By: Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman
The Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA), has organized a Townhall meeting for the fifth in the series of the Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA) forum at the Haatso Pentecost Church.
The SPEFA programme which is a collaboration between the Assembly and the African Development Programme (ADP) in partnership with the Netherlands Development Agency (SNV) was launched by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. John Kwao Sackey in November last year.
The fifth of the series, dubbed: “Financial Reporting for the Ga East Municipal Assembly”, follows similar events held previously on the Medium Term Development Plan for 2014-2017, Procurement Processes and the 2014 Budget Performance Review which featured Mr. Samson Slessor Agbeve, Municipal Planning Officer, Mr. Rasheed Jajah, Municipal Procurement Officer and Mr Noah Tali, Municipal Budget Officer.
At the forum, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. John Kwao Sackey encouraged the public to be interested in such programmes as they offer them the opportunity to know how the Assembly is expending the public funds under their custody.
He advised the people to channel their concerns to the Assembly for redress rather than resorting to their own means which according to him result in litigation and conflicts.
An Accounts Officer, Mr Martin Nkansah, who represented the Municipal Finance Officer, Mr Kollan Siedu, took the participants through a presentation on the financial reporting format of the Assembly, the funding sources and criteria for securing funding. He also highlighted the consultative processes that precede the expending of the funds secured and the projects for which they were acquired.
Participants were given the opportunity to contribute to the presentation made. Some chided the Assembly for its seeming lack of desire to collect revenue properly which had resulted in slow progress of development. They claimed that a lot of businesses and individuals were not paying revenues required of them because the Assembly had failed to identify them,
They however urged the Assembly to be proactive in this direction and suggested prosecution of defaulters as a deterrent to the many within the municipality who failed to pay their taxes to the Assembly.
Responding to this, the Municipal Budget Officer, Mr Noah Tali, assured the residents and business owners of the Assembly’s resolve to embark on initiatives to collect more revenue for development. The Municipal Planning Officer, Samson Slessor Agbeve advised the people to cooperate with the Assembly as it meticulously followed the development agenda for the 2014-2017 period. He however indicated that when there was the need to address emergency situations, the Assembly would do so despite the already developed plan and called on the people to assist the Assembly in identifying potential funding sources to augment their efforts in developing the municipality. End. PIX