Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Chief of Staff, has cautioned Regional Co-ordinating Councils and Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies about the increasing number of audit infractions and financial irregularities.
She said the government was concerned about the high number of audit infractions captured in the Auditor General's Report from year to year.
Madam Osei-Opare made the observations during the Award ceremony for the Best Performing RCC's and MMDA's in the 2020 Local Government Service (LGS) Performance Contracts Assessment (PCA) in Accra.
She implored all MMDCEs and MMDCDs to provide transparent, accountable, visionary and exemplary leadership to drive change and bring the needed development to their respective local areas through the prudent use of resources.
The Chief of Staff said the RCC's and MMDA's must, as a matter of urgency, deal with these infractions, saying "the infractions captured in the report continue to plague the nation's finances and as public office holders entrusted with management responsibilities, we must all support the President's desire to protect the public purse."
The Award ceremony was aimed at awarding three RCC's and 10 MMDA's with a sterling performance in the aftermath of the assessment of the implementation of the LGS Performance Contracts for the year 2020.
"The award ceremony is also to foster a healthy competition at all levels of the service for improved service delivery and to motivate staff to give off their best in the service to our dear nation," she said.
Madam Osei-Opare said the LGS Performance Management System (PMS) served as a systematic process for improving individual and institutional performance to enhance productivity, develop competencies and increase job satisfaction in line with the mandate of the Service under the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936).
The Chief of Staff said the 2020 performance contract covered seven key performance areas, including, general administration, human resource management, financial management and reporting, infrastructure, social services delivery, economic development and environment and Sanitation.
She congratulated the award winners and challenged the Assemblies to broaden their horizons to improve the provision of services to the citizenry.
"This calls for a change of focus, attitudes and responsiveness with enhanced skills consistent with this drive. Assemblies must also strengthen social accountability mechanisms to boost citizens' confidence in them."
The Chief of Staff also encouraged RCC's to strengthen their monitoring and coordination roles to ensure the Assemblies were up and doing and remained alive to their duties.
Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Head of the Local Government Service, said the PMS, developed in 2015 based on agreed Service Delivery Standards, was a systematic process for improving performance by developing the individual performance of staff and teams to enhance productivity, develop competencies, increase job satisfaction and achieve the full potential of all staff in the Service.
He said the 2020 assessment was by far, the best outcome of the PCA, not in terms of absolute scores but about the realistic performance of the RCCs and MMDAs.
"RCCs and MMDAs alike must immediately take off and get to work right after the contracts are signed with the clearly defined deliverables. Do not wait until there is an impending assessment before trying to put your houses in order. It will not augur well with you and the outcomes of such adhoc preparations do not always end well," he said.
He assured that the LGS was poised to support government efforts to develop a robust local governance system and would strengthen local governance institutions and structures, review systems, procedures and processes and build capacities in support of improved service delivery at the sub-national levels.
He cautioned RCC's and MMDA's that were not living up to expectations, saying a more severe punishment would be meted out to them for performing below average.
Volta Regional RCC was adjudged the best RCC, followed by Savana and Bono East.
The Best MMDA went to the Nkoranza North District Assembly, followed by Ga West Municipal Assembly and Afigya Kwabre North District Assembly.