The Government of Ghana aims to create wealth by transforming the nature of the economy to achieve growth, accelerated poverty reduction and the protection of the vulnerable and excluded within a decentralized, democratic environment. Local Governance in relation to Governance in this report relates to the ways in which the policies, aims and objectives of central Government are related to the general policy planning and administration within local authorities while decentralization is the transfer of authority on a geographic basis, whether by deconcentration (that is delegation) of authority to field units of the same department or level of government or by devolution of authority to local government units or special statutory bodies.
The essential element is the transfer of authority to take decisions and implement them. Without doubt, the concept of decentralization has come to symbolize a new era of development strategy in Ghana’s socio-economic and spatial relations. Within the frame work of national policy, there is scope for local initiative, local policy formulation and local mobilization for development which means that local people must participate in the decision¬making and implementation process". Local Government in Ghana does not mean local independence. What it does is to relieve the central government of administrative load, energizes the local communities and identify them with government and thereby ensure equitable and balanced national development.Governance and Decentralization
Governance, that is the act of governing, denotes the responsive relations between the state, the private business sector and civil society such that social well being, social justice and equity are attained and maintained in an environment of sustained economic growth, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights. Government, as an institution, comprises the political leadership and the public service.
There must be a symbiotic relationship between these two levels for effective governance. The import of Good Governance is to improve decision-making process by strengthening all local government institutions. It includes marking improvement through dialogue with the civil society, business community as well as the traditional Authority, where people are empowered to participate in and influence the process of poverty reduction and the sustainable growth of the economy.
The Akuapem North District was established in 1988 under Legislative Instrument 1430 in accordance with Section 2 of the Local Government Law 1988 (PNDC 207). It was carved out of the Akuapem District by the PNDC Government, and is thus one of the new districts which were established following the introduction of the decentralized programme in 1988. The District Assembly comprises 64 persons (males and females), 42 elected and 20 appointed in addition to the DCE and two members of parliament who have no voting rights. The assembly also has a Presiding Member who presides over meetings of the Assembly and is in charge of complains and public relations. The assembly has an Executive Committee which performs/exercises its executive and co-ordinating functions.
It must be emphasized that the female representation in the assembly compares with the 11% female representation in parliament. This however depicts a greater gender disparity in all levels of decision making, thus marginalizing the views and needs of females and their overall contribution to development in the country.Structure of the District Assembly
The District Assembly structure-organogram (institutional framework based on Act 462). The structure calls for a bottom up approach to planning. It must however be emphasized that the structure is not effectively operational in the District due to financial
and logistical reasons. In addition, the proposed consultative linkage provided by the structure is not as cordial as it should be due to empire building and rivalry among various departmental
heads.Functions of the Assembly
The functions of the Assembly of the Assembly fall in three main areas. These are:
The Stracture of ANDA
- Legislative which involves the formulation of bye-laws within the district;
- Deliberative which involves the various discussions and deliberations made on the development of the district; and
- Executive Functions which involves the execution of policies and projects within the district. In sum, the Assembly is responsible for the overall development of the district through effective mobilization and utilization of the human, physical, financial and other resources in the district
On the whole the District Assembly is made up of four town councils and eleven area councils. The town councils are Akropong, Larteh, Mampong and Adukrom while the names of the 11 area councils are Mamfe/Amanokrom, Tutu/Obosomase, Abiriw/Awukugua/Dawu and Apirede. The rest are Aseseeso/Abonse, Asenema/Krutiase, Okrakwadwo/Amanfro, Mangoase, Asamang/Onyame Bekyere, Adawso/Ntetiaman and Okorase/Tinkong. At the grass root level are the Unit Committees (provide the number of Unit committees in the district here) which are in close touch with the people, and have the important roles of education, organisation of communal labour, revenue mobilization environmental cleanliness, registration of births and deaths, and the implementation and monitoring of self help projects at the grass-root level as well as supervise and take active part in programmes concerning HIV/AIDS, Water and Sanitation and the District Health Insurance. The District has two constituencies namely the Akropong and Okere Constituencies with 42 electoral areas. The breakdown is 25 electoral areas for Akropong constituency and 17 in the Okere segment of the District.Functions of the Statutory Organs of the Assembly
The Presiding Member presides over the Assembly. The District Chief Executive is both the political and administrative head of the district. The Member of Parliament is an ex-officio Member of the Assembly. Like other Assemblies in Ghana, the Assembly has Executive Committee performing the executive functions of the District Assembly, co-ordination of the functions of the Assembly with the office of the District Chief Executive and co-ordinates the development plans and programmes through the District Development Planning Co-ordinating Unit (DPCU) in the District Assembly and the six sub- committees.The Executive Committee
It is made up of 15 members and is chaired by the District Chief Executive. The committee is made up of two members form the various sub-committees within the assembly. It has also got some members appointed by the General Assembly.
Statutory Sub-Committees Various sub- committees have been put in place to facilitate the operations of the assembly. These include Development Planning, Finance and Administration, Justice and Security, ^Environment, Social Services and the Works Sub-committees. Other committees are the District Security Committee (DISEC), the District Advisory Tender Board, the District AIDS (Committee, and the District Education Oversight Committee.
Functions of the Development Planning Sub-CommitteeTakes a comprehensive look at the District; Identifies the economic resources/potentials of the district;Develops an information base on the resources; Identifies opportunities and constraints for the exploitation of these resources; Prepares exploitation and phasing plans and strategies; and
Functions of the Works Sub-Committee
- Submits the plan to the Executive Committee for harmonization with other sub¬committee plans.Functions of the Social Services Sub-Committee
- Takes a comprehensive and long-term look at areas of social development in the district, in particular education, health, social welfare, sports, culture etc.;
- Develops the information base on these areas of social development;
- Identifies strengths and weaknesses in the social services areas;
- Prepares a social development plan (long, medium and short term) for the district;
- Examines the implications of the social development plan on other sub-sectors of the district economy; and
- Submits the plan to the Executive Committee for harmonization
The functional areas of this sub-committee include roads, electricity, sanitation, water. Its functions include:
Functions of the Finance and Administration Sub - Committee
- Takes a comprehensive look at the infrastructure needs and problems of the district;
- Develops an information base on each of these programmes/functional areas;
- Maps out, initiates and phase out programmes for their development and or provision;
- Examines the implications of such actions for the other sub-committee proposals; and
- Submits the programmes to the Executive Committee for harmonization and action.
Justice and Security Sub-Committee
- Examines the general financial position of the Assembly;
- Examines the revenue mobilization and expenditure trends of the Assembly;
- Maps out strategies to improve revenue mobilization in the present and sets targets for the future;
- Submits financial plans to the Executive Committee for harmonization with other committee plans; and
- Identifies strategies to ensure judicious utilization of available resources.
This sub committee is set up to resolve intra-district and inter-district conflicts and to consider issues that pertain to the enforcement of bye-laws of the Assembly. It thus performs the following:
Other CommitteesDistrict Security Committee (DiSEC)
- Recommends to the Executive Committee ways and means to resolve disputes.
- Ensure ready access to the courts and tribunals for the promotion of justice in the district.
The committee sees to the security functions of the district e.g. settling of chieftaincy issues, theft cases, and conflicts that could hinder development process of the district.The District AIDS Committee
The committee coordinates the activities of the NGOs who are into the areas of HIV/AIDS awareness and sensitization within the district. The Central Administration It sees to the day-to-day management of the District and it consists of the following functional units:
- General Administration /Services (i.e. Human Resource and Records Management, Secretarial Services etc)
- Environmental Health and Sanitation
- Works and Estate Management
- Finance (Accounts, Stores and Revenue)
- Local Government Inspectorate/Internal Audit,
- District Planning Co-ordination Unit (Development Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation)
- Client Services/Public Relations
The General Assembly, made up of the People’s Representatives, constitutes the highest decision making body in the distinct. It deliberates on all important issues affecting the District, approves of settlement schemes/Medium Term Development Plans, Annual Budgets and Action Plans, etc.
Sub-Committees, initiate Policies of the Assembly and submit them to the Executive Committee for review and then to the District Assembly for approval. Office of ANDA (DCE AND staff), Implements Central Government Polides and Assembly’s programmes and resolutionsAssets of the District Assembly
The Assembly is managing the state lands at Kwamoso which used to be a palm plantation farm and Okrakwadwo state farm. The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) is overseeing the administration of the land on behalf of the Assembly. A number of farmers have been allocated farmlands and these pay rents to the Assembly through the NADMO. It is understood that many farmers are in arrears for several years. The Assembly also has other lands at Okrakwadwo and the Asenema falls, Larteh and Akyeremateng. Most of these have been given compensation.
The Assembly has other lands at Okrakwadwo, Asenema falls, Akyeremateng (AkaaFalls) and Larteh. Most of these have already received compensation. However registration of the lands at Larteh, Asenema and Akyeremateng waterfalls area and acquisition of title deeds are yet to be completed.Key problems
The assembly is constrained by many factors including; manpower/personnel, finance, logistics and accommodation and institutional problems. These problems have been expatiated below: Ineffective functioning of the various district departments and the Assembly: This problem is in relation to the administrative setup of the District Assembly. Due to the inadequacy of the necessary logistics and functional offices within the assembly, personnel are not able to deliver effectively and efficiently in relation to their expected roles. The logistics required for their operations include stationery, vehicles, computers, communication systems (telephones) and other related logistics.
These have not only impeded activities within the various departments, the working capacity of the personnel has also been affected. Ensuring the adequate provision of the above logistics has been the priority of the assembly; and as such efforts would have to be directed towards this end to ensure the achievement of this course. The absence of decentralized components within the district has also contributed to the ineffective functioning of the assembly in executing their functions effectively. Ineffective functioning of the various sub-district structures (Unit Committees and Area/Town Councils): this problem also relates itself with the participatory process within the district. In other words, it concerns itself with the involvement of the people at the grassroots in development issues.
This has been a problem because, the absence of offices in the various area councils has made these councils non-functional and as such the people at the grassroots are not directly involved in decision making process in the District. This problem has been aggravated by the absence of the necessary structures to ensure the effective functioning of the unit committees.District Financial Management
District financial management covers a wide range of issues embracing revenue mobilization and expenditure administration and genera! transactions. This is a critical concern of the District as the DA can not survive without finance. The current decentralization process calls on District Assemblies to be responsible for their financial management. This however poses considerable challenges in view of the limited capadty of most districts. This section elaborately assesses the revenue mobilization performance and expenditure prudence of the District Assembly.
- District Revenue Mobilization Performance
- Internally Generated Funds (IGF)
This sub-section presents the extent at which the various estimates for the various items of the IGF were realized for the various years and the various factors that might have contributed to such an extent
It could be realized from table 1.0 that the assembly in 2001 could realize only 80.6% of their targeted revenue. This could be attributed to the fact thai apart from three of the items that were able to achieve over 100% of the target, the rest were below the expected to an extent that nothing was realized from Lands (Royalties). Revenue from lorry parks, and graveyards contributed most under the item "fees" for they achieved over 150% of the targeted figure; in other words, they exceeded their target.Here the assembly could increase from 80.6% to 82.2% of the previous year’s total revenue which represents some level of improvement even though the assembly could have done better by working more on the fees, which in the previous year they were able to hit the target.
Each of the items received a considerable increase as far as meeting targets were concerned, except that nothing was realized from the lands. It must be emphasized here that revenue from investment over the two years contributed immensely towards revenue generation and thus it calls for the attention of the assembly to work out to get more from this area of revenue generation.Revenue Generated in the Year 2003
The issue in 2003 was quiet different since the assembly’s total revenue (internal) could hit just 66% of the targeted revenue with the growth rate between the periods being 8.1 This year miscellaneous experienced as low as 13.3 and this contributed immensely to such a poor performance. It should be also be noted here that for the first time some proceeds was realised from lands and it was quite substantial (035,145,000.00 was realised). The situation in 2004 was much commendable and it depicted the level of commitment the assembly exhibited during this year where the revenue target was 128.6% achieved; in other words, the assembly realized more than the targeted figure.
It could be realized here also that the proceeds from rates and fees played much role as well as proceeds from investment as compared to rent, miscellaneous and licenses, which did not see much change. Despite the achievement of target, proceeds from lands reduced in comparison with that of the previous year.’Table depicts the situation in 2005 where the prospect in the revenue generation was discontinued. In other words what was realized in 2004 was more that the proceeds in 2005. This was because proceeds realized in 2004 which amounted to 0457,714,061.00 dropped to 0304,237,193.00 representing a percentage drop of 33.5%. Investment also dropped in a similar manner and these together resulted to such a drop from the proceeds in 2004.Trend Analysis of IGF Mobilization Performance
It could be realized from the above statistics that rent from 2001 and 2005 played the least role in the achievement of revenue target. The highest it could do was to meet just 43.0% of its target. It therefore calls for more attention so as to increase revenue from this source in the coming years. The situation in 2004 and other situations in relation to proceeds from rates, fees, and investment depict the fact that the assembly still has much potential in area of increasing the revenue generated internally. For example, the proceeds from rates realized much change in each of the years and this is much commendable. It must also be noted here that proceeds from lorry parks and market tolls contributed much to the total proceeds from fees and as such it worth looking at again to tap every potential from these areas.
In conclusion, it must be understood that, to ensure a very good performance in revenue generation for the assembly each year must see an upward movement in each of the revenue items. This has not been the situation in the previous years; in other words, proceeds from previous years have been erratic rather than being regular. Considering the growth rates, certain abnormalities were recorded, for instance the period between 2003 and 2004 recorded a growth rate of 208.0 for the proceeds from "Rates". This abnormality was realized because the period saw an increase from 057,158,690.00 to 0457,714,061.00. This was quite a large difference representing a percentage difference of 87.5%. Another similar abnormality was recorded in the period between 2004 and 2005 for investment where an amount of 038,441,398.15 recorded from 2004 dropped to 02,876,149.82 and thus leading to a recorded growth rate of -259.3.
The element of erratic nature of revenue generated over the past years is very clear and much evident here where none of the items could record a regular growth rates over the five year period. This therefore calls for effective devises to be formulated by the assembly in ensuring that revenue sources are regular in the coming years. External Sources of Revenue
Table presents the various external sources of revenue and the amount realized over the years. The amount released from these sources cannot be influenced by the assembly and as such the best means to take adequate care of district oriented projects is through increasing their internally generated funds. This can be done by first considering a maximum realization of revenue from the existing revenue base and secondly exploring other means to add to the existing base. With these more can be raised by the assembly to ensure local development. Composition of IGF and EGF in Total Revenue
The above presentations emphasized the performance of revenue generation as regards the two separate main sources of funds mobilization in isolation. This segment however, dwells on the performance of the two sources together form 2001 to December 2005. As can be observed on the average IGFs do constitute a little over 11 % of the total revenue generated in the District. The bulk of the revenue that is approximately 90% are from Government of Ghana and other development partners who are mostly from outside the domain of the District. The planning and development implication of this phenomenon is that adequate attention, time and resources should be earmarked for improvement in revenue generation and economic resource mobilization as part of the planning processDistrict Expenditure Pattern
This sub-section concerns itself with comparing the extent with which the assembly was able to spend within its budget or the estimated expenditure over the years. Personnel Emolument, Travelling and Transport, General Expenditure, Maintenance, and Miscellaneous represent the recurrent expenditure while the Development Expenditure represents the capital expenditure which includes expenditure on health, education, water and sanitation, local government administration and other development projects. It must be noted that the personnel emolument include that of the salary paid from the central government. In other words, the central government pays about 80% of the total amount spent on personnel emolument.
This could be attributed to the fact that during this year the total revenue realized i.e both from internally generated funds and that from central government amounted to only 01,942,818,352.4 which is just a little above the actual amount spent. The need to ensure that targeted revenue is realized to ensure that all development plans take place is very evident here. It also becomes expedient to know the extent within which the recurrent expenditure fell within the IGF and thus it was also realized that the recurrent expenditure (excluding that from the central government salary - 0462, 109,119) amounted to 0289,859,529.22 which is above the amount generated from the IGF. This situation limits district assembly initiated projects and supports the assertion that IGF is basically meant to cater for the recurrent expenditure.
It must be noted here that the assembly did not receive anything from the HIPC and as such there were no HIPC Funded Projects. Here also, the recurrent expenditure exceeded that of the IGF by 0338,918,416.57. (NB. Recurrent expenditure excludes salaries and wages from government which amounted to 0581, 335,824.00). Nevertheless the assembly was able to spend within the budgeted expenditure and must be commendedIn 2003, development expenditure for HIPC Fund Projects was not estimated for thereby affecting the total amount approved for the year (this accounted for the dash). But in comparing it with the total revenue that was made available for the assembly, an amount of 01,994,385,858.05 could be deduced as surplus. This situation which differs much from the previous years could be attributed to the sharp increase in the DACF from 01,266,445,726.00 in 2002 to 03,122,299,980.00 in 2003 representing a percentage change of 146.5%. Yet the IGF could not satisfy the demands of the recurrent expenditure which has been the normal trend over the past years.
Here also, some of the items under the development expenditure were not estimated for making it impossible to deduce the total estimated expenditure. Like the 2003, this year also experienced a surplus but this time very marginal amounting to 0169,397,477.21. Also the assembly this year managed to cater for the recurrent expenditure with the IGF. In other words, the recurrent expenditure as of December 2004 added up to 0743,814,839.91 while the IGF amounted to 0920,290,559.10 which marks an improvement from the previous years. This could be attributed to the high IGF (this year recorded the highest IGF over the years under consideration) that was recorded during this year.
Last year under consideration where another favourable situation could be realised in relation to the extent within which the amount spent was within the budgeted. The total revenue for this year was 07,070,859,424.10 while the total expenditure was 06,741,990,242.22 depicting another development in the collection, utilisation and management of revenue by the assembly. This year also made a mark in relation to the extent the IGF was able to cater for the demands of the recurrent expenditure i.e. the IGF amounted to 0809,962,608.10 while the recurrent expenditure was 0708,105,767.8. The assembly also managed to work within the estimated expenditure. It must be concluded here that, each of the year saw some level of improvement in relation to how revenue was utilized in the district. For instance the problem of deficit financing was gradually eliminated as the years passed by.Internally Generated Revenue
Information and data available indicate that there are has fifty three (53) revenue staff in the District which consists of 14 permanent collectors and 39 commission collectors. The District has six (6) zonal areas for easier monitoring. Every Zone has its own leader who assists the commission collectors in discharging their duties. The zones are: Akropong, Asenema, Adawso, Mampong, Larteh and Adukrom. Commission Collectors are assigned to a particular area Based on the strength of the area and its size Akropong has 3 collectors, Asenema - 7 Collectors, Mampong - 7, Adukrom - 6, Adawso -19 and Larteh - 4 Collectors. Much of the revenue comes from market tolls, fees, licences, rates etc. Even though the District is very vast, the Assembly cannot boast of any big markets. Adawso and Asenema markets are the only sources of revenue with a few small ones in the towns in the District.
The Assembly periodically puts together a task force to assist in revenue collection to boost revenue collection. Property Rates are also another source of revenue. The Assembly is in the process of revaluing all properties in the District since rates on the properties have not been revised for many years. The Assembly exceeded its revenue target in 2004 as a result of pragmatic measures put in place by the Administration.
Refer to pdf file for tables below.