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Politics of Friday, 22 April 2016

Source: Class FM

Poor monitoring cause of Assembly graft - Analyst

A local government analyst, Issaka Amon Kotei, has blamed the misappropriation of funds by some local assemblies on the lack of monitoring of their activities.

His comments follow a 2015 report by the Auditor-General that revealed that 43 assemblies across the country could not account for a total of GHS1,012,953.43.

Speaking on Accra100.5fm’s Ghana Yensom on Thursday April 21, Mr Kotei said: “It is simple. It is down to a lack of supervision.”

He explained that the current state of affairs was a result of the failure of Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs), bodies tasked with regulating assemblies in each region, to carry out their supervisory duties.

“Supervision is very important. If you look at the assembly structure carefully, their supervision and coordination lie with the Regional Coordinating Councils. But it is very difficult to say if the RCCs are doing their job,” Mr Amon Kotei told host Chief Jerry Forson.

In his opinion, the inability of such regulatory agencies to effectively oversee the roles of the assemblies, as a result of which misappropriation of funds and other violations occur, was because the system had been politicised.

“In our part of the world, local government is 80% political – from the appointment of DCEs, election of assembly members. With the duties of all people within the assembly concept, politics accounts for about 80%,” Mr Kotei said. It was for such reason that supervision of assemblies was “weak”, resulting in “a lot of leakages”, which was affecting service delivery.

Mr Kotei also said the governed should be held partly responsible for the status quo, given that they had failed to demand accountability from their assemblies. According to him, the Local Government Act, which birthed assemblies, mandated them to publish their annual financial statements and display them in the communities for all to see and read. “But which assembly have you seen do that?” he asked.

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