The Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development has called on the Ministry of Finance to put in measures that permit the Births and Deaths Registry to retain all Internally Generated Funds raised by the Registry to aid their work.
Currently, the Births and Deaths Registry (BDR) has access to only 33 per cent of its Internally Generated Fund (IGF), which the Committee says retards their work.
Mr Emmanuel Akwasi Gymafi, the Chairman of the Committee, said when he led Mr Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, the Ranking and other Committee Members to pay a day’s working visit to the BDR as part of their oversight responsibilities.
The BDR was established by Act 301 of 1965, within the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, to handle and develop the birth and death registration system in Ghana.
With the core business of providing accurate and reliable information on all births and deaths occurring within Ghana for the Socioeconomic development of the Country through their registration and certification, it has the vision to attain universal birth and death registration in Ghana.
Mr Gyamfi said: “We are calling on the Ministry of Finance to allow all IGF collected by the registry to be retained to help augment their work.”
Advocating for a permanent working space for the BDR, the Committee Chairman said was working on a better location for the registry, however, there had not been any positive response, adding “The committee will still collaborate with stakeholders for a better office complex for them since being divided even at the national level is not good for their work.”
The head office of the BDR is currently being hosted in the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) building while another group is located at the Insititute of Local Government Studies, all in Accra.
It has a staff strength of 724 across the country.
Mr Gyamfi, therefore, urged the public to play a civic duty of getting every child born in the country registered.
“Again, anyone who does in the country is incumbent on us as a country and responsible citizens to get the individual’s data registered for national development.
“We urge parents to register their newborns both at the hospital and by volunteers even when one delivers at home,” he said.
The Committee Chairman lauded BDR for their results that were aiding the development of the country.
In her presentation to the Committee, Mrs Henrietta Lamptey, the Acting Registrar, of BDR, said going into the future, the registry had the goal of digitising over 24 million of its records and publishing its statistical report for a streamlined work for the first time.
She, however, called for adequate funding, and robust Information Technology away from the current obsolete, to help improve their work.
“We are working to have a digital signature of the registrar, permanent office accommodation and the intensification of publicity as well as client education as some of our prospects,” she said.
Mrs Lamptey cited huge operation costs due to the servicing of two locations, inadequate accommodation at all levels of operation and internet challenges for field operations as some of the constraints of the BDR.