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Regional News Tue, 18 Mar 2008

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FFP calls for payment of salaries for Assembly-members

Accra, March 18, GNA - The Foundation for Female Photojournalists (FFP) on Tuesday called for the inclusion of the payment of salaries of Assembly members in the ongoing review of the Local Governance Act 462. This, it said, would ensure that Assembly Members got the necessary remuneration to perform their constitutionally mandated roles effectively and also make them accountable.

Speaking at an Editors workshop to discuss the employment and payment of Assembly members, Ms. Mordey Ohui Ofoe, Executive Director of FFP said the salaries could be paid from the national Consolidated Fund and from other sources based on the performance of the Assembly member and the specific needs of the district.

The workshop was organized by FFP to discuss the payment of assembly members to make them accountable. It has the theme; "The critical voice of the grassroots in local governance: a call for media intervention." FFP is a non-profit, news media and research organization using information and communication technology to promote the economic self reliance and self esteem among women. She said the non-payment of Assembly members as it stood, was a hindrance to attracting quality human resource to the Assemblies and limited the ability of the electorate to demand proper accountability of the stewardship of their elected representatives. Ms. Ofoe said local governance in Ghana had been generally weak since independence although most governments had hoped to achieve an efficient local governance system. She said the District Assembly concept emerged in 1988 under the PNDC administration to create an avenue for the citizens to participate directly in the decision-making process, especially decisions that affected their well-being. Ms. Ofoe said the employment of Assembly members had been on part-time basis but the country had reached a stage where it should be done on full-time basis to achieve its set objectives and derive the maximum benefits.

She said there should be criteria for selection, job description, means of assessment and evaluation to determine the impact created. Mr. Yaw Owusu Frimpong, Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School said, as it stood now, there was no avenue for Assembly-members to meet with their electorate to know their concerns and views for the best decisions to be made. He said there was the need to develop a format to identify the problems of specific districts and how resources could be mobilized to resolve them. 18 March 08

Source: GNA

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