Assembly members have been asked to abreast themselves with the provisions in the new Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936) to enable them contribute effectively at Assembly sessions.
The advice was given by the Eastern Regional Economic Planning Officer, Mr. Jonathan D. Awuah at a day’s training workshop aimed at equipping Assembly members on local government concept at Akyem Oda in the Birim Central Municipality of the Eastern region.
He noted that majority of the Assembly members have not studied the new act, making it difficult for them to contribute to discussions at Assembly meetings, which impedes development.
Under the law, Mr. J. D. Awuah said Assembly members shall not be served with a civil or criminal process from court on their way to attend or returning from Assembly meetings.
He indicated that, certain conditions and immunities are also attached to this act and however expressed dismay about bad attitude of some Assembly members who misbehave and often obstruct Assembly meetings to desist from that in order not to fall foul of the new law.
Mr. J.D. Awuah said “As Assembly Members, the constitution enjoins all of you to study the Local Government Act and the Standing Orders of the Assembly especially before attending Assembly Meetings”.
According to him, the privileges enshrined in the law offer Assembly Members the opportunity to perform their duties effectively and efficiently to improve on the decentralization process. Stressing on the standing orders, Mr. J.D. Awuah said, the standing orders spelt out the duties and responsibilities of Assembly members and without studying it also might not help their performances and functions effectively.
“Also the Standing Order enjoins you to organize regular meetings with your constituents and collate their views and forward them for Assembly as proposals for redress”, he said.
Participants stressed the need for capacity building workshops to enable them overcome their timidity and improve their lobbying and fund raising skills. The workshop attracted over 20 participants drawn from all the electoral areas in the Municipality.