The government is committed to deepening the decentralisation process in the country to promote accountability.
It is in this respect that the government mooted the idea of electing metropolitan, municipal and district Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to bring accountability to the doorstep of the ordinary people.
The Head of the Local Government Service (LGS), Dr Stephen Nana Ato Arthur, made these known in an interview with the Daily Graphic at his office in Accra last Monday.
For accountability to thrive, Dr Ato Arthur underscored the need for access to public information, such as information on the District Assemblies Common Fund, transparency in assembly administration and the execution of projects.
“The public expects to know how the public purse is being utilised and there is the need for regular consultative meetings to make decentralisation and accountability an everyday activity,” he stated.
Dr Ato Arthur said such regular meetings or interactions with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies could discuss planning, budgets of projects and their execution for value for money.
According to him, “how often we consult our people on projects and planning will go a long way to enhance living standards, as well as accelerate development.’’
Dr Ato Arthur stated: “I want to ensure that the Local Government Service becomes professional and ethical. By professionalism, I mean staff must eschew laziness, lateness to duty and remain loyal to the service and do away with all ills in the system.
He further stated the need to strengthen the capacity of staff to respond to today’s pressing issues, including environmental cleanliness.
Dr Ato Arthur disclosed that the service was collaborating with the Water Resources and Sanitation Ministry to attain the President’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
On the theme “Sustainable Clean City Project’’, Dr Ato Arthur said the two institutions were going to introduce environmental health inspectors as part of key agenda to meet the goal of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
According to Dr Ato Arthur, some major challenges facing the LGS were how to motivate and train staff to respect the service performance contract, how to reduce financial leakages to increase the common fund, as well as how to increase internally generated fund.
To improve upon the performance of the service personnel, he stressed the need for motivation of the staff because of the greater expectations from the citizenry.
He also said the service would introduce performance contracts to reward deserving personnel to motivate them, while sanctioning those whose output may fall short of expectation.
Dr Ato Arthur said plans were in place to introduce a digital system to make it easier to identify properties and businesses to improve collection of property rates and taxes on business entities.
While working to strengthen the capacity of the staff to deliver, Dr Ato Arthur said he was also working to ensure hard work, discipline and strict adherence by all staff to the regulations of the service.
‘’Under my administration, we will deliver an effective, efficient and improved service delivery to the citizenry,’’ he assured.