Fiscal decentralisation and financial management practices book launched

Accra- Dr Eric Oduro Osae has launched a book entitled: Fiscal Decentralisation and Financial Management Practices of Sub-National Governments: Evidence from Ghana to contribute to the discussions on the subject.

The book voices the nature of fiscal decentralisation and local government implementation in Ghana, existing financial management systems and practices of local governments against national financial reporting standards as well as issues relating to the country’s local government system.

Dr Oduro Osae said he was inspired to write the book because in most cases, people advocated that resources should be transferred to the local authorities, adding that though resources had been transferred in some instances, development had been denied the localities.

He said, he wanted to look at the components such as the systems, practices, capacity of the people to manage the resources, which were critical to drive development in the local governments usually overlooked in most cases.

He said, Ghana’s decentralisation was anchored on three points: transfer of power, transfer of confidence and transfer of resources, adding that the national government was willing to transfer power and confidence but in terms of transfer of resources, there was always a problem.

Dr Oduro Osae said the book tried to establish the basis of transfer of resources to local governments, adding that there was no scientific root for transferring resources to the local government agencies in the country.

The book, he said, identified that the cost of the functions transferred to local governments were higher than resources made available to them making development in the localities unrealistic.

Mr Adjei Boateng, a Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Integration said, there was the need for all and sundry to work towards solidifying decentralisation in the country to be of benefits to all.

He said decentralisation must indeed be accompanied with the release of funds, adding that property rate was an abandoned area to explore to generate more revenue in support of the development of decentralisation.

Launching the book, Professor Kwame Adom-Frimpong, the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana said the major contribution of the book was a structured overview of the factors that may potentially impede on the freedom of sub-national authorities with regard to budget decisions.

He said the effective, efficient and transparent use of public resources was a critical element of promoting sustainable growth and development.

Prof Adom-Frimpong said Ghana’s decentralisation process provided a framework for a system of locally controlled development and planning, which allowed District Assemblies to establish and act as local planning authorities with overall responsibility of development of their districts.

He said the book revealed a disconnected connection between fiscal management practices of local governments and fiscal decentralisation implementation in the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency