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Stakeholders urged to seek answers from duty bearers at local levels

By Eric K. Amoh/Godfred Polkuu, GNA

Bolgatanga, Aug.
20, GNA – Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Dean of Studies and Research at the Institute of
Local Government Studies, has called on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and traditional
authorities to quiz and hold their Local Government Authorities accountable to promote
development.

He said the
accountability chain between the local government and the citizenry was broken
and many citizens lacked information about the local government system and
could not ask their Assemblies relevant questions for the right answers.

Dr Osae said “in
the true spirit of accountability, you explain to the citizens what you have
been able to do with their resources and the power given to you, and even go
ahead to explain what you have not been able to do.”

This, he said,
has created more supply side accountability than demand side where officials pick
and choose what to tell the citizens.

The Dean said
this at a one-day sensitization workshop for non-state actors: (CSOs and Traditional
Authorities) on the Local Governance Act (Act 936) and the revised Planning and

Budgeting
Guidelines for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) held in Bolgatanga.

Dr Osae said the
Local Government Act 462 was changed to Act 936 because of some challenges;
“District Chief Executives (DCEs) and the Directors who are supposed to interpret
the law to bring development to our people are not lawyers, but the Local Government
Act was in a little technical language, so interpretation was also a problem.”

“Aside from that,
the law is called Local Government law, but it is in English, and we have told
the Assemblies to use either English or any other language which is widely
spoken in the area,” he said.

He said the new
Act was in simple English Language for people to understand, and would
gradually be moved to another level where it would be translated into a number
of local languages.

Dr Osae said it
is necessary to meet with various key stakeholders who would be working with
the Local Government and the new law to school them on it.

Madam Gladys
Gillian Naadu Tetteh, Deputy Executive Director of the Centre for Local Governance
Advocacy, said they would collaborate with some of the CSOs to build the capacity
of the media in the area of Local Government to enable media personnel report accurately
on local government activities.

She urged MMDAs
to create a sister-city relationship, especially beyond the boundaries of Ghana
to share ideas and learn from their good practices.

GNA    

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