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26.01.2006 General News

District assemblies are over bloated -Mpiani

By Ghanaian Times

The Minister for Presidential Affairs and Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani, has raised concern about the "over-bloated" size of the various district assemblies and called for their downward revision to ensure efficiency.

He said the sizes of the assemblies, made it impossible for any decent allowances to be paid to members, "thus the failure to attract experienced professionals".

"We must admit that our assemblies are over-bloated and need to be looked at critically," he said.

The Chief of Staff was addressing a workshop organized for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives in Ashanti on Monday.

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation jointly organized the workshop, to find ways of avoiding conflicts between the chief executives and their respective Members of Parliament in the performance of their duties.

He said even cities abroad with very huge population sizes maintained very small number of assemblymen and are therefore able to perform efficiently. The Local Government Act stipulates that one-third of the Assembly members should be appointed by government, while the rest are elected representatives.

An assembly's size depends largely on the number of electoral areas in the district. For example, Sissala District Assembly one of the smallest has 21 members, while the Accra Metropolitan Authority, the largest of all, has 100 members.

Mr Mpiani asked the MMDCES and the MPs to work together for the betterment of their respective communities despite the inherent problem they might face in the cause of their work.

He said as functionaries of local government, they have to ensure transparency in financial management and also place high premium on physical and infrastructural planning to contain the development in the urban centres.

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