The Volta Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) has been adjudged the best (RCC) in the 2020 annual local governance service performance contract.
The Volta RCC beat the Savannah and Bono East RCC, which were adjudged second and third respectively, to clinch the coveted spot.
At an awards ceremony in Accra yesterday (Oct 20), the Nkoranza North District Assembly in the Bono East Region was also adjudged the best performing district in the rankings of Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country.
Aside from a citation and a plaque, the Volta RCC took home three computers, two printers, one scanner and two motorbikes while the Nkoranza North District Assembly took home three computers, two printers, one scanner and two motorbikes.
The remaining MMDAs which were rewarded in that order are Ga West Municipal, Afigya Kwabre North District, Tema West Municipal, Kwahu West Municipal and La Dade-Kotopon Municipal assemblies.
The rest are Birim Central Municipal, Ablekuma West Municipal, Twifu Ati Morkwa District and Kassena Nankana West District.
The Local Government Service Performance Management System (LGS - PMS) is a systematic process adopted by the Local Government Service (LG5) since 2015 for improving performance by developing the individual performance of staff and teams to enhance productivity.
It is also to develop competencies, increase job satisfaction and achieve the full potential of all staff in the service in line with section 54(f &c g) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936).
The contract is operationalised through the Performance Management Instruments (Contract & Appraisal) in which the service enters into agreement and commitment with its employees to set clear, quantifiable objectives and indicators for attainment within given timelines.
The thematic areas for the RCCs include general administration, human resource management, financial management, and services while that of the MMDAs include general administration, human resource management, financial management, infrastructure, service delivery, economic development, environmental and sanitation.
The Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, in her address at the event, described as “worrying” the increasing number of audit infractions and financial irregularities committed by some Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
She said the infractions captured in the Auditor General’s report continued to plague the country’s finances, adding that as public office holders entrusted with management responsibilities, there was the need for them to support the President’s desire to protect the public purse.
She, therefore, charged the various RCCs and MMDAs to, as a matter of urgency, deal with the situation in order to boost citizens’ confidence in them.
“The continuous increase in the number of infractions and financial irregularities is worrying and the various RCCs and MMDAs must as a matter of urgency deal with it,” the Chief of Staff said.
Mrs Osei-Opare thus implored the leadership of the MMDAs and RCCs to provide transparent, accountable, visionary and exemplary leadership to help drive change and bring the needed development to their respective local areas.
That, she said, was good for effective decentralised local governance practice.
She added that in order to broaden their horizon to improve the provision of services to their citizenry, there was also the need for a change of focus, attitudes and responsiveness with enhanced skills, adding that “Assemblies must also strengthen social accountability mechanisms to boost citizens’ confidence in them”.
The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Mr Dan Botwe, stressed that efforts of the established units of the district assemblies and the active involvement of the people within their respective jurisdictions were crucial to the development of the districts.
He further urged the Public Relations and Complaints Committees of all MMDAs to educate the public on the functions and activities of the district assemblies as well as the responsibilities of citizens to promote transparency, probity and accountability in the dealings of the district assemblies with the public.
The ministry, he said, would fashion out appropriate mechanisms to strengthen the sub district structures to enable them to function optimally.
The Head of the Local Government Service (LGS), Dr Nana Ato Arthur, said the LGS was poised to support government efforts to develop a robust local governance system.
Consequently, the service, he said, was striving to strengthen local governance institutions and structure, reviewing systems, procedures, as well as processes and building capacities for improved service delivery at the sub-national levels.
“It therefore implies and I am very certain that the criteria for the next round of assessment would be inched up a little, all things being equal, and this must be a wake-up call for all RCCs and MMDAs,” he said.