Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Dean of Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies, has called on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and traditional authorities to quiz and hold their Local Government Authorities accountable to promote development.

He said the accountability chain between the local government and the citizenry was broken and many citizens lacked information about the local government system and could not ask their Assemblies relevant questions for the right answers.

Dr Osae said “in the true spirit of accountability, you explain to the citizens what you have been able to do with their resources and the power given to you, and even go ahead to explain what you have not been able to do.”

This, he said, has created more supply side accountability than demand side where officials pick and choose what to tell the citizens.
The Dean said this at a one-day sensitization workshop for non-state actors: (CSOs and Traditional Authorities) on the Local Governance Act (Act 936) and the revised Planning and Budgeting Guidelines for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) held in

Bolgatanga.

Dr Osae said the Local Government Act 462 was changed to Act 936 because of some challenges; “District Chief Executives (DCEs) and the Directors who are supposed to interpret the law to bring development to our people are not lawyers, but the Local Government Act was in a little technical language, so interpretation was also a problem.”

“Aside from that, the law is called Local Government law, but it is in English, and we have told the Assemblies to use either English or any other language which is widely spoken in the area,” he said.

He said the new Act was in simple English Language for people to understand, and would gradually be moved to another level where it would be translated into a number of local languages.

Dr Osae said it is necessary to meet with various key stakeholders who would be working with the Local Government and the new law to school them on it.

Madam Gladys Gillian Naadu Tetteh, Deputy Executive Director of the Centre for Local Governance Advocacy, said they would collaborate with some of the CSOs to build the capacity of the media in the area of Local Government to enable media personnel report accurately on local government activities.

She urged MMDAs to create a sister-city relationship, especially beyond the boundaries of Ghana to share ideas and learn from their good practices.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh