The Programmes Manager for Ghana Integrative Initiative (GII), Mr. Jacob Tetteh Ahuno, has urged members of the Public Relations and Complaints Committee of District Assemblies to live up to their responsibility of developing programmes that would explain and publicise policies of the assemblies.
Mr. Ahuno said this when he addressed members of the Tain District Assembly Public Relations and Complaints Committee (PRCC) and Social Auditing Club (SAC) during a stakeholder’s engagement on the Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening Project (ADISS).
The ADISS project, which is a five-year project, is being carried out in 58 districts in the country and funded by USAID, seeks to increase the accountability of the government.
Mr. Tetteh Ahuno said the PRCC, among others things, shall educate the members of the public on the activities of the assembly, promote transparency, probity and accountability in the dealings of the District Assembly with the public, and investigate complaints or allegations made against the conduct of the District Chief Executive, members of the assembly, and staff of all the departments.
The committee shall comply with the rules of natural justice in the performance of its functions, and make recommendations to the assembly in respect of its investigations for the appropriate actions.
He noted that informing the people about the resources at the disposal of the assembly, and how they have been utilised, showing evidence of development, in terms of physical projects and delivery of quality service will ensure public trust and confidence, which will go a long way to help reduce corrupt practices in the country.
Mr. Tetteh Ahuno, therefore, charged the PRCC to be proactive with information acquisition and sharing of same accordingly.
Section 27 of the Local Government Act 1993, Act 42 focuses on the establishment of a Public Relations and Complaints Committee for all assemblies.
The Chairman of the PRCC shall be the Presiding Member of the Assembly.
A Public Relations and Complaints Committee shall receive complaints made against the conduct of members and staff of the assembly from the public, and make recommendations to the assembly, and perform any other functions that the assembly may determine.
According to Mr. Tetteh Ahuno, the ADISS project is working towards three specific outcomes, namely, to improve the organisational capacity of the consortium to perform long term strategic law reforms and anti-corruption campaigns, and metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) enforce the recommendations of the Auditor General and Public Accounts Committee (PAC), and increased collaboration between citizen groups and anti-corruption institutions at the local level.
He said although the project will end in September this year, he doesn’t want the situation where after the project the fight against corruption also ends.
He, therefore, tasked the Social Auditing Clubs (SACs) to take the mantle and continue with the fight.
He urged them to sensitise the citizenry about issues of corruption and how to fight it, and initiatives of the assembly to curb corruption
The District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mr. Stephen Ebo Koomson, thanked the GII for the project, and gave the assurance that the directorate would work hard to ensure corrupt practices in the district are reduced to the barest minimum.