The two-day capacity building programme has been designed to fill the performance gaps identified during the 2012 Functional Organisation Assessment Tools (FOAT) exercise.
The models spanned from procurement planning, local economic development plan preparation, participatory monitoring and evaluation through to mainstreaming cross-cutting issues like gender, climate change and HIV/AIDS interventions into annual action plans.
Mr Paschal Baylon Dere, the Lawra District Chief Executive (DCE), noted that perennially the Auditor General’s Report was awash with observations ranging from misapplication and misappropriation of funds to over-payment of contract sums.
He said it was surprising to note that most of the audit queries bordered on improper procurement practices and auditors had observed time without number that there was a disconnect between procurement plans and executed projects which often led to the misapplication of funds on unplanned activities.
“Similarly, I have observed that the poor publicity given to tender openings has foisted a perception that procurement processes are simply procedural, and are largely not fair,” the DCE said.
He said he had, therefore, informed management of the Assembly to give premium on the publicity of adverts and the opening of tenders on various platforms including print and electronic media and the Assembly’s social media platforms.
This, Mr Dere said, would help the public to observe the procurement processes and help disabuse the poor perception of public procurement in the public eye.
He noted with concern how citizens’ enthusiasm on the activities of the various Town and Area Councils was waning, and that their people were becoming disillusioned about the role of the sub-structures of the Assembly in solving their developmental challenges.
Mr Dere said that was not surprising because of the weak involvement of stakeholders at the grassroots in the planning, monitoring and evaluation phases.
“The perception has undoubtedly resulted in a disinterest among community members in monitoring the execution of government projects as part of their civic responsibility,” he said.
Mr Dere said he was, however, hopeful that the training would equip participants with workable skills that would be effective in rekindling the interest of the citizenry in the decentralisation drive.
Mr Mohammed Asaah, the Executive Director of Professional Alliance for Development Actions (PRADA), said the organisation was familiar with the challenges that most assemblies faced during the assessment because of its involvement in the process, hence it was well placed to facilitate the training process.
Dr Jonas Akudugu, a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Community Development at the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies, who took the participants through the local economic development plan preparation, said it was important for every district to have a local economic identity.
Source: GNA/News Ghana