‘REPLACE GOVERNMENT APPOINTEES WITH CHIEFS’ NOMINEES’
From: GODFREY K. NYANNY, Takoradi.
Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi, Principal Lecturer at the Ghana Institute Management of Public Administration (GIMPA), has proposed that the Regional House of Chiefs should be empowered by law to nominate people to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies instead of government appointees.
He said “since the District Assembly concept is non-political, chiefs who are non-partisan under the country’s constitution should send appointees to the Assemblies”.
Mr. Ahwoi made the proposal in answer to a question at a public lecture on decentralization and local government, organized by the Local Government, Service Secretariat at Takoradi on Thursday.
“The President is a politician and, therefore, if he appoints people to the Assembly it makes the assembly political,” he stated, and suggested that the necessary amendments in the law should be effected to enable the assembly to become “purely non-political.”
In his presentation on the Legislative Instrument (LI) 1961, Mr. Ahwoi said the L.I. 1961 sought to integrate government departments into the assembly system in order to prioritise the acceleration of the decentralization programme.
“The L.I. 1961 is a turning point in administrative decentralization, as well as provide for the conversion of some existing departments into departments of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies,” he said, explaining that it was intended to ensure the full integration and functioning of decentralized departments, transfer of operationalisation of the composite budgeting system and the transfer of staff from the Civil Service to the Local Government Service.
Mr. Akwasi Opong-Fosu, Head of Local Government Service, cautioned the executive of the Civil Servants Association to desist from dragging members of the Local Government Service into its agitations.
“The Civil Service and the Local Government Service are separate bodies under the L.I.1961, and, therefore, if civil servants have any grievances on the Single Spine Salary (SSS) structure, they should organize purely civil servants to embark on demonstration and other actions,” he said adding that “Civil Servants must be leave the Local Government Staff alone to also decide on their own.”
On his part, the Western Regional Minister, Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, said an inter-ministerial co-ordinating committee for the implementation of decentralization programmes had been inaugurated to express Government’s commitment to quicken the pace of the decentralization process.
The committee, he said, would identify priorities that would be in the best interest of the country. It will ensure the operationisation of the programmes and policy pertinent to the establishment and functioning required management, administrative, legal and financial framework of the decentralization process.
Mr. Aidoo said that in addition to the work of the committee, public lectures and workshops would help to remove any bottlenecks deemed to have stalled the rapid progress made.
The lecture was attended by District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives, Co-ordinating Directors and chiefs.
The Ghanaian Times Page: 14 Saturday, July 10, 2010.