget allocation for the 2006 fiscal year to enable it operate efficiently.

The Committee observed that the 27 million cedis allocated for the service budget of the total DACF's budget is inadequate to carry out the its work.

Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Majority Leader and Chairman of the Committee, said this when he presented the committee's report for the approval of 1,042 million cedis for the services of DACF administrator for the 2006 fiscal year.

The amount has been approved by Parliament.

He said over the years the service budget of the DACF has been reducing, though a core function of it is to ensure the effective and judicious utilisation of the funds.

"This is relayed to the districts by carrying out periodic on-the-sport value-for-money assessment of the projects and programmes resourced by the fund, which calls for extensive travelling across the length and breath of the country."

"The 27 million cedis allocated for this purpose would definitely not help much in the achievement of this crucial objective, which has a dual purpose of checking corruption and ensuring real development." Mr Owusu-Adjapong said the DACF has set itself objectives, which include establishing a comprehensive system for monitoring and evaluating releases to district assemblies; ensuring effective utilisation of funds to generate growth and reduce poverty as well as undertaking periodic impact assessments of the fund on development and poverty reduction in the districts.

The Office of the DACF exists to equitably distribute part of the national tax revenue to the district assemblies for development. Earlier, the House approved the sum of 33,992 million cedis for the services of Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for the 2006 fiscal year.

Presenting the Committee's report, Mr Owusu-Adjapong said the CHRAJ informed the committee that 23,477,000,000 cedis out of the 25,242,000,000 approved for 2005 was released but this did not include SSNIT contribution.

The Committee observed that the poor remuneration, which has bedevilled CHRAJ over the years, that has accounted for the high attrition of the professional class is still persistent. "The Committee hopes that the Ministry of Finance would collaborate with CHRAJ to help improve this situation." The House also approved the sum of 217,613 million cedis for the services of the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the 2006 fiscal year. 06 Dec. 05