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General News of Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Formula for distribution of DACF to change - Naa Torshie

The President’s nominee for the administration of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) is projecting a change in the formula for the distribution of the fund in the wake of the implementation of the one constituency, one million dollars policy.

Irene Naa Torshie Addo believes the change will be in the interest of deprived communities across the country.

Speaking to members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament during her vetting Tuesday, the former Tema West MP is convinced the new one constituency, one million dollars policy which will be implemented could create some imbalances in the funding arrangements and that must be checked by the common fund distribution formula.

Per the 2016 formula for the distribution of the District Assemblies Common Fund, 7.5% of the total national revenue is set aside into the fund and distributed to the 216 districts across the country.

Part of the Fund is then disbursed directly to District Assemblies in accordance with the approved Formula. This is referred to as ‘direct transfers.’’

The MMDAs use the funds for projects and programmes determined by their respective Assemblies. 

Naa Torshie believes this year's implementation of the one million dollars government policy could affect the distribution of the DACF.

Joy News’ Elton John Brobbey who sat through the vetting of the Administrator designate reported that a metropolitan assembly like KMA is likely to get more funds under the new government policy because it has as many constituencies.

However, an assembly with few constituencies may get limited funds for its development project.

Irene Naa Torshie told MPs, in the long term the distribution of the District Assembly Common Fund will be used to check the imbalances.

“As time goes on, it could affect the formula in that, when you look at basic needs, the districts that have more schools and hospitals are given less and those who don’t have more are given more.

“So with the coming in of this money, if people build more schools, hospitals they get less of the DACF but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t build more schools,” she said.

The issue of the delays in the release of the MPs Common Fund also came up with the MPs asking how she intends to solve that problem.

The Administrator designate said she will lobby the Finance Minister to ensure a speedy release of the monies.

She also called for transparency by the MMDAs in the projects they undertake.