Accra, Madam Irene Naa Torshie Addo, the President’s nominee for District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) Administrator has proposed a change in the formula for the distribution of the fund as the Government prepares to actualise the one constituency, one million dollars policy.
She was on the opinion that the proposed implementation of the policy could create imbalances in the funding arrangements, which must be checked by the formula of distributing the Common Fund.
Answering questions before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, the nominee, a former MP of Tema West Constituency, and former Deputy Ghana’s Deputy Ambassador to the United States of America, said the change would be in the interest of deprived communities across the country.
She said: Directly, it will not affect the formula but as time goes on, it could affect the formula. When you look at basic needs, the districts that have more schools and hospitals are given less, while those who have less are given more.
So with the coming in of this money, if people build more schools, hospitals, among others, they get less of the DACF. But that is not to say that they should build more schools. It could affect it in the long-term.
Per the 2016 formula for the distribution of the District Assemblies Common Fund, 7.5 per cent of the total national revenue is set aside into the fund and distributed to the 216 districts across the country.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo earlier in month announced the nomination of the Administrator designate, after which she was to be vetted by the Appointments Committee.
Part of the Fund is then disbursed directly to District Assemblies in accordance with the approved Formula. This is referred to as ‘direct transfers.”
The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA) use the funds for projects and programmes determined by their respective Assemblies.
Her answers indicated that the districts with more constituencies were likely to get more funds under the new government policy because it had more constituencies, as she explained that as time goes on, it could affect the formula in that, when you look at basic needs, the districts that have more schools and hospitals are given less and those who don’t have more are given more.
So with the coming in of this money, if people build more schools, hospitals they get less of the DACF but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t build more schools, she said.
On delays in the release of the MPs Common Fund, Madam Addo said she would lobby the Finance Minister and Parliament to ensure a speedy release of the monies, and has proposed among others, the borrowing from banks to end the challenge of delays in the payment of Assemblies’ share of the Common Fund.
Per the constitution, not less than five per cent of national revenue was to be allocated to the Common Fund for disbursement to various Assemblies, but over the years, payments delay, thus affecting development at the local level.
I will be knocking on your doors; you have to help, if given the nod, to make sure the money comes in and the right amount comes in.
…If I’m given the nod, once we have the power to be able to invest some of the money to be able to accrue some interest, I’m looking at, with the permission of my minister, bringing certain proposals like this to Parliament to find out whether or not in certain circumstances, just to keep the timelines so that there is no disappointments so that they can plan and manage their areasI’m thinking about innovative things like that, maybe being allowed at certain times to borrow money for them and pay when the fund comes in, she added.
On how she would manage human relationships at his new position, the nominee assured the committee she was a transformed person, and would apply the knowledge she acquired in master’s programme in conflict management at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Centre.
Source: Ghana News Agency