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Regional News of Saturday, 10 October 2015

Source: GNA

CSO urges Assembly Members to work hard

The Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA), a Civil Society Organization (CSO) has called on the new Assembly members across the country to work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them.

A press release issued and signed by the Director of NORPRA, Mr Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, said whilst congratulating all the elected assembly members in the country, it was urging them to abide strictly to Section 16 of the Local Government Act, 1993, Act 462, which enjoins assembly members to always consult their people before every assembly session and also give the people feedback after every session of the Assembly.

“Experience has shown that most assembly members do not do this, hence denying their constituents of very important information on government policies and programmes, limiting them from participating in governance. In view of this, NORPRA is urging all newly elected assembly members to ensure that this legal obligation expected of them is effectively and efficiently performed”, the release stressed.

The statement said all assembly members need to note that democracy was consolidated and nourished by the existence of well-informed people and indicated that it was therefore important that they promote information sharing among the constituents.

It stressed for instance that, it was very important for Assembly members to facilitate and create a congenial platform for communities in their respective areas to engage the people to actively take part in the preparations of Community Action Plans (CAPs), which are usually harmonized and fed into the Medium Term Development Plans of the Assemblies.

“Regrettably, most planning officers and other technocrats of the assemblies sit in the comfort of their offices and homes to “cook” these plans, thereby denying the people the opportunity of participation for their development needs and priorities to be captured in the planning process. The effect of this is that the plans of the assemblies in most cases are not responsive to the felt needs and priorities of the people particularly the poor and marginalized groups”.

The NORPRA therefore called on the Assembly members to ensure that their constituents were consulted in the planning process for their needs to be taken on board and mainstreamed in the Medium Term Development Planning process.

It further called on those Assemblies that failed to elect Presiding Members to build consensus and elect one to commence the activities of their respective Assemblies.

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