33,000 civil servants to be transfered to Local Government Service

Posted: May 11, 2010 in Uncategorized
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About 33, 000 civil servants are to be transferred to the Local government Service, as part of efforts aimed at strengthening the district assemblies, towards the effective implementation of government policies.

Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Joseph Yieleh Chireh

The move is also aimed at operationalising the decentralized departments at the district level as the Departments of District Assemblies (DAs), thus giving the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) their full complements, as envisaged under article 240 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, and reinforced by the Local Government Act, 1993, Act 462.

“It is a well-recognized fact that an efficient and professional core of local government staff is a prerequisite for quality service delivery by the local government authorities. If you look at the decentralized departments, they continue to operate both from the region and also at the national level.

If you transfer the responsibilities and functions to the district assemblies, naturally, you will require fewer people at the national level, because they will not be implementing anything from there. That is why we have to move the personnel, to go to the assemblies themselves. And then, we need some few members at the national level, in terms of ministries for the policy formulation and whatever goes with that. Implementation will then be by the assemblies, and that is why you need to move people to there,” noted the Local Government Minister.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Joseph Yieleh Chiereh, disclosed this at a press briefing in Accra yesterday. Section 161 (3) of the Local Government Act provides that, “The members of staff of the branches, divisions and units of the Departments or organizations specified in the Eight Schedule to this Act, shall be transferred to the relevant Department of the District Assembly, and they shall form part of the Local Government Service when established.”

The Local Government Service, the Minister noted, had since been established under the Local Government Service Act, 2003, Act 656.
He affirmed that with the establishment of the Local Government Service, staff of District Assemblies automatically became members, and therefore called on personnel in the civil service not to panic, since most of them were already in the service.

The 1992 Constitution empowered Parliament to enact laws to bring about a decentralized Local Government system, with a fair degree of financial autonomy, and for the participation of the people in decision-making. Its purpose was to promote a balanced and accelerated development throughout the country.

The implementation of the decentralization program, according to Mr. Yieleh Chiereh, has seen significant progress since its inception, but was quick to add that administrative decentralization had been a barrier in the decentralization process, which his ministry seeks to rectify, hence the transfer of some 33,000 civil servant staff.

According to him, Section 161 (1) of Act 462, provides that the 22 decentralized departments now at the district level, are to cease to exist in their present form, whilst section 38 (1) provides that through a series of merges, the 22 departments are to be reconstituted into 16 departments in the Metropolitan Assemblies, 13 in the Municipal Assemblies, and 11 in the district assemblies and re-established.

However, he noted: “even though these departments have been established under section 38 (1), they only become operational under the procedure provided for in section 164, and L.I. 1961 is a fulfillment of that procedure, as provided for by law.

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