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Engage lawyers for MMDAs to curb contract, procurement breaches — Mpraeso MP

BY: Samuel Duodu
Davis Ansah Opoku — NPP MP for Mpraeso
Davis Ansah Opoku — NPP MP for Mpraeso

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Mpraeso, Davis Ansah Opoku, has asked the Local Government Service Secretariat to employ and engage the services of legal practitioners in all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

According to him, the move would help minimise and curb the perennial issue of contract and procurement irregularities at the assemblies.

PAC report

Mr Ansah Opoku, who is also the Deputy Ranking Member on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), made the call in Parliament last Friday when the Committee presented its findings to the House.

He noted that during the engagements of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with the assemblies, it became clear that there was a general lack of legal understanding in the assemblies.

That situation, he explained, had played a key role in numerous irregularities captured in the Auditor-General’s report.

“Mr Speaker, we realised that a number of the MMDAs, especially the newly created ones, have little knowledge of the nature of agreements entered on their behalf between the Local Government Ministry and the Zoomlion Company Limited. Even though the Committee met Zoomlion and they gave us vivid explanations and we realised that they are even doing the MMDAs a bit of favour, it brings to bear the need for our local assemblies to have personnel who understand legal issues,” he stated.

“I think the time is now for the Local Government Ministry or the Local Government Service to employ lawyers in all MMDAs to ensure that we do away with contract irregularities, procurement and store irregularities and even with the tax irregularities that we continue to find in the Auditor-General’s Report,”Mr Ansah Opoku added.

Digitalisation

Mr Ansah Opoku also called for the digitisation of the operations of the MMDAs to improve efficiency.

That, he said, would also reduce cash transactions to help reduce corruption.