Understanding the Local Government Structure in Ghana is very important for every Ghanaian. Most people do not understand the Local Structure or the importance of District Assemblies of Ghana. This content offers you the most satisfying answers to questions you may have in regards to the Local Government Structure in Ghana. It is the right of every citizen to understand the different rankings and functions of their government.
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The Ghana Local Government Structure
Ghana has ten regions, each represented by a Minister in the central government. These regions are; Greater Accra (city), Upper East, Volta, Upper West, Western, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Northern, Eastern and Central Ghana.
The devolved government was enshrined and provided in the constitution under the Local Government Acts of 1993. The local government leadership is delivered by the district assemblies, municipal assemblies and the metropolitan assemblies. However, the service delivery in each assembly is conducted by the elected councils and the unit committees. For your information, elections are held after four years of service. Their general functions are; Assembly responsibilities, Environmental protection, Public health, Water and sanitation, Basic education, where the education policy is determined by the government, and finally, Collaborates with the national government in social welfare
Local Government Service Council
The Local Government structure chart consists of:
1. Head of Services, supported by units such as; internal audit, legal affairs and public affairs
2. Chief Director hosts the below directorates:
- Policy planning, M&E and budgeting directorate, supported by policy, planning, budget and M&E units.
- The management and technical services directorate consisting of performance management, technical services, organizational developments and quality assurance units
- Human resources management directorate, responsible for human resources planning, recruitment and salary administration
- The human resources development directorate, responsible for training, career development and performance management
- The financial management directorate, hosting the GOG and donor support units
- Research, statistics and information management directorate, responsible for research and statistics, information management, library and documentation and IPPD
- An administration and services directorate, responsible for general administration, transport, procurement, store, records, estates and security.
This body consists of 15 members and a chairperson, all appointed by the Ghanaian president with the consultation of the state council. However, the council has all the mandates to handle, general management and control of the service according to section (5) of the local government service act of 2003.
Functions of the Local Government Service Council
1. The council ensures that, the functions of the service are fully implemented
2. It also offers recommendations to the minister on matters of the policy, related to the service management.
3. The council recommends the terms and conditions of the service, and also offers the service employees remuneration.
4. It comes up with guidelines for handling all issues relating to the disciplinary, promotion, remuneration, arbitration, petition, training and recruitment of the service.
5. Consequently, the council sets, evaluates and monitors the performance standards of the District Assemblies and other regional coordinating councils.
6. It also develops the working standards to guard other staffs working under the service members.
7. With consultations from relevant assemblies and coordinating councils, the service council develops and coordinates the implementation of training plans of the District Assemblies and coordinating councils.
8. The council also offers professional advice to the minister when requested.
9. Finally, it co-operates and consults other services in the public service in decision-making.
Functions of the Head of the Local Government Service (LGS)
Under the local government act 2016 (act 963), the Head of Local Government Service has the below responsibilities:
1. Being the head of the Local Government Service, the head of the local government service offers general directions of the council.
2. Besides handling the daily operations of the office, he/she also offers efficient organizational and management of the service.
3. The head of the Local Government Service also serves as the secretary of the council
4. The head also implements the council decisions, provides leadership and instructs all the functions of the service.
5. The head of the Local Government Service also develops the training programs according to the service requirements.
The Chief Director
The chief director provides proper coordination of the service structures among the functional areas. The director also serves as the head of the service. Below are the three units and functions of the chief director department.
1. Internal audit unit
This unit ensures that the state resources are handled with integrity, according to the financial management, account practices and regulations provided by the audit service, procurement authority, internal audit agency and financial administration Act.
2. Legal unit
The legal unit supports the Local Government Service with legal advice and offers legal representation in the department.
3. Public Affairs
This is a unit that handles customer service relations in the department. It also develops, reviews and implements communication strategies informing the general public on the progress of the service.
Below are the seven directorates of Local Government of Ghana, different units each hosts and their major functions
1. Policy planning, budgeting and monitoring and evaluation directorate
This directorate helps in preparing short term and long term policies and programs of the Local Government Service. In addition to that, they ensure that, the particular policies are implemented effectively and periodically. It is, however, supported by the below units:
- Policy unit
This unit is entrusted with the implementation of the local government programmes, projects and activities. The unit also offers full technical support to the service.
- Planning unit
The unit is responsible for planning the already established programmes and policies to achieve expected growth and development of the Local Government Service.
- Budget unit
The unit is responsible for preparing the budget allocations of the established programmes. Also, the unit ensures that the functional projects are regularly updated.
- Monitoring and evaluation unit
The purpose of this unit is to measure, monitor and evaluate various stages and levels of the LGS programmes and progressing projects. It also offers guidance to ensure that there is effectiveness of programmes.
2. Management and technical services Directorate
This directorate ensures that the quality assurance services and systems of LGSS are well-implemented and to fully meet the performance specification and expectation. It is also supported by the below units:
- Performance management unit
This unit lays down frameworks for the services provided by the performance management.
- Technical services unit
The unit’s purpose is to provide the technical support for projects and programmes of the Local Government Service.
- Organization development unit
The purpose of the unit is to enhance developments, improvements and strategy reinforcements of the set frame work, strategies, structures and processes of the LGS.
- Quality assurance unit
This is a unit entrusted with standard maintenance and implementation of policies and processes of the LGS.
3. Human resource management directorate
This directorate ensures that the staff skills, expertise and experiences are aligned to the right job duties. Similarly, the directorate also ensures that, recruitment, training and motivation are provided to the staff for efficiency discharge of their allocated duties. It is however supported by three units;
- Human resource planning unit
This unit ensures the clear planning of the staff and that, their respective career is initiated. It involves periodic deployment, postings and staff transfer for effective execution of duties.
- Recruitment and selection unit
This unit enhances various placements of applications and sets the recruitment plans for the LGS
- Salary administration unit
This unit is responsible for employees' salaries and wages. Generally, all the employees’ remuneration issues are addressed under this unit.
4. Human resource development directorate
The directorate ensures that the knowledge, skills and abilities of the staff is achieved to facilitate the meeting the objectives of the LGS. The directorate is supported by the below units:
- Training unit
This ensures professional training on policies as guidelines depending on the staffs needs as noted from their performance appraisals.
- Career development unit
The unit enhances the staff career development through promotion depending on the approved requirements.
- Performance unit
This unit sets staffs performance management’s frameworks.
5. Financial Management directorate
This directorate is responsible for effective utilization of the budget allocations by the Local Government Service. It is, however, supported by two units for effective output:
- The government of Ghana unit
This unit manages all financial matters of the Local Government Service according to the approved financial administration regulations.
- Donor support unit
The unit manages all financial matters of the LGS by following all the donor support procedures according to the financial regulation of Ghana.
6. Research, statistics and information management directorate
This directorate is responsible for carrying research, statistics and information management of the Local Government Service. It is supported by the below units for effective output:
- Research and statistics unit
This unit conducts researches to ensure that adequate information is available for decision making.
- Library and documentation unit
This unit is responsible for library facilities. It also collects and analyzes any necessary data, in order to create a database for the Local Government Service.
- Information management unit
The unit ensures the availability of any technological information of the LGS. In addition to that, the unit offers all the required technical support in relation to the ICT guidelines.
- Integrated personnel pay roll database unit
The unit supports the directorate by ensuring that the salary payments and processes are carried out effectively. The unit also ensures that the payroll systems are managed and maintained accordingly.
7. Administration ad general service directorate
The directorate ensures that all the services and facilities required to support the administration and the functions of the LGS are available. It also ensures that internal checks and balances are available for good service delivery of the LGS. It is supported by the below units:
- General administration unit
This helps in providing administrative guidelines and management of the LGS enabling it to meet its mandates.
- Transport unit
This unit provides and manages proper and reliable transport systems to the LGS.
- Procurement unit
The unit helps in managing procurement services and any related technical support of the LGS.
- Stores unit
This unit ensures that all LGS goods procured are properly managed and stored. It also ensures that the required stock is immediately replaced once finished.
Functions of District Assemblies in Ghana
1. Provides political and administrative guidance, gives direction and to supervise all other administrative authorities in the district.
2. Exercises deliberative, legislative and executive functions
3. Development of the District and ensuring the preparation development plans of the District and the budget of the District related to approved plans.
4. Responsible for the mobilization of necessary resources, for overall development of the district.
5. Promotion of productive activity and social development
6. Co-ordinates, integrates and harmonizes the execution of programs and projects under approved development plans for district.
However, to carry the above responsibilities, each assembly gets funds from revenues collected from the national government where 7.5% of the GDP is transferred to each assembly, and also from the District assembly common fund.
The history of decentralization In Ghana
Decentralization in Ghana started back in early 1878 during the time of British Colonialism. At that time, the British Colony Authorities introduced Indirect Rule which lasted for over 70 years. It’s believed to have been between the years 1878-1951.
During this period, they ruled indirectly though the political offices such as chiefs. The chiefs and village elders where given districts to rule. However, they gave them powers to appoint staff and individuals who were able to establish government functions. During that period, it was observed that under indirect rule, downward accountability of chiefs to the people was replaced by upward accountability to the colonial authorities.
This system of leadership began to suffer since chiefs were more valued by the central government than the people they lead. The political elite ensured that they were fully in control. After Ghana attained the independence and onward, the local governments became weaker and weaker, this was due to the centralization of power. Decentralization reforms were then introduced, aiming at strengthening the central government at the local level.
Between 1981-1988, more policies were introduced and the local and the central governments operated in parallel. This was hypocritical, since the central government ensured that the local government was under-resourced crippling its operation silently.
Ministry of Local Government of Ghana
The ministry of Local Government of Ghana is also referred to as the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. It is headed by a minister appointed by the president. This is the ministry with commitment to decentralization of functions and policies for national government at local level. It also operates as the link between local government and international donors such as the USAID, in their decentralization support to locals. It also oversees the human settlements management in Ghana since it is responsible for the environmental health and sanitation. For consultations, recommendations, complains, compliments and other enquires, you can reach this ministry through the contacts below;
- Postal address: P.O Box M50, Accra.
- Telephone: +233 30663668, +233 302682035, +233 302682043, +233 302664763 or +233 21663668
- Fax line: 0302664800, 0302661015
- Website: Ministry of Local Government of Ghana
- Email: email@example.com
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