The 70th Annual New School and Conference has urged the Government to expedite the setting up of the legal framework and associated processes for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
A communique issued by the participants at the end of the 70th Annual New School and Conference said the establishment of the legal framework and associated processes would make the MMDCEs directly accountable to their constituents.
It recommended that the sub-structures of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) should be strengthened for effective policy development and implementation by ensuring that the 30 per cent appointees of the Government were technocrats.
It said the Electoral Commission (EC) should take steps to fully digitise their processes and systems to minimise the propensity for human manipulation and ensure efficiency in their operation.
It recommended that to ensure a consistent approach to the decentralisation implementation by successive governments, the government must develop a National Framework that would adequately respond to the decentralisation standards.
It called on all political parties to disband their vigilante groups and persons engaged in vigilantism or hooliganism should be severely punished to serve as a deterrent to others.
It said strong institutions contribute to citizens’ well-being by protecting citizens, checking corruption, providing access to justice and ensuring fair distribution of basic services and resources.
In order to ensure high journalistic standards and practice in the country, the participants recommended that the National Media Commission (NMC) should develop a framework for the conduct and practice of investigative journalism within the legal, social and ethical standards of the profession and international best practices.
“Given the important role that investigative journalism played in exposing corruption in Ghana, the NMC should establish a fund to support capacity building and protection of investigative journalists,” it said.
“Access to information is critical to the fight against corruption and Parliament is therefore, called upon to pass the Right to Information Bill without further delay.”
The 70th Annual New Year School and Conference, which took place from January 14 to 18, was on the theme: “Building Strong Institutions for Democratic Consolidation in Ghana”.
It was organised by the School of Continuing and Distance Education of the College of Education, University of Ghana, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.