SEND-Ghana launches report on district development facility

send-ghanaSEND-Ghana has entreated the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the District Development Facility (DDF) to accelerate the disbursement of funds to district assemblies to ensure full implementation of the District Assemblies’ Medium Term Development Plan.

It also requested that the Ministry treated with utmost urgency the need to hasten the Functional Organisational Assessment Tool, a performance-based assessment that serves as a determinant for district assemblies to access the District Development Facility Fund.

This formed part of a report which followed a research conducted by the organisation to examine the flow of the District Development Facility funds and its subsequent utilisation by district assemblies.

Among others, the report recommended that all district assemblies increased their monitoring of contractors to ensure timely completion of projects and where necessary enforce sanctions on contractors who fail to comply with terms of their appointment.

Launching the report, Mr Adamu Mukaila, a Civil Society Advisor, said there was the need for government to review assessment indicators to include direct feedback from citizens.

He said the FOAT should have sections which would solicit feedback from citizens on their involvement in decision making and project implementation.

SEND-Ghana also recommended that the law on ensuring that public facilities are disability friendly should be continually enforced by government and DDF secretariats in the implementation of DDF projects.

It said this should be one of the primary indicators in assessing district assemblies.

Per the fiscal decentralisation policy of the Government, district assemblies, through the District Assemblies Common Fund, receive financial resources to execute local development policies.

The Common Fund, however, has not been very adequate to cover the financial needs of district assemblies hence a significant development gap has resulted and is being compounded with the irregular releases of the fund.

Despite the challenge of late disbursement of the fund, its utilisation by the district assemblies also poses a constant source of worry as irregularities are often cited in reports by the Auditor General.  

In efforts to remedy the problem and increase the fund as well as improve efficiency in its utilisation, the Government and its development partners instituted the performance-based grant labelled the District Development Facility in 2006.

Source: GNA

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