District Assemblies decry Common Fund deductions

cediDistrict Assemblies have called on the Administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to stop deductions from their fund at source.

This, they said, derails their plans and affects the implementation of development projects.

They said if the deductions would continue, then the District Assemblies needs to be given enough notice to enable them to meet and pass resolutions for procurement to be effected on their behalf.

Mrs Harriet Nuamah-Agyemang, Programme Officer of SEND-GHANA, a non-governmental organization, made the call when she presented a research at the Greater Accra Regional Policy Dialogue on the District Assemblies’ Common Fund in Accra, on Wednesday.

She said the research examined the degree of transparency and accountability in the disbursement and utilization of the DACF from 2009 to 2011.

She said the findings of the research indicated that there were variations in the amounts allocated, disbursed and actual receipt by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

She said the study observed evidence of unsubstantiated and un-receipted deductions by the DACF Secretariat over the years.

“Generally, the level of MMDAs compliance with financial management standards is low, leading to several irregularities,” she added.

Mrs Nuamah-Agyemang said the capacity of some of the Assembly members to appreciate governance and financial issues was limited.

The research, recommended that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and the Administrator of the DACF should minimize the level of deductions.

She said the MLGRD should establish effective monitoring systems to follow up on the recommendations of the Auditor- General’s report and take appropriate actions against Assemblies that persistently flout financial standards and regulations.

She said punitive measures should be taken against key officials of the Assemblies, who fail to enforce financial standards and regulation.

Mr Julius Debrah, Greater Accra Regional Minister, commended SEND-GHANA for their initiative to ensure transparency and accountability at the District level.

He called on the MMDAs to explore innovative steps to generate extra revenue to develop the Assemblies and shift from over relying on the central government.

Source: GNA

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