Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) has exposed the government over the payment overlaps in the disbursement of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DISCAF) last year.
According to the centre, two quarters of 2014 DACF is still outstanding to be paid to the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MMDAs), yet the 2015 first quarter disbursement has been released to MMDAs.
A statement issued in Accra and signed by Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso, Ag. Executive Director of CLGA said apart from having the potential of creating developmental challenges, the non-release of funds can also create complications in the Fund management process of the DACF at both national and local levels.
The statement said the CLGA is not happy about how the administrator and government is managing the release of the DACF saying “if such practices continue it is likely to compel the MMDAs to use the DACF in a manner not prescribed by law and also incur extra cost on projects and contracts.”
According to CLGA, the MMDAs in 2014 prepared annual plans and budgets to be funded by the DACF, however, two quarters of the 2014 fund were not received by MMDAs.
“Instead of releasing these two quarters of 2014 DACF due to MMDAs, the administrator of the Fund chose to rather release the 1st quarter of 2015. This raises a number of questions which begs for answers if decentralized governance can be used to promote development.”
The centre queried whether national tax revenue collected in the last two quarters of 2014 based on which 7.5% was to be transferred to the MMDASs as required by Article 252 of the 1992 constitution, asking “since the last two quarters of 2014 of DACF has not been paid but 1st quarter of 2015 has been paid, when will this 2014 arrears be paid to MMDAs?”
“On issues of accountability and transparency how does the Administrator of the DACF expect the MMDAs to account for the 1st quarter 2015 release ie. Whether to use it to pay for 2014 debt and account for it as such or abandon 2014 projects and start new projects with the 2015 release?”
“How does the Administrator of the DACF expect the MMDAs to account for price level changes on account of inflation between July 2014 and May 2015, adding “which is likely to lead to upward variations in the values of various projects earmarked to be completed in 2014?”
The CLGA called on the government and the Administrator of the Fund “in the interest of true accountability and transparency to come out and explain to Ghanaians why there is overlap in the payment of DACF between 2014 and 2015 and indicate a payment plan to enable the MMDAs explain themselves to contractors and citizens.”
“The CLGA encourages government and the Administrator of the Fund to especially explain to Ghanaians why the last two quarters of 2014 was skipped but 1st quarter of 2015 has been released.”
The CLGA advised that in order to get the financial management systems of the MMDAs back on track, “the government should pay the last two quarters 2014 DACF in arrears and the 2nd quarter of 2015 by 1st July 2015.”