The Decentralised Secretariat under the auspices of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development held a ceremony for the formal presentation of certificates and awards of the distinctive 19 Local Councils in respect of the Comprehensive Local Government Performance Assessment System (CLoGPAS) which was conducted in 2013/2014. This grand event was staged at the Miatta Conference Centre, Youyi Building Freetown which attracted many dignitaries including the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Hon. Hadiru Kalokoh, His Worship the Mayor of Freetown City, representatives from various donor partners, councillors to name but a few.
Since its inception in 2006 by the Decentralisation Secretariat, this ceremony is the fourth CLoGAPS exercise; the previous three were held in 2006, 2008 and 20011. In 2006 and 2008 the assessment only took into account a set of minimum conditions and performance measure. The Minimum conditions include the aspect of of Local Council management, accountability, compliance and compliance with exiting existing laws and regulations which guide the decentralization process.
Performance Measures are more concerned with councils’ operational proficiencies in terms of effectively using existing and established structure/Institutions to improve decentralized service delivery, support good governance, transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.
The Deputy Minister of Local Government, Hon. Hadiru Kalokoh in his key note address observed that the event mark another important mile stone in strengthening the country’s decentralization program.
He furthered that Sierra Leone in 2014 ushered in decentralization in respect to the enactment of the Local Government Act that addresses inequality and shortfall in service delivery.
“The decentralization process has improved the efficiency of public sector decision-making and spending, conforms to the trend of modern day of participatory democracy. Decentralization is critical to the effective transformation of the economy and the establishment of peace, stability and sustainable development,” said the Hon Deputy Minister.
Hon. Kalakoh further stated that the Government has made enormous progress in the effective implementation of the decentralization program nationwide citing the last seven years when government demonstrated conviction to promote good governance, intensify its capacity building efforts and more which quadrupled the quantum of funds disbursed to local councils.
The decentralization reform has gained international recognition as a promising and exemplary on the Africa continent and Third World country can imitate from such a positive stride.
Tonkolili District Council bagged the overall best performing Local Council of the year 2013 while Portloko District came second and Kambia District came third.
Tonkolili district was able to ensure that its devolved sectors meet the requirement of CLoGAPS, therefore it was awarded.
Speaking to this medium, the Chairman of Tonkolili District Council, Alusine Kamathor Sesay reiterated that his district has been working assiduously to ensure that the people of his district receive the best in service delivery.
His council has been engaged in massive road construction of 30 roads to enhance easy flow of vehicle within and out of the district, reconstructed 56 bridges and also rehabilitating hospitals within the district.
He encouraged his colleagues Chairmen and Mayor to work very hard in the interest of the populace.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.