Dr Nana Ato Arthur was appointed Head of the Office of the Local Government Service (LGS) in March 2017 to apply his expertise and experience to making Ghana’s decentralization process more vibrant and efficient to propel the development of the country.
Taking over the LGS as Head of Service, he indicated that decentralization had become a development tool in many African countries including Ghana and averred his commitment towards it.
He also maintained that decentralization was a process and not an event and therefore needed to work on a number of areas to ensure the smooth operationalization of the process.
Spelling out his vision for the LGS, he mentioned a number of areas that needed to be tackled and streamlined in order to ensure that the LGS was robust to effectively discharge its duties.
One of the areas was strengthening of the developing t planning units of the Regional Coordinating Councils and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) for the collection of reliable data to ensure effective planning and budgeting.
He advocted Capacity building of staff, sharing of skills/knowledge by assemblies, Information Communication Technology (ICT) to improve Internal Generated Funds (IGF), Strengthening of MMDAs through the Performance Contract, Funds to offer motivational packages and LGS staff adhering to postings.
Other areas included; instituting a biometric clocking system, weeding out staff with fake certificates and impersonated staff and Sanitation.
Propelling his vision, Dr Nana Ato Arthur promoted best practices in the various assemblies to ensure balanced development as they had varied capacities.
He also tasked assemblies to use ICT to improve their IGF and stop relying on the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) for development, as it was quite inadequate.
Part of his vision was also to use ICT to facilitate and develop a Digital Mapping System to assist in the identification of rating property within assemblies and use professionally trained revenue collectors to collect more revenue to improve on the IGF of assemblies and build the capacity of Environmental Health Officers to improve on sanitation in the various MMDAs which are on course.
Dr Ato Arthur under his leadership instituted a system to check on staff who failed to adhere to postings from one assembly to another and used the clocking system to check staff lateness to work, especially in the rural areas, where lateness to work was seen as normal.
Staff of the LGS were also requested to submit all original certificates for verification and authentication by the requisite awarding institutions in order to weed out staff with fake and impersonated certificates.
This ensured that the right things were done in the service for the effective delivery of its mandate in developing the country as well as ensuring that the service remained a professional service.
The LGS under Dr Ato Arthur is contributing immensely to the decentralization agenda of the country by discharging its responsibilities to securing the effective administration and management of decentralised system.
The Service has been positioned as the driver of local economic development, which is a reflection of the service’s motto: decentralization, democracy and development (the 3Ds).
The Head of Service on the local electoral system fully support the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCES) as proposed by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo
One of the uniqueness of Dr Nana Ato Arthur is that, he is not an armchair Head of Service, but someone who has visited over 150 MMDAs to interact with the Assembly staff, know under which condition they work, the challenges they face and the possible solutions to their problems.