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Makeni City Council bags decentralisation performance award

July 22, 2016 By Mohamed Massaquoi

Makeni City Council was yesterday certified and awarded as the ‘Best Performing Council’ for the 2015- 2016 Comprehensive Local Government Performance Assessment System (CLoGPAS) award by the Decentralization Secretariat (DecSec).

The ceremony was held at Njala Venue in Freetown, and was attended by Council Chairpersons, Mayors and Paramount Chiefs.

The Decentralisation Secretariat, under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), introduced a system of assessing performance of Local Councils based on certain criteria which provide the basis for assessing and comparing councils’ performance, informed by progress made in the decentralisation process.

Makeni Council got 174%, while Tonkolili District Council came second with 145%. Kenema and Koinadugu District Councils came joint third with 137.5%.

According to Director of DecSec, Alhassan Kanu, this was the fifth CLoGPAS exercise, with the previous ones held in 2006, 2008 and 2011 and 2015.

He explained that in 2006 and 2008 the assessment only took into consideration a set of minimum conditions and performance measures, but that the system was revised in 2010 with the incorporation of additional competencies into the assessment tool to include key service delivery components such as Local Economic Development, Ward Committees, gender issues, as well as devolved sectors like health, education and agriculture.

‘‘We did not hold the award in 2014 because of the Ebola; this is not a very good day for me because when you have 19 councils to evaluate, it is difficult to take a position, but as a comprehensive and transparent process we contracted a consultant to carry out the responsibility and want to inform you all that there were civil society imputes in the entire process. I am personally disappointed that after the introduction of the councils over the years, some councils have not made much progress,’’ he said, adding that the performance measures are more concerned with councils’ operational proficiencies in terms of effectively using existing and established structures/institutions to improve decentralised service delivery, support good governance, transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.

Mayor of Makeni, Madam Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara, commended members of DecSec for their tremendous contributions towards her council’s programme. She said the award gives her more impetus to work harder so that her council will continue to maintain the lead.

“This honour is not only for me but the entire council workers and the people of Makeni,” she concluded.

Minister of Local Government, Maya Moiwo Kai Kai, said the event was another milestone in efforts to strengthening the country’s decentralisation process as the entire process was ushered into address inequalities and shortfalls in service delivery.

He said government regards the decentralisation process as critical to effective transformation of the country’s economy and strengthening peace and democracy.

“As a post-conflict country that has quickly embraced and successfully initiated a decentralisation reform in an early stage of post-conflict recovery, our programme is viewed as a reform that has far reaching implication for increased involvement of local populations in governance,” he said and concluded that the assessment by the secretariat in 2006 laid the foundation for a routine monitoring of local government councils.

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