A total of 50 members of Social Audit Committees (SAC) drawn from the Ashanti, Ahafo, and Bono East Regions, are attending a three-day training workshop on social auditing underway in Kumasi.
The event seeks to build the capacities of the participants on social auditing to improve their skills in executing their mandate with respect to development and public financial management at the local level.
It was put together by the Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) in collaboration with the Local Governance Network (LOGNet), with funding from GIZ.
The formation of SAC was initiated by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), as a mechanism to promote accountability and transparency in the local governance systems.
Basically, the committees are mandated to monitor the performance of the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the implementation of their Medium Term Development Plans (MTDP) and annual action plans.
Each committee is made up of five members – two of these are representatives from the Assemblies and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) whiles the other three, are nominees from the community.
With funding from the German Government through GIZ, a total of 60 of such committees have already been established in selected MMDAs across the country to pre- test concept with hope of replicating it in all the country's MMDAs, after its initial success.
Nana Nyarko Owusu, Communication and Advocacy Officer of CLGA, said the formation of SAC formed part of reforms to strengthen democratic governance and participatory development at the district levels.
He said the Committees were not necessarily to interfere in the operations of the Assemblies but to take keen interest in the planning, budgeting and execution of projects in the interest of transparency and accountability.
This, he said, would ensure value for money in the execution of projects and promote citizens participation.
He implored participants to perform their duties devoid of politics and partisan agenda, saying that, such practices could defeat the objective of forming the committees.
Mr. Christopher Dapaah, National Coordinator of LOGNet, said it was important for members of SAC to apprise the MTDP of their respective assemblies to ensure projects were executed to specification in term of quality and timeliness.
He said LOGNet would continue to advocate for citizen's participation in local governance to give true meaning to the decentralization concept in the country and called for a cordial relationship between the committees and Assemblies.