- On December 26, 2014
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in collaboration with the Ghana Federation for the Disabled (GFD) is petitioning the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Administrator of the Common Fund to address issues related to the two percent of District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) allocation to Persons with Disability (PWD) in Ghana.
Reports monitored in the media in recent past indicate that, there are a number of challenges facing the disbursement of the allocation to PWDs.
Subsequently, MFWA jointly organised a press conference with the GFD to call on the appropriate authorities to address the issues.
The petition demands redress of the issues highlighted at the press conference in order to help / support the course of PWDs in the country.
In view of this, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), have been asked to endorse the petition which will be sent to the Ministry.
Read the petition below.
The undersigned Civil Society Organizations join the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) to bring to your attention very serious challenges relating to the management, disbursement, utilization, and accountability for the 2% of the District Assembly Funds, allocated to Persons with Disability (PWDs).
Such organized abuses of the fund which have been highlighted by recent Media Foundation of West Africa (MFWA) – sponsored media investigations point to a lack of concern for the plight of PWDs or a deliberate attempt to further deprive PWDs of their rights
As revealed in the media reports and highlighted at a recent joint press conference by the MFWA and the GFD, the major challenges associated with the administration of the funds include the following;
Inadequate Information to Beneficiaries
In some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), members of the Disability Fund Management Committee (DFMC) do not have adequate basic information on the fund. For instance, information such as quarterly bank statements showing quantum of quarterly transfers received into the separate account, amount disbursed, balance in the account, bank charges are not made available to the DFMC.
Borrowing or Diversion of the Funds
As a result of inadequate information on the fund, some Assemblies have been diverting or borrowing monies from the fund, contrary to section 8(d) of the guidelines which states that “there shall be no borrowing from the account”. Some of the diversion and borrowing are done secretly, only to tell PWDs that the monies have not been received yet.
There have been several audited reports of some MMDAs misapplying the funds meant for PWDs.
Guidelines for the administration of the Fund were designed to insulate it from any form of political interference. Surprisingly however, there is still some political interference with the management of the funds. For example, while some Municipal Chief Executives (MCEs) or District Chief Executives (DCEs) use part of the inadequate funds to organize press conferences during the disbursement of the funds to PWDs others do the disbursement themselves in election years. Some MMDCEs also throw Christmas parties for PWDs with the fund which is against provisions in the guidelines. Further still, others veto the decisions of the DFMC and share the money equally to PWDs instead of disbursing the funds on need basis.
KEY DEMANDS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
All MMDAs must be mandated to provide quarterly bank statements on the state of the Disability account to the Disability Fund Management Committee.
All MMDAs must be strictly required to adhere to all provisions in the guidelines for managing, disbursing, and monitoring the utilization and accountability for the Fund.
A Joint monitoring task force comprising Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD), National Council of Persons with Disability (NCPD) and Local Government Ministry must be adequately resourced to monitor the disbursement and use of the funds nationwide.
There should be regular follow-up training for members of the Disability Fund Management Committees on their duties and responsibilities.
Petition prepared and sent by MFWA and GFD