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Politics of Sunday, 9 March 2014

Source: GNA

Gov't committed to transparency in procurement processes

Mr. Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development has assured of government’s commitment to transparency in the procurement process for smooth implementation of programmes and projects in the country.

He said this had led to the introduction and launch of an Application Software Database system known as "Contract Portal", for managing the procurement, implementation and performance of public programmes and projects.

Mr. Oppong-Fosu was addressing Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), Coordinating Directors, Heads of Department and Staff of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council in Tamale, on Monday.

The Minister is on a three-day working visit to the Northern Region to familiarize with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives as well as to interact with Staff and Directors of the Assemblies, to ascertain first-hand information of their operations at the local level and also inspect some projects.

He said the Ministry of Local Government, as part of efforts to strengthen MMDAs, had provided investment and capacity building grants, under the District Development Facility (DDF) and the Urban Development Grant (UDG), as means to enhance their operations.

Mr. Oppong-Fosu said since the project inception, amounts of GH¢ 36,806,651 and GH¢ 332,293.95 had been transferred under the DDF and UDG respectively for the assemblies.

He said in a bid to adopt a conscious and systematic approach towards rural development in the country, the Ministry had initiated the development of a Rural Development Policy and Action Plan aimed at strengthening the Rural Development Units.

He said the District Wide Assistance Project (DWAP) had also provided additional funds to the District Assemblies in Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

He said the Budgetary Support Project was aimed at assisting all the 38 Districts to implement their Annual Action Plans as well as their Medium Term Development Plans.

Mr. Bede Ziedeng, Northern Regional Minister said the visit of the minister gave meaning to the commitment towards making decentralization the main vehicle of development.

He said an intensive orientation programme is in the offing for all MMDCEs, to orientate and reinvigorate them towards certain key commitments of Government, including sanitation, street naming, elimination of schools under trees and the implementation of the Community Senior High Schools.

Mr. Ziedeng said the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) was tackling some specific setbacks of the region related to poor performance in Education and the improvement in Revenue Mobilization.

He said the RCC had lined up a Regional Mobilization Strategy workshop for MMDAs and a Regional Education forum to be held this month.

The Minister is accompanied by Dr Callistus Mahama, Head of Local Government Service, Mr. Amin Abdul Rahman, Director of Finance and Administration and Mr. Sylvanus Adzornu, Head of Urban Development, all at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.