Kumasi – Wednesday May 25 -Friday May 27, 2022: The Head of the Local Government Service, Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur graced the 6th annual conference of the Association of Coordinating Directors (ASCOD) of Ghana.
The conference which was under the theme “Digitalisation: a tool for transforming Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) was to rally the Coordinating Directors (CDs) to support Government’s policy direction to deepen decentralization for improved service delivery and to promote value for money.
Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Arthur commended the organisers for the collective efforts with which they have strategised to organize the 6th conference. He said that the conference’s theme resonates with the national digitalization drive which is being implemented in major sectors of the economy; and that it is time for the MMDAs to also incorporate same in their service delivery strategies.
He revealed that it has been Government’s objective since 2017 to formalize the economy through digitalization. He noted that areas, where Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have been leveraged in the operations of the MMDAs, include revenue collection, permit application, and records management.
He mentioned that MMDAs that have deployed technology for revenue collection through the use of Point of Sale (POS) machines linked to a server; and the use of an online portal for development permit application have reduced the challenges of the manual system of service delivery; promoted transparency and ensured the availability of credible data for decision making.
He also touched on expenditure rationalization measures by Government for Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), and MMDAs. He charged the District Coordinating Directors (DCDs) to adhere to these measures including, the 50% cut to fuel allocation for Political Appointees, Heads, and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, (MMDCEs), a 30% cut to the 2022 budget appropriation, support the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) to eliminate ghost workers, and also review and prioritize existing programmes and projects.
He also revealed that the Local Government Council has approved a proposal by Management for the possible enrollment of staff onto a Health Insurance Policy to secure the welfare of staff. Other issues raised by the Head of Service is the prevalence of indiscipline (such as lateness, improper dressing, and absenteeism) among staff. Accordingly, he said he had directed the reintroduction of the biometric clocking system to curb some of these challenges and urged the CDs to take charge and address these issues.
Some dignitaries that attended the conference included, the Regional Minister for Ashanti Region, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah; the chief of Asafo, Nana Akyemfoɔ Asafo Boakye Agyeman Bonus; the Chief Director of the OHLGS, Mr. James Oppong Mensah, and the Director of Administration at the OHLGS Ms. Golda Asante.