A two day capacity building workshop took place in Kumasi within the context of promoting good professional rapport among the Directors and Unit heads at the Secretariat, Regional Coordinating Directors and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Co-ordinating Directors (MMDCDs). In other words, the workshop was to share knowledge, experiences and best practices among others.
In his address, the Head of the Local Government Service (HoS), Dr. Callistus Mahama said the Local Government Service was operating in a dynamic governance system and therefore there was the need for such periodic workshops to help upgrade skills of staff who serve as frontline actors to enable them perform their duties effectively and efficiently.
Dr. Mahama commended the RCDs for their performance in the implementation of the 2015 Performance Contracts and the signing of the 2016 Contracts. The HoS was hopeful that the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Co-ordinating Directors (MMDCDs) would emulate the shining examples of the RCDs. He further hinted that an independent verification of RCDs’ and MMDCDs’ self-evaluation of the 2015 Performance Contracts was underway and RCDs and MMDCDs would be graded, rewarded or sanctioned appropriately after the verification exercise.
The Head of Service was however, content with the level of acceptance of the Performance Management System by the RCCs and MMDAs. He again encouraged them to involve the various heads of departments/units and their staff since every member was duty–bound to work to achieve the agreed targets.
However, he regretted the inability of some MMDAs to set up their Client Service Units and advised those concerned to do so immediately. MMDCDs were also admonished by the HoS to sensitize their staff on the Service Protocols including the Code of Conduct which enjoins staff to exhibit professionalism and avoid breaching the Local Government Service’s (LGS) rules and regulations on the basis of ignorance.
On the judicious use of scarce resources, Dr. Mahama urged Co-ordinating Directors and all LGS staff to follow the Public Financial Management (PFM) rules and other procedures as they would be held accountable for their actions.
On the issue of more departments joining the Service in no distant future the HoS entreated Co-ordinating Directors to brace themselves up to receive and support such departments like Births & Deaths, Co-operatives, Library Board, Youth & Sports among others. Again, MMDCDs were to ensure that a good working relationship was developed among all the relevant actors.
Participants were also reminded that a comprehensive Inter–Service and Sectoral Collaboration and Co-operation System (ISCCS) had been developed and sensitization on it was underway. The purpose is to create a healthy working relationship between the decentralised and non-dencentralised departments at the national, regional and district levels.
Concluding his address, Dr. Mahama hinted that the Local Government Service Capacity Building Framework (CBF) was being developed and Co-ordinating Directors should be committed to owning it and finding more innovative ways to make it operational in terms of sustainability and funding when it is finally validated for implementation.
In a welcome address, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Honourable John Alexander Ackon indicated that the efficient management of the nation depended on the people at the forefront of local governance. He expressed gratitude to the Local Government Service for the continuous professional training of its personnel and hoped that the staff would learn fast and be well equipped to deliver quality service to meet the aspirations of the people. The Regional Minister again commended Local Government Service Secretariat (LGSS) for establishing new departments and increasing the staff strength of the Service which he said, would strengthen the decentralization and also enhance quality service delivery at all levels.
Furthermore, the Regional Minister alluded to the fact that the Co-ordinating Directors are the chief advisors to their political heads. For that reason, they should be knowledgeable, skillful, efficient, and results-oriented in order to assist their Chief Executives to achieve their objectives of ensuring effective governance and service delivery.
The workshop also witnessed presentations on the topics below by experts:
- The rationale, need, constitutional, legal and policy basis for Inter-service and Sectoral Collaboration and Co-operation (ISCCS);
- Strategic Direction, thematic areas, Governance and Management of the Capacity- Building Framework;
- Main Duties, Negative Practices and Expected new Challenges of MMDCDs;
- Performance Management System, 2015 Performance Contracts between Hon. MMDCEs & MMDCDs and initial Feedback on Annual Performance Evaluation;
- Reliable Communication channels for Local Government Services promoted by BLUE TOWN via e-mails, video conferences;
- The Role of MMDCDs in Education Service Delivery;
- Functional Community Health Planning Services (CHPS) – gateway to effective Health Decentralization;
- The Role of ZOOMLION in providing Sustainable Solutions to Ghana’s Environmental Sanitation Challenges;
- EU support Programme/Call for Proposals for Civil Society Organization –Local Authority partner for Development;
- The Role of Internal Auditor towards an Effective Internal Audit at the Assemblies.