Mr. Harrison Kofi Belley, Governance Lecturer, Evangelical Presbyterian University College (EPUC) has said perceptions by public officials that social accountability is being used as a tool for witch hunting is wrong.
He said the process offered public office holders the opportunity to account for their stewardship and urged them to make good use of it and not consider it as intimidating.
Mr. Belley who was speaking at a day’s workshop on social auditing organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with sponsorship from the European Union (EU) in Ho on the theme, “Citizens for Transparency and Accountability” said duty bearers must be made aware of accounting for outcomes achieved with public resources and the efficiency of resource allocation through social auditing.
He said social auditing aimed at promoting community ownership of projects and policies and also increased awareness of the operations of the local government and must be welcomed by all.
Mr. Belley added that it empowered the citizenry to demand for accountability from duty bearers and that the process would concretise the democratic principles of participatory governance.
He said Articles 40, 41, 42 and 45 of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) under the heading “Participatory Governance at the Local Level” highlighted the need for residents and stakeholders to be present and in the known of every activity undertaken by the Assembly, that concerned them.
Mr. Francis Dusey, Ho Municipal Director, NCCE said the Anti- Corruption, Rule of Law, Accountability Programme (ARAP) was to promote good governance by reducing corruption and improving accountability hence the social auditing process.
He said the social auditing programme was in partnership with the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ghana Police Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Legal Aid Commission, Economic and Organised Crime Office and the Judicial Service.
Social Auditing is done through the promotion of discourse among citizens and public office holders on planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of developmental projects and programmes.