25 February 2014

Ghana: Charge Ex-Gratia On Consolidated Fund - Presiding Members

PRESIDING MEMBERS have suggested that ex-gratia of Presiding Members and Assembly members should be charged on the Consolidated fund. They say the ex-gratia of Presiding Members must be at the end of every two years.

In a communiqué issued in Accra at the end of a four-day 2nd National Conference of Presiding Members, under the theme: "The role of the Presiding Member in Ghana," they called for the speedy passage of Local Government Consolidated Bill.

A 13-point Communiqué submitted for the attention of the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and copied to the Head of Local Government Service, Parliamentary Select Committee on Subsidiary Legislation and the Institute of Local Government Studies requested that the tenure of office of presiding members must be coterminous with that of the Assembly, and that all Presiding Members must be provided with office facilities, fully furnished to enhance their work.

It said the Local Economic Development package must be designed and made functional and operational at the local level of governance.

The Presiding Members also want the performance of management practices entrenched in local government in Ghana, and that the concurrent capitation programmes for Presiding Members,

District Chief Executives and Co-ordinating Directors must be organized periodically. They decided that the Local Government Act 462 of 1993 and other legal regimes that support local governance and decentralization must be enforced to the letter and ensure exhaustion of the four year constitutional mandate of Assembly Members.

The Presiding Members said as major stakeholders, they should be recognized and acknowledged as the head and embodiment of the MMDAs by the Ministries, and also be consulted in all exercises that seek to review local government laws and any other laws that affect or seem to affect local governance and decentralization in Ghana.

The communiqué suggested that Assembly members should regularly be given capitation on their roles and trends in the local governance.

The resolutions were based on the conviction that the role of presiding members in deepening local democracy, ensuring social accountability and strengthening decentralization and holistic development of the MMDAs was an enormous task to all stakeholders.

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