Hubs at District Level to pilot Performance Tracking

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Eric Nsarkoh
Engineer / Feature writer

In 1999 the Government of Ghana took a stride to facilitate the implementation of decentralization of the public administration system and other reform processes through the setting up of Fiscal Decentralization Project. The Project was to study the public finance system and design/develop transparent, effective/efficient and accountable instruments and make recommendations and propose strategies for the implementation of decentralized financial management system in Ghana.

Specifically, one of the Project objectives was to:

º design a public financial management system that would grant
substantial autonomy to sub-national governments in raising and
allocating resources;
The similarity between the objectives of certain programmes at central government level and fiscal decentralization at district level suggest that efforts to define the financial management system of choice have not been successful irrespective of whether the thrust was at district or central government level. It is however a recurring problem noted by successive governments as key to delivering good quality governance to the country’s citizens.


The proposals of this discussion are against the backdrop of standalone govt strategies in local govt administration, community development and ICT deployment. ICT is traditionally an enabler in such multi pronged solutions; with the potential to integrate responses and unify solutions.


The Ministry of Finance estimates that public procurement in Ghana accounts for 80% of govt expenditure. The organizational processes for managing procurement and ensuring visibility across public sector enterprises are however fraught with constraints. The World Bank assesses the overall Public Financial Management Reform Programme in Ghana as one that yielded an “unsatisfactory” outcome. Procurement was one of twelve components under this $21m programme .

The World Bank cites the large and complex nature of such programmes as one of the key causes of failure . The views on size and complexity would normally suggest that within the framework of decentralization and the modular approach associated with operations at the district level, a better functioning tracking system could have been developed for procurement and financial management. This has however not materialised.


Analysis and design of organizational and technological arrangements for creating transparency in district administration is critical. The focus of this paper is to propose pilot schemes for tracking the needed data on budgets, administrative expenses and procurement per district. The local govt organizations will require simple and innovative communication materials to inform the rank and file of the populace about budgetary disbursements to their district, internally generated funds and outflows. It is also essential to deploy simple enterprise software for monitoring parameters of performance.

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