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Delay In Release Of DACF Undermining Decentralization   
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The Delay in release of District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) by the Ministry of Finance is stifling the programmes and activities of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development in its report noted that the situation does not only stifle activities of the MMDAs, but “also undermines the spirit of the decentralization process.”

The committee in its report on the 2014 annual report of the DACF said “total receipts into the Fund from the Ministry of Finance in the year 2014 covered releases from the third and fourth quarters of the preceding year, 2013.”

According to the committee’s report, only the first quarter and part of the second quarter were released to the Fund by the Finance Ministry.

It thus urged the Finance Ministry to ensure the timely releases of accrued revenue into the Fund for further disbursement to deepen the confidence of the citizenry in the local government system.

The committee, according to the report, expressed worry about the amount of monies being spent on sanitation in various forms and models from the DACF noting that “the situation does not only deny Assemblies the needed funds to tackle sanitation challenges based on respective needs, but also, the disconnected and uncoordinated nature of the various approaches does not augur well for comprehensive and systematic resolution of the sanitation problems in the country.”

The committee hence called on the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to consider reviewing and harmonizing the various approaches to sanitation and make MMDAs fully responsible for sanitation.

The report added that adequate funds should be “allocated from the Common Fund to the MMDAs for efficient and effective tackling of the sanitation problems in our country.”

The committee further observed that the Common Fund is loaded with many social intervention programmes by central government such as GYEEDA Sanitation Model and the National School Feeding programme.

The use of the Common Fund on such programmes, the committee said, has worsened the already precarious financial situation of the Assemblies despite the usefulness of the programmes.

The committee also acknowledged the diligence and consistent efforts being made by the office of the Administrator of the DACF to ensure that the Assemblies deliver on the mandate of the Fund.

Payments made

From the report, total receipts from the Finance Ministry in 2014 amounted to GH¢828,663,950 with a breakdown of GH¢202,702,189 and GH¢217,235,396 for third and fourth quarters of 2013 and GH¢266,403,521 for 2014 first quarter and GH¢142,322,844 as part payment for second quarter of 2014.

The Administrator also disbursed a total amount of GH¢315,090,980 to MMDAs across the country and made payments totaling GH¢65,767,314 which were disbursed for the Constituency Labour Projects of Members of Parliament as well as for Monitoring and Evaluation.

In the year under review, a total of GH¢271985,769 was also disbursed on Social Intervention Programmes.
Source: Daily Heritage

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