CoST holds capacity building training for community leaders in Takoradi

Takoradi – The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) in collaboration with CoST, a Governance organisation has organised a day’s capacity building training for community leaders within the Metropolis, to enlighten them on the need to participate in open governance and demand infrastructural Accountability on community projects from the appropriate quarters.

The STMA manager for CoST, Mr Isaac Aidoo explained that STMA joined CoST to ensure open governance commitments ,infrastructure transparency, commitment on Transparency and Accountability in public infrastructure, Civic participation and Fiscal transparencies, Public Service Delivery, permitting and enforcement of land use and spatial plans and Access to Information were realised.

Mr. Aidoo mentioned poor quality of infrastructure, conflicts and disagreements, secrecy and lack of public participation, time overruns, corruption and lack of value for money as some factors that hindered the progress of infrastructural projects in the country.

He said to avoid delays, shoddy works and to promote transparency, CoST as a body was working with the government, private sector and civil society to promote disclosure, validation and interpretation of infrastructural projects.

This he said would help to inform and empower citizens and enable them to hold decision makers accountable, noting that,an informed citizenry and responsive public help derived reforms that reduced mismanagement, inefficiencies, corruption and the risks posed to the public from poor quality infrastructure.

A member of the Multi-Stakeholder group of the Open Governance Plan, Mr.Aziz Mahmoud, educated the participants on Ghana’s legal framework supporting the disclosure of information, saying that there were laws governing the operations of CoST and that, it was for those reasons that CoST existed, to ensure disclosure, validation and interpretation of infrastructural projects to empower stakeholders to hold decision makers Accountable.

He mentioned the Right to Information Bill(Act 2018), Whistle blowers Act 2006(Act 720),Public Procurement Act 2003(Act 663), Public financial management Act 2016(Act 921),among others as the laws that gave rights to individuals to demand accountability from public office holders on projects they see in their various communities, purposely on construction in relation to CoST.

Mr Mahmoud added “when that is done it provides value for money for the government, better markets for businesses and better services for the society.”

The Participants appealed to the appropriate bodies for the various community projects be made to follow the CoST model of Disclosure, Assurance, Multi Stakeholder Meeting, and Accountability in the implementation of all infrastructural projects.

Additionally, they asked that projects should be brought down to the grassroots, engage them in dialogue to know their concerns, since through dialogue the government may realise that the facility intended for them might not be what they needed.

They asked community members to engage and use labourers in the execution of such development projects, to provide employment avenues for them and also put money in their pockets.

Source: Ghana News Agency