The Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development has revealed through it’s Report that the Disability Fund of the various District Assemblies lacked proper management and Accountability in the management and disbursement of the District Assemblies Common Fund meant for the People with Disabilities prior to this current administration.
The Report further revealed that thitherto, Signatories to the accounts were officials of the various Assemblies, being the Coordinating Director and the Finance Officer; and as a result, offered the tendencies for them to use monies for the funds for different purposes.
The report also shows that officials of Assemblies used the monies to fund other recurrent expenditures.
The Committee however, expressed the satisfaction that the practice has stopped under current administration, and that the management of the Disability Fund had greatly improved.
On matters of transparency, the Committee indicated that there was lack of transparency on the part of the Assemblies in the management of the fund and there was lack of collaboration between the Assemblies and the Disability Committee.
It noted also that, in some MMDAs, the important information relating to transfers from the District Assemblies Common Fund to the Disability Fund, bank statements and outstanding amounts were not made available to Members of the Committee.
The Committee undertook a monitoring visit to selected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in nine (9) out of ten (10) Regions in the country from Wednesday 31st January to Wednesday 7th February 2018, pursuant to Order 181and 192(2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament.
The Committee also found out that, Agreements reached with some outsourced firms contracted by the Assemblies to undertake one job or the other, lacked performance bonds or any form of guarantee prior to their engagements, hence the execution of substandard works sometimes by outsourced firms.
Similarly, it was revealed that officials who are mandated to monitor the performance of outsourced firms, had themselves not seen those agreements and commitments to enable them do effective monitoring.
It would be recalled that, the MMDAs per the law are expected to use between 20% and 30% of their Internally Generated Funds (IGF) on Capital Expenditure (Projects).
However, the opposite has been the practice, with the Assemblies using 100% of their IGF on recurrent expenditures.
The Committee found this phenomenon unacceptable and unfair to the Ratepayers in the Municipalities and requested the Assemblies to at least, utilize 20 percent of the amounts generated for capital projects.
Another challenge identified by the Committee, was the lack of complete and accurate database of ratable units and persons.
Here, the MMDAs could not provide basic records regarding businesses and economic activities, shops, self-employed, artisans, to mention a few.
The Committee however, commended current trend of deviation from the previous mess.
The House generally called on all MMDAs to take the issue of Accountability of Paramount importance.
Story: Frederick E Aggrey