The District Assembly
The District Assembly like any other governance institution has a legislative, deliberative, executive and administrative structures and functions. The District Assembly by the mode of its creation and responsibilities has a governance role, service delivery role, planning and community development role and above all, a regulatory role. These roles are performed through established institutional structures and key personnel.
The Sekyere East District Assembly is the highest political and administrative body in the district. It is made up of seventy-two members- forty-eight elected, twenty-one appointees, two members of parliament for Kumawu and Effiduase/Asokore constituencies and a District Chief Executive.
The Assembly exercises political and administrative authority in its area of operation. It provides guidance to and supervises all other administrative authorities in the District. In so doing, the Assembly exercises deliberative, legislative and executive functions.
The District Assembly operates through a committee system with overlapping membership, except that the Presiding Member of the District Assembly is not a member of the Executive Committee. The principal committee of the District Assembly is the Executive Committee which is responsible for the performance of the executive and administrative functions of the Assembly.
The Executive Committee which is made up of 24 members co-ordinates plans and programmes of the sub-committees and submits these as comprehensive plans of action to the Assembly. It also implements resolutions of the Assembly.
The Executive Committee is chaired by the District Chief Executive who is the direct representative and appointee of the government, though his appointment has to be confirmed by two-thirds majority of the members of the General Assembly present. The Executive Committee has these sub-committees:
- Development Planning Sub-committee
- Social Services Sub-committee
- Works Sub-committee
- Justice and Security Sub-committee
- Finance and Administration Sub-committee
- Such other Committees and Sub-committees as the District Assembly may determine.
The departments serve as Technocrats/Expertise base for the Assembly through the provision of technical advice and active participation during planning and implementation of development programmes and projects of the Assembly.
The departments under the District Assembly as provided under the Local Government Act, Act 462 include:
- General Administration
- Education, Youth and Sports
- Physical (Spatial) Planning
- Social Welfare and Community Development
- Natural Resources Conservation, Forestry, Game and Wildlife Division
- District Health Department
- Industry and Trade
- Disaster Prevention
The Assembly does not have the full complementary staff yet, as the Department of Trade and Industry does not exist in the district. Also the physical planning department lacks substantive staff. Those working there now are officers from Ejisu - Juaben District Assembly who have oversight responsibility in-Sekyere East District.
The District Assembly has nine Town/Area Councils and 124 Unit Committees who facilitate effective communication between the Assembly and the local people. The sub-structures oversee the activities of the unit committees as well as assist the Assembly in the administration of the Towns and Areas. The nine Town/Area Councils in the district are:
- Effiduase Town Council
- Kumawu Town Council
- Asokore Town Council
- Bodomase Area Council
- Anyinofi Area Council
- Akwamu Area Council
- Bira-Onwam Area Council
- Sekyere Mponua/Seniagya Area Council
- Senchi-Nyamfa Area Council
Petitions have been sent to the office of the President by the Assembly for the merging of Effiduase and Asokore Town Councils into an Urban Council. The petition is yet to receive approval. The sub-structures are still not functioning due to lack of personnel to man the offices and most importantly, they lack office accommodation.
There are two paramount chiefs in the district. These are Kumawu and Asokore Traditional Areas. Under the paramountcies are chiefs and sub-chiefs. Apart from ensuring the physical development of their respective areas, they also serve as arbitrators in their areas of jurisdiction. Most people channel their grievances through the Traditional Authorities instead of coming to the District Assembly.
As an institution, the District Assembly should be accountable to the people it serves. The electorate should therefore, demand accountability from the officials of the Assembly and the Assembly members. Hence, officials and Assembly members must cultivate the culture of openness and transparency in the award of contracts for the construction of projects, collection of revenue, purchase of equipment, machinery and stationery and the distribution of development programmes and projects within the district.
To be accountable to the people as well as being open and transparent in all its transactions, the District Assembly has put in place some structures. These structures include;
- District Tender Committee
- Procurement Committee
- Tender Review Board
- Tender evaluation committee
- Budget Preparation Committee
- Monitoring and Evaluation Team and others
These structures help to promote transparency, openness and accountability in the transactions of the District Assembly.
Participation of Citizenry
In almost all the activities of the Assembly apart from the Assembly members and Unit Committee Members, beneficiary communities, C.B.Os, C.S.Os and NGOs are involved in the annual budget preparation, all stakeholders like the GPRTU, Trade Associations, operators of restaurants, barkeepers, beauticians and other identifiable bodies are made an integral part of the discussion.
They express their opinions on the rates and fees to be charged the incoming year. By so doing, they make important inputs into the budget. The citizenry are also involved in programmes and projects implementation. The chiefs, opinion leaders and unit committee members of beneficiary communities are involved in meetings, projects inspection, monitoring and evaluation.
To inform the people on the activities and performance of the Assembly so that they in turn can express their views on the activities of the Assembly, particularly on issues that border them, public hearing and peoples assemblies are organized in the district at some communities. The people are then given the opportunity to participate in the administration of the Assembly.
Again through their elected representatives at the Assembly, some community members are able to express their views on pertinent issues like the Fulani Herdsmen, armed robbery and environmental sanitation in the district. Some NGOs, particularly World Vision International has always been in partnership with the Assembly in their development agenda in the district, for example in the Afram Plains portion of the district. The District Assembly thus, co¬ordinates the activities of the CBOs, NGOs and CSOs in the district.
Application of Communication Strategies
It is not enough to collect and collate information from the populace, it is also important that proposals, policies and programmes are also sold out to the general public. One effective way to reach out to people and the communities for their input into the development agenda of the district is through public hearing and discussions. From 2005 up to 2006, the Assembly has organized not less than ten of such public hearings in various communities in the district.
The latest public hearing programmes were organized in the Town/Area Council headquarters on the preparation of the District Medium Term Development Plan 2006 -2009. The strategy yielded positive response from the various communities and Town/Area Council as the people lauded the programme and made healthy contributions to the plan.
Other communication strategies that are used by the Assembly to reach out to the people and to also receive healthy responses include seminars, workshops, interviews and radio discussions. They are adopted by the Assembly to sensitize and to receive responses from the populace
Date Created : 11/25/2017 3:09:53 AM