Public Sector Institutions and Structures
The Municipal Assembly
The Municipal Assembly is the highest political authority in the municipality. There are forty-three (43) Assembly Members. Thirty (30) of them are elected, and are responsible for the 30 Electoral Areas. Only 6 (about 14%) are females. There is the need to put in place measures such as advocacy and leadership skills training for women to improve their representation on the General Assembly.
The Municipal Assembly has 8 Sub-Committees working up to an Executive Committee; these are:
· Development Planning
· Finance and Administration
· Social Services
· Technical Infrastructure (Works)
· Justice and Security
· Environment and Disaster
· Micro and Small Scale Enterprises
These Sub-Committees carryout their various functions and report to the Executive Committee, which is chaired by the Municipal Chief Executive. Reports of the Executive Committee are submitted to the General Assembly for deliberations and ratification. All the sub-committees of the General Assembly are active. However, there is still the need to continue to build their capacity to promote vibrant General Assembly and committee systems.
Below the Municipal Assembly are the District Sub-structures. They are four (4) Zonal Councils and thirty (30) Unit Committees. All the Zonal Councils have office accommodation, but they lack computers and other office equipment. The Assembly has also ceded some revenue areas to them to collect.
The district sub-structures are very important component of the Local Governance System, but are currently facing a lot of challenges. Some of these include inadequate funding, logistics, personnel and means of transport. Their office buildings are also in poor state. These affect the execution of their mandatory functions. Measures such as the provision of funding, permanent office staff, office equipment, means of transport, training , logistics and renovation of offices are required to make these structures function effectively to enable them contribute to the development of the municipality.
Public Departments and Agencies in the Municipality
A total of twenty-three (23) public departments and agencies are in the Offinso Municipality. These include Departments of Agriculture, Ghana Education Service, Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, Culture, Public Works Department, Town and Country Planning, Municipal Health Administration, Forestry Commission, Judiciary, Police, CHRAJ, NCCE, Electoral Commission, Immigration Service, NADMO, Feeder Roads, Environmental Health and Information Services among others.
The departments, agencies and units are the technical wing of the Municipal Assembly. They help in fine-tuning the decisions of the Sub-Committees and the General Assembly, and are also responsible for the implementation of approved decisions of the General Assembly. They report the progress of implementation of the decisions to the Assembly, through the Municipal Chief Executive and the various Municipal Assembly Sub-committees.
The departments and units in the Assembly face a number of challenges, which hinder effectiveness and efficiency. Some of these challenges are:
· Inadequate skills ( ICT, Project/contract management, planning, M&E, GIS, record management, resource mobilization,
financial management, customer relations, proposal writing, etc)
· Inadequate equipment and logistics (computers and accessories, drawing equipment, etc)
· Inadequate residential and office accommodation
· Inadequate means of transport ( there are only 10 vehicles available in the municipality for official duties, some of which
are more than 10 years old
There is the need to address the above capacity gaps to enable the Municipal Assembly and its departments and agencies perform their mandates effectively and efficiently towards the development of the municipality.
The municipality is relatively peaceful, even though there is incidence of minor and high level crimes. The police, Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC) and other security agencies work very hard to bring crime occurrence under control and to ensure that people move about freely to carry out their businesses without fear. There are four (4) police stations in the municipality and Police Citizen Ratio of 1: 810.
The municipality has one (1) Circuit Court, a Magistrate Court and one (1) Fire Service Station, all located at Offinso. The police, judiciary and fire service do not have adequate office and residential accommodation. Currently the judiciary operates at the Assembly Hall of the Offinso Municipal Assembly. The Municipal Fire Service is accommodated in a rented premise. Measures are required to increase infrastructure for the Police, judiciary and Fire Service to promote community policing and increase the communication links between the public and the Municipal Security Agencies.
Private Sector and Community Participation in Development
Private Sector Participation
Private sector participation in governance cannot be over emphasized today. Government alone cannot bear the burden of development and has to share it with the private sector. The private sector is therefore to augment and partner the government’s developmental efforts. In the Offinso Municipality, the private sector is involved in construction and management of public facilities, community sensitization, waste management, health service delivery and education delivery, among others.
Some of the private sector operators are NGOs with non- profit motive. These NGOs are engaged in Community Animation, provision of social infrastructure, environmental conservation, food production and HIV/AIDS prevention among others. Some of these NGOs include:
- Single Parent Foundation
- Partners for Development
- Family Health for Development
- Christ Our Hope Foundation
The Development Planning System recognizes community participation as an essential and integral part of effective development planning. In recognition of this, the Municipal Assembly makes effort to involve the citizenry in the preparation, monitoring and evaluation of the municipal plans.
Some communities in the municipality, especially in the rural areas organize Communal Labour to carry out self-help projects such as clearing of farm tracks, footpaths, construction of public pit latrines and school infrastructure.
There is generally weak interaction between Assembly members/district substructures and their communities. Where these interactions exist, the participation of women and the youth was always low.
There is an existing partnership between the Offinso Municipality and the German City of Monchengladbach. This partnership was established in 2004 through the effort of the following key personalities:
· Nana Osei Sarpong…………………Chief of Mpehi, in the Offinso Traditional Area
· Most Rev. Peter Kwesi Sarpong……Former Archbishop of Kumasi
· Miss Franziska Suffenpland………..German Volunteer
· Mr. Helmut Gobels…………………President of Action Friedensdorf
Since 2004 the municipality has benefited immensely from the City of Monchengladbach. Some of the benefits include the following:
· A palm oil processing factory at Koforidua
· 500 capacity dining hall for IHM integrated School at Namong
· Maternity ward at Nyamebekyere
· A 200 capacity girls dormitory for St. Jerome SHS at Abofour
· Dormitory for disabled children at Namong
· Boreholes for three communities in the municipality
· A Toyota Mini Bus for the special children’s care
· Provided drugs and equipment to St. Patrick’s Hospital at Offinso
The Municipal Assembly should continue to take full advantage of the existing partnership with Monchengladbach to speed up the development of the municipality. It should also put in place measures to increase community participation (especially women and the youth) in decision making, planning and implementation. The Assembly should also facilitate interaction of Assembly members/ Unit committees with their community people.
Date Created : 4/8/2019 4:51:05 AM