Posted by: rumnet | September 13, 2011

MMDAs Ignore

Minister for Local Government & Rural Development, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo

MMDAs Ignore Guidelines for

Disbursement of DACF

By Joseph Ziem, Tamale

(published in the August 2011 edition of the advocate)

 A new study report released by SEND-Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has shown that most Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), have been ignoring guidelines for the disbursement and utilization of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), most especially the 3% share allocated to Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).

According to the report, previously the 3% share for PWDs was transferred as part of the Common Fund into the DACF Accounts for disbursement. But currently, all MMDAs are directed to open a District Disability Fund Account (DDFA) separately and put in place District Disability Fund Management Committees (DDFMCs) to facilitate its operations.

The study found out that these directives have not been complied with by most MMDAs except the Tamale Metropolitan, Yendi Municipal and Savelugu-Nanton District Assemblies which had active DDFA.

Titus Segtub, one of the lead researchers, gave highlights of the study at a regional interface meeting with stakeholders at the Northern Regional Coordinating Council recently.

The research was undertaken in 50 MMDAs in the three Northern Regions –Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions as well as Greater Accra Region in 2010.

The purpose of the study was to bring civil society perspectives to bear on the implementation of the DACF which focused on citizens’ participation, transparency, equity and compliance with implementation guidelines.

According to Mr. Segtub, the objectives of SEND-Ghana in the research was to assess the extent of community participation in DACF sponsored projects and the level of awareness and access to information on the DACF by communities.

It was also to assess the degree to which DACF sponsored projects were awarded on contract in line with the national procurement law.

He explained that the three Northern Regions were selected based on the presence of SEND-Ghana and also because of the high incidence of poverty as per the Ghana Living Standards Survey (V), whilst the Greater Accra Region was selected based on growing urban poverty noted by GLSS V.

Mr. Segtub, who is also a staff of SEND-Ghana, added that District Chief Executives, Coordinating Directors, Presiding Members, Planning Officers and Chairpersons of District Disability Associations were interviewed whereas other information were sourced from Medium Term Development Plans, annual budget estimates and expenditure returns obtained from MMDAs and Administrator of DACF.

The study also revealed that access to the 3% share of the DACF for PWDs from 2003 to 2008 was less than one-third, and “about 44% of PWDs who accessed the fund expended it on the celebration of the International Day for the Disabled and attendance of meetings”.

The study further revealed that about 50% of community leaders sampled did not believe that MMDAs had effectively used DACF to address their developmental needs.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Mahamud, a Programmes Officer of SEND-Ghana, in a statement called on all MMDAs to adhere strictly to the guidelines for the disbursement and utilization of the DACF.

According to him, access to DACF share for PWDs is very limited, adding “though most districts have established the DDFMCs and opened DDAF accounts as a directed, there is minimal or no transfers of funds at all into those accounts”.

Mr. Mahamud also disclosed that the management of the fund was fraught with misunderstanding between the MMDAs and the PWDs.

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