Metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies acquire new Model Standing Orders for local government

By Paul Nyojah Dalafu January 23, 2020 1844 526 comments

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, has unveiled the revised Model Standing Orders (MSOs) for all metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in the country.

The sector minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, speaking at the unveiling on January 21 in Accra, said the move is in line with the government’s efforts to deepen decentralisation and local governance.

It is also aimed at ensuring that the efficient administration of policies, laws, rules, regulations and guidelines is adhered to at local level.

The Minister explained that the current Model Standing Orders for MMDAs were issued on the basis of the Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462), which was repealed in 2016 together with other legislation, leading to the development of a Local Government Finance Act 2016 (Act 936).

Review

The Minister said the passage of Act 936 requires a review of the old MSOs.

She lamented that the absence of revised MSOs had produced a gap in the administration of local governance, and said the continuing application of the old model had created various challenges for the functioning of MMDAs across Ghana.

Hajia Alima however expressed optimism that the introduction of the revised MSOs will facilitate the work of secretaries with the assemblies, as well as presiding members, who are often called on to apply or interpret the standing orders for effective local-level administration.

PMs in check

Unlike under the old model, the new standing orders prevent presiding members (PMs) from refusing to convene meetings, and make the executive committee more accountable to the general assembly, stipulating that executive committee reports should at all times be considered and approved by the general assembly.

“The orders now give power to the presiding members to exercise discretion at meetings by allowing them to introduce items of business which do not appear on the agenda. Casual vacancy of a presiding member, which hitherto created problems for certain assemblies, has now been defined,” she said.

Hajia Mahama observed that the revised model will improve the content and align the rules with the requirements of the Local Governance Act, as well as improve deliberations at sittings by the various MMDAs.

She appealed to all MMDAs and their members to familiarise themselves with the new orders.

The Minister further directed the MMDAs to ensure that their assembly and presiding members are trained adequately on how to use the revised model to facilitate application of the new rules.

Hajia Mahama brandishes a copy of the revised Model Standing Orders

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Last modified on Thursday, 30 January 2020 04:55

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