The Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, has launched a revised Model Standing Orders for metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).
The exercise is pursuant to Section 18 (6) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936), which mandates the sector minister to, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice and other stakeholders, develop Model Standing Orders to guide and direct the proceedings and activities in the district assemblies across the country.
At the launch, Hajia Mahama reiterated the government's commitment to deepen decentralization and local governance by ensuring that policies, laws, regulations and guidelines for local administration of MMDAs are made available at all times.
“The absence of revised Model Standing orders has been a gap in local government administration since Parliament passed Act 936 in 2016,” she bemoaned, adding that the continuous application of the old Model Standing Orders by MMDAs have created a number of challenges.
The revised Model for Standing Orders will, however, facilitate the work of secretaries of assemblies (coordinating directors) and presiding members for effective local administration.
Chairperson for the occasion, Professor S.N. Woode, commended the ministry and all stakeholders for the effort put into the birth of the document.
He, however, pleaded with the ministry to endeavour to 'translate' the revised Model Standing Orders into some of the local languages to enhance a deeper understanding of activities and roles of officers at the local levels.
Some key features in the revised Standing Orders include expunging the requirement for an ad hoc committee to vet the President's nominee for the position of chief executive and the clarification of “casual vacancy” of presiding members which has over the years created problems for some assemblies.