Gov’t launches Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability project

Akwasi Oppong-Fosu - Local Gov't Minister
Akwasi Oppong-Fosu – Local Gov’t Minister

Mr. Akwasi Oppong Fosu, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, has noted that empowered, responsive, accountable and capacity built local authorities, were important in ensuring development.

He said government was therefore committed in addressing issues with citizen’s participation to foster holistic and sustainable development at the local level and the country at large.

Mr. Fosu said this at the launch of the Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA) project at a meeting in Takoradi on Wednesday.

The SPEFA project is the fourth component of the Local Government Capacity Support Project, which would help in improving citizen’s perceptions on urban management and increase their engagement with the assemblies.

The Minister added that it would also promote and strengthen fiscal decentralization as well as local government accountability mechanisms to ensure that assemblies were accountable to the citizenry.

The Local Government Ministry together with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, had therefore developed a template for MMDAs to assist them in communicating public financial management information in a simplified to manner to the ordinary citizens.

Mr. Fosu said: “These templates have been designed such that the average citizen with the basic educational level could easily understand public financial management information and could engage local governments on core financial management issues.”

The SPEFA project to be facilitated by a Consortium of Civil Society Organisations led by SNV, would engage citizen’s group in bi-annual Town hall meeting in all assemblies receiving the Urban Development Grant.

They are to discuss public financial management issues and receive on-going training in Citizens’ Public Financial Management Templates and Cycle, Citizen Rights and opportunities.

Mr. Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, whose speech was read on his behalf, indicated the need for communities to work hand in hand with the district assemblies to achieve development.

“It is important for us to appreciate that government alone cannot be responsible for development,” he added.

Source: GNA

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