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22.12.2005 General News

Local Government Service to be launched next month

By GNA
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Accra, Dec. 22, GNA - The Ghana Local Government Service would be launched formally next month, Nana Boachie Danquah, Chairman of the Local Government Service Council (LGSC), announced on Thursday. Under the Local Government Service Act, Act 656, 2003, the Service is to provide technical assistance to District Assemblies and Regional Co-ordinating Councils to enable them to perform their functions in accordance with the Constitution and the Local Government Act. Nana Danquah announced this at a press briefing in Accra on the status of the Local Government Service since the Council was inaugurated in October 2004.

He said the Service was independent, and not a unit of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, but would work through it as its sector Ministry in pushing ahead its agenda.

Nana Danquah said the Council was initiating a pilot programme to integrate the Departments of Community Development, Parks and Gardens and the Births and Deaths Registry into the district assembly system. In all, 17 departments and agencies are to be integrated in the district assembly system, when the Service became fully operational. Nana Danquah said the Council, which was temporarily being housed at the Institute of Local Government Studies at Ogbojo, Madina, near Accra, had a four-year term, and since its inauguration had developed a Medium Term Strategic Plan for the Service for the period 2005 to 2008. It had also developed an organisation structure of the Local Government Service, a communication strategy, scheme of service of the staff and conditions of service.

Functions of the Council include recommending to the sector Minister matters of policy relating to the management of the Service and set performance standards within which District Assemblies and Regional Co-ordinating Councils shall carry out their functions. The Council is also to monitor and evaluate the performance standards of District Assemblies and Regional Co-ordinating Councils as well as develop, co-ordinate and assess personnel plans and needs of the two governance structures.

Nana Danquah warned Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives that arbitrary policies were not to be tolerated in the Local Government Service, saying that emphasis would be placed on an integrated local government system.

He underlined the professional expertise of the Local Government Service Council as contingent for the success of governance at the local authorities.

On the way forward, Nana Danquah said the Council had proposed consultations with Cabinet, Regional Co-ordinating Councils, development partners, traditional authorities and the media. He announced that a consultation workshop to be attended by the Sector Minister to discuss the relationship between the Service and others in the public administration system was soon to take place to brief and update the Ministers on the activities of the Council. The purpose of the workshop would be to elicit the support of Cabinet to push the implementation of the decentralisation programme forward.

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