The agreement was signed between the Municipal and District Chief Executives and their Coordinating Directors, which involved the prioritization of four localized programme areas, through consultations with community members, for implementation.
Dr. Callistus Mahama, Head of the Local Government Service, who led some officials from the Local Government Ministry, to witness the signing of the agreement, said public perception about the Assemblies had been that they were not doing enough to meet the aspirations of the people.
He encouraged Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) , Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, to consider the establishment of Client Service Units and Customer Services, to raise the confident levels of citizens to come and lodge complaints.
Such an initiative would enable the Assemblies to give accurate and one-time feedbacks and responses to the public to enhance mutual trust, transparency and accountability about their operations, and discourage people from rushing to the media to air their grievances.
Dr. Mahama urged the Assemblies to provide detailed and comprehensive reports to the RCCs on quarterly basis, while urging the RCCs to strengthen their monitoring and evaluation units to oversee progress of work of the Assemblies.
Heads of departments and agencies under the Local Government Ministry should also co-operate because much was also expected of them in that regard, he said.
Dr. Mahama noted that resource allocation was dwindling yet demands and expectations of the people were high and the people were skeptical about the operations of the Assemblies.He urged the Assemblies to bring the people on board to know what the Assemblies were doing on their behalf, pointing out that if they failed to achieve targets set, they would face sanctions.
The Local Government Service Head appealed to chief executives of the various Assemblies to develop keen interest in getting periodic bank statements of the Assemblies, to help in their financial management.
Dr. Mahama admonished the chief executives to show concern about procurement issues, and take keen interest in audit reports, to help streamline operations.
He urged internal auditors to help implement the best financial management practices at the Assemblies, and avoid the practice of witch- hunting district chief executives.
Dr. Mahama complained about the absenteeism of some district coordinating directors, a practice he said was impacting negatively on the operations of some of the Assemblies, and advised them to change for the better.
He appealed to the media to write positive stories about the Assemblies’ development achievements, and also develop interest in local government issues.
Mr. Paschal Dere, Lawra District Chief Executive and Mr. Salifu B. Kanton, Jirapa District Coordinating Director, on behalf of their colleagues, pledged their unflinching support in bringing about efficient and best practices to achieve targets set in the four thematic areas chosen by the Assemblies.