Citizens to assess performance of 50 assemblies in November

Come November 2019, District town-hall and community meetings will be organised to disseminate the outcomes of performance audits using scorecards developed with the involvement of citizens and civil society organisations across 50 districts.

The initiative which is spearheaded by the Ghana Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) project and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ghana Audit Service (GAS) would take place in the Northern, Savannah and the North East regions.

This was contained in a statement issued by GSAM and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Wednesday.

It said the initiative is to increase citizens’ access to information on the performance of their assemblies in terms of infrastructural projects and make it possible for them to use the information to demand accountability, improved quality of infrastructural projects and value for money in public spending.

The statement said GAS has conducted performance audits to assess the quality of selected infrastructural projects and evaluated value-for-money in public budgeting of 50 selected assemblies located in these regions.

It said projects for inspection and score would include classroom blocks, health centres, teachers’ and nurses’ quarters, and toilet facilities.

The statement said audit reports show how well or poorly the projects were executed and whether the assemblies followed due processes in planning, tendering, contracting, monitoring and supervising these projects.

It said scorecards that rate the performance of these local government authorities have been generated based on the performance audit findings and would be available to citizens from November, 2019.

The statement said, “It is expected that citizens of districts that receive positive ratings would have an improved understanding of the efforts of their local government authorities, whilst citizens of districts that receive negative ratings would demand improved service delivery”.

Constituents of audited districts are rarely informed of audit results.

It said “USAID supported the Ghana Audit Service to conduct similar performance audits on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies infrastructure in another set of 50 districts in 2014 and the findings were disseminated between 2015 and 2016”.

GSAM works to improve accountability, transparency and performance at the local government level by strengthening both Central Government and citizen’s oversight of capital projects in 100 districts.

It is being implemented by a consortium comprising CARE International, Oxfam and the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), in collaboration with the Ghana Audit Service, the implementing District Assemblies and other civil society organizations.