Common Fund administrator can invest

The Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund has been given the authority to invest the fund in financial securities to yield high returns.

The Administrator is at liberty to invest funds released from the government in securities, earn interest and plough the proceeds into the main fund.

This power has been conferred on the Administrator by the Local Government Bill, 2016 which was passed into law by Parliament yesterday.

The bill seeks to, among other things, consolidate all the legislations on local governance into one document for easy reference and administration.

The legislations are the Local Government Act 462, District Assemblies Common Fund Act, Local Government Service Act, National Development Planning Commission Act, and National Development Planning Commission Systems Act.
All the five acts have been put into one single document. Also, some provisions in the old act have been amended for smooth local governance.

The act deals with the creation of districts, selection of district chief executives, among other things, but did not propose their election because the process of selecting a chief executive for the district is a constitutional matter and requires an amendment of the constitution.

The new law also requires each district assembly to establish a planning authority which would come out with a development plan for the district.
The plans are expected to be fine-tuned by the regional coordinating councils and sent to the National Development Planning Commission which would harmonise and consolidate every single plan from each district across the country into the national development plan to be used for the development of the country.

On the granting of building permits, the law has given the district assemblies the authority to demolish every structure suspected to be hazardous, without necessarily seeking the approval of the minister.

This will give the assemblies the power to demolish illegal structures erected without permission, as well as structures in waterways which may be hazardous to the community.

“The assemblies, however, are supposed to operate strictly according to the law, because they can be sued as cooperate bodies,”the Chairman of the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, Dominic Azumah, told the media after the passage of the law.

“As a corporate body, every assembly can sue and be sued so every assembly must ensure that they follow the law. Anyone who is aggrieved can seek redress from the court,” he said.

By Yaw Kyei

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