LOCAL GOVERNANCE ACT, 2016 (Act 936) SS 1-109

Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936)

DATE OF PRESIDENTIAL ASSENT: 20th December, 2016.

DATE OF GAZETTE NOTIFICATION: 20th December, 2016.

An Act to provide for local governance in accordance with the Constitution; to establish a Local Government Service; to provide for the establishment and administration of the District Assemblies Common Fund; to provide for a National Development Planning System; to define and regulate planning procedures of District Assemblies; to co-ordinate, facilitate, monitor and supervise internal audit activities within District Assemblies and for related matters.

PART ONE – LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Districts and District Assemblies
1. Creation of districts

(1) For purposes of Local governance, the districts in existence immediately before the commencement of this Act shall continue to exist.

(2) The President may, by Executive Instrument

(a) declare any area within the country to be a district; and

(b) assign a name to the district.

(3) The President shall, in the exercise of the power under paragraph (a) of subsection (2), direct the Electoral Commission to make appropriate recommendations.

(4) The Electoral Commission shall, before making recommendations to the President under subsection (3), consider the following factors including

(a) in the case of

(i) a district, that there is a minimum population of seventy-five thousand people;

(ii) a municipality, that there is a minimum of ninetyfive thousand people;

(iii) a metropolis, that there is a minimum of two hundred and fifty thousand people; and

(b) the geographical contiguity and economic viability of the area, namely, the ability of an area to provide the basic infrastructural and any other developmental needs from the monetary and any other resources generated in the area.

2. Demarcation of areas of authority of sub-district structures

(1) The areas of authority of the Sub-Metropolitan District Councils, Urban Councils, Town Councils, Area Councils and Unit Committees in existence before this Act shall continue to exist.

(2) The Electoral Commission may review the areas of authority of the Sub-Metropolitan District Councils, Urban Councils, Town Councils, Area Councils and Unit Committees by Constitutional Instrument after a national population census.

3. Establishment of District Assembly

(1) The Minister shall, by legislative instrument, establish a District Assembly for each district, municipality and metropolis.

(2) A District Assembly shall constitute the highest political authority in the district.

(3) The Instrument establishing a District Assembly, shall specify

(a) the area of authority of the District Assembly as determined under subsection (2) of section 1;

(b) the number of persons to be elected to the District Assembly and the maximum number of persons to be appointed to the District Assembly by the President;

(c) the functions, powers and responsibilities of the District Assembly;

(d) the place where the principal office of the District Assembly is to be situated; and

(e) other matters that are required by this Act to be included in the Instrument or are consequential or ancillary to it.

(4) The Minister shall establish

(a) Sub-Metropolitan District Councils,

(b) Urban Councils,

(c) Town or Area Councils, and

(d) Unit Committees in respect of the areas of authority of the sub-district structures within the area of authority of the District Assembly demarcated or reviewed in the same legislative instrument that established the District Assembly.

(5) The Instrument shall specify

(a) the jurisdiction, membership, functions, powers and responsibilities of the Sub-Metropolitan District Council, Urban Council, Town or Area Council or Unit Committee; and

(b) any other matter connected with the Sub-Metropolitan District Council, Urban Council, Town or Area Council or Unit Committee that may be considered necessary.

4. Incorporation of District Assembly

(1) A District Assembly shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession.

(2) For the performance of its functions, a District Assembly may acquire and hold movable and immovable property, dispose of property and enter into a contract or any other transaction.

(3) Where there is hindrance to the acquisition of property by a District Assembly, the property may be acquired for the District Assembly under the State Lands Act, 1962 (Act 125) and the cost shall be borne by the District Assembly.

5. Composition of District Assembly

(1) A District Assembly shall consist of the following members:

(a) the District Chief Executive;

(b) one person from each electoral area within the district elected by universal adult suffrage in accordance with regulations made for the purpose by the Electoral Commission;

(c) the member or members of Parliament from the constituencies that fall within the area of authority of the District Assembly; and

(d) other members that shall not exceed thirty per cent of the total membership of the District Assembly appointed by the President in consultation with the traditional authorities and other interest groups in the district.

(2) A member of Parliament shall

(a) be counted among the seventy per cent in the calculation of the thirty per cent of the appointed members; and

(b) not have voting rights.

(3) The members appointed under paragraph (d) of subsection (1) may be re-appointed.

(4) A District Assembly may conduct its business in English and in any local language common to the communities in the district.

(5) The District Co-ordinating Director appointed under subsection (1) of section 75 shall be the Secretary to the District Assembly.

Membership of District Assembly
6. Election to District Assembly

(1) Elections to District Assemblies shall be held once every four years.

(2) An election specified in subsection (1) and elections to Parliament shall be held at least six months apart.

(3) Whenever a situation arises in which the Electoral Commission is unable to conduct a District Level election, the President may appoint an Interim Management Committee to perform the functions of the Assembly until elections are conducted.

7. Qualifications and disqualifications of members of District Assemblies

(1) A person qualifies to be elected or appointed to a District Assembly if the person

(a) is a citizen of Ghana of not less than eighteen years of age;

(b) is a registered voter;

(c) is ordinarily resident in the district in which the person seeks election or for whose District Assembly the person is to be appointed; and

(d) has paid all taxes and rates or made arrangements satisfactory to the appropriate authority for the payment of the taxes and rates.

(2) For the purpose of paragraph (c) of subsection (1), a person is deemed to be ordinarily resident in a district if within the four years before the election or the appointment to the District Assembly, that person has lived in the district for an aggregate period of not less than twelve months.

(3) A person is not qualified to be elected or appointed to a District Assembly if that person.

(a) is of unsound mind;

(b) has been sentenced to death or imprisonment for an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or violence or has been convicted of an offence under an enactment in force in the Republic;

(c) is a person against whom adverse findings have been made by a competent authority and accepted by the Government;

(d) being a professional person is disqualified from practising that profession on grounds of malpractice, fraud or dishonesty by the competent professional body.

(4) A member of staff of a District Assembly shall not be a member of the same District Assembly, whether elected or appointed.

(5) Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) and subsection (2) do not apply to the District Chief Executive.

(6) A person shall not at any time be a member of more than one District Assembly.

8. Mode of seeking election

(1) A candidate who seeks election to a District Assembly or to any lower local government unit shall present that candidate’s self to the electorate as an individual and shall not use any symbol associated with any political party.

(2) A political party shall not endorse, sponsor, offer a platform to or in any way campaign for or against a candidate who seeks election to a District Assembly or any lower local government unit.

(3) A candidate who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to the cancellation of the nomination of that candidate by the Electoral Commission.

(4) A political party that contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than one hundred penalty units and not more than two hundred and fifty penalty units.

9. Cessation of office of a member

(1) A person shall cease to be a member of a District Assembly

(a) upon death;

(b) upon revocation of the mandate of that person, but that person shall be disqualified from standing as a candidate for only two terms immediately after the revocation;

(c) upon resignation in writing addressed to the Presiding Member of the District Assembly;

(d) if that person fails to disclose any financial interest that person may have in a contract before the District Assembly for consideration;

(e) if that person is absent from more than three consecutive ordinary meetings of the District Assembly without the written permission of the Presiding Member of the District Assembly; or

(f) upon the dissolution of the District Assembly.

(2) The District Assembly shall refer a complaint made to it that a member of the District Assembly has ceased to hold office under paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (1) to the Public Relations and Complaints Committee to investigate.

(3) The Public Relations and Complaints Committee shall submit a report on its findings to the District Assembly within a time to be stipulated by the District Assembly.

(4) Where the District Assembly, after studying the report is satisfied that a member is affected by paragraph (d) or (e) of subsection (1), it shall decide that the member shall cease to be a member of the District Assembly by resolution, supported by two thirds of members present and voting.

(5) A member of the District Assembly who is aggrieved by a decision of the District Assembly about cessation of membership may have recourse to a court of law.

10. Revocation of mandate of member

(1) The mandate of an elected member of a District Assembly may be revoked by the electorate.

(2) For the purpose of revoking the mandate of an elected member, twenty-five per cent or more of the registered voters in the electoral area may petition the Electoral Commission for a recall of that member from the District Assembly.

(3) The Electoral Commission shall conduct a referendum to decide whether or not the member must be recalled.

(4) The issue at the referendum shall be decided if at least

(a) forty per cent of the registered voters in the electoral area vote on the issue; and

(b) sixty per cent of the votes cast are in favour of the recall of the member.

(5) Where an elected member of a District Assembly

(a) is recalled

(b) is removed

(c) resigns

(d) dies; or

(e) ceases to be a member by reason of section 9 (1) (e) a by-election shall be held to elect another person to replace the elected member.

(6) Subsection (5) does not apply where the recall, removal, resignation or death occurs within six months before the end of the tenure of the elected member.

(7) Whenever a vacancy occurs in a District Assembly in respect of an elected member, the Secretary to the Assembly shall notify the Electoral Commission in writing, within seven days after becoming aware that the vacancy has occurred and a by-election shall be held within thirty days after the vacancy occurred except that, where the vacancy occurred by the death of the elected member, the by-election shall be held within sixty days after the occurrence of the vacancy.

(8) Where the occurrence of the vacancy is occasioned by the death of an appointed member, the Secretary to the Assembly shall notify the President through the Minister, of the occurrence of the vacancy and the President shall within thirty days, appoint another person to the District Assembly.

(9) The appointment of an appointed member of a District Assembly may be revoked by the President,

(a) upon the recommendation of three-fourths of the members of the District Assembly on grounds that the member has

(i) systematically neglected the duties of an appointed member of a District Assembly; or

(ii) committed acts incompatible with the office as a member of the District Assembly for which sufficient evidence is available; or

(b) upon a complaint made of wrong doing or improper conduct established to be true after investigation by an ad-hoc committee of the District Assembly.

(10) Where the appointment of an appointed member of a District Assembly is revoked, another person may be appointed to replace the appointed member.

(11) A person appointed under subsection (10) shall serve the term of the member whose appointment has been revoked and may be re-appointed.

11. Emoluments of members of District Assemblies

(1) The emoluments of a District Chief Executive of a District Assembly shall be determined by Parliament and shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

(2) The emoluments of a Presiding Member of a District Assembly and other members of the District Assembly shall be determined by the District Assembly and paid out of the District Assembly’s own resources.

Functions of District Assembly
12. Functions of District Assembly

(1) A District Assembly shall

(a) exercise political and administrative authority in the district;

(b) promote local economic development; and

(c) provide guidance, give direction to and supervise other administrative authorities in the district as may be prescribed by law.

(2) A District Assembly shall exercise deliberative, legislative and executive functions.

(3) Without limiting subsections (1) and (2), a District Assembly shall

(a) be responsible for the overall development of the district;

(b) formulate and execute plans, programmes and strategies for the effective mobilisation of the resources necessary for the overall development of the district;

(c) promote and support productive activity and social development in the district and remove any obstacles to initiative and development;

(d) sponsor the education of students from the district to fill particular manpower needs of the district especially in the social sectors of education and health, making sure that the sponsorship is fairly and equitably balanced between male and female students;

(e) initiate programmes for the development of basic infrastructure and provide municipal works and services in the district;

(f) be responsible for the development, improvement and management of human settlements and the environment in the district;

(g) in co-operation with the appropriate national and local security agencies, be responsible for the maintenance of security and public safety in the district;

(h) ensure ready access to courts in the district for the promotion of justice;

(i) act to preserve and promote the cultural heritage within the district;

(j) initiate, sponsor or carry out studies that may be necessary for the discharge of any of the duties conferred by this Act or any other enactment; and

(k) perform any other functions that may be provided under another enactment.

(4) A District Assembly shall take the steps and measures that are necessary and expedient to

(a) execute approved development plans for the district;

(b) guide, encourage and support sub-district local structures, public agencies and local communities to perform their functions in the execution of approved development plans;

(c) initiate and encourage joint participation with other persons or bodies to execute approved development plans;

(d) promote or encourage other persons or bodies to undertake projects under approved development plans; and

(e) monitor the execution of projects under approved development plans and assess and evaluate their impact on the development of the district and national economy in accordance with government policy.

(5) A District Assembly shall co-ordinate, integrate and harmonise the execution of programmes and projects under approved development plans for the district and other development programmes promoted or carried out by Ministries, Departments, public corporations and other statutory bodies and non-governmental organisations in the district.

(6) A District Assembly in the discharge of its duties shall

(a) be subject to the general guidance and direction of the President on matters of national policy; and

(b) act in co-operation with the appropriate public corporation, statutory body or non-governmental organisation.

(7) Public corporations, statutory bodies and non-governmental organisations shall co-operate with a District Assembly in the performance of their functions.

(8) In the event of a conflict between a District Assembly and an agency of the central Government, public corporation, statutory body, non-governmental organisation or individual over the application of subsection (5), (6) or (7), the matter shall be referred by either or both parties to the Regional Co-ordinating Council for resolution.

(9) The Instrument that establishes a particular District Assembly or any other Instrument, may confer additional functions on the District Assembly.

13. Functions under other enactments

(1) A District Assembly shall be the authority to carry out and execute within its district the provisions of

(a) the Auction Sales Act, 1989 (P.N.D.C.L. 230);

(b) the Liquor Licensing Act, 1970 (Act 331); and

(c) the Control and Prevention of Bushfires Act, 1990 (P.N.D.C.L. 229).

(2) A District Assembly shall be the authority to carry out and execute the following provisions of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) within its district:

(a) section 296 in respect of throwing rubbish in the street; and

(b) section 300 in respect of stray cattle.

(3) For the purpose of subsection (1), the District Assembly shall, within its district, have the powers, rights, duties, capacities, liabilities and obligations of a person or authority mentioned in the enactment.

(4) Subsection (3) does not include the powers of a court or the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

(5) For the purpose of the Liquor Licensing Act, 1970, (Act 331), the District Finance Officer or another designated officer of the District Assembly shall be the Licensing Officer.

(6) For the purpose of section 296 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), the reference to the Engineer-in-Chief of Public Works includes the District Engineer of the District Assembly or an Engineer appointed in writing by the District Assembly.

(7) For the purpose of section 300 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), the District Finance Officer or other designated officer of the District Assembly is deemed to be the Controller and Accountant- General or the representative of the Controller and Accountant-General.

(8) Nothing contained in this section shall derogate from the statutory or other functions of the police, whether exercisable under the enactments specified in this section or otherwise and any person or authority performing a function under this subsection shall act in consultation with the police.

14. Health officers of District Assembly

A person who discharges the duties of a Medical Officer or Sanitary Inspector under the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) shall be an officer of the District Assembly of that area to give effect to and enforce by-laws related to public health made by the District Assembly.

15. Delegation of functions of District Assembly

(1) A District Assembly may delegate any of the functions of the District Assembly to a Sub-Metropolitan District Council, Urban, Zonal, Town or Area Council or Unit Committee or any other body or person as it may determine.

(2) Despite subsection (1), a District Assembly shall not delegate its power to legislate, levy taxes, rates, duties and fees or borrow money to a Sub-Metropolitan District Council, Urban Zonal, Town or Area Council or Unit Committee.

16. Duties of a member of a District Assembly

(1) A member of a District Assembly shall as appropriate

(a) maintain close contact with the electoral area of the District Assembly, consult the people of the electoral area on issues to be discussed in the District Assembly, collate their views, opinions, and proposals;

(b) present the views, opinions and proposals of the electorate to the District Assembly;

(c) attend meetings of the District Assembly and meetings of sub-committees of which that member of the District Assembly is a member;

(d) meet the electorate before each meeting of the District Assembly;

(e) report to the electorate the

(i) general decision of the District Assembly: and

(ii) actions the member has taken to solve problems raised by residents in the electoral area;

(f) draw attention in general debate to national policies that are relevant to the subject under discussion;

(g) actively participate in the work of the sub-committees of the Executive Committee;

(h) bring to bear on any discussion in the District Assembly the benefit of the skill, profession, experience or specialised knowledge of the member;

(i) maintain frequent liaison with organised productive economic groupings and other persons in the district; and

(j) take part in communal and development activities in the district.

(2) A member of a District Assembly shall, in the discharge of the duty, have due regard to the national interest and the interest of the people in the district.

Administration of a District Assembly
17. Presiding Member of District Assembly

(1) There shall be a Presiding Member of each District Assembly who shall be elected by the members of the District Assembly from among their number.

(2) The Presiding Member shall not be the District Chief Executive or a Member of Parliament.

(3) The Presiding Member shall be elected by at least a two-thirds majority of all the members of the District Assembly.

(4) The Presiding Member shall hold office for a term of two years and is eligible for re-election subject to subsection (6).

(5) The Presiding Member shall convene and preside at meetings of the District Assembly and perform other functions prescribed by law and the Standing Orders of the District Assembly.

(6) The Presiding Member shall cease to hold office whenever the District Assembly, by a majority of at least two-thirds of all the members of the District Assembly, vote to remove that Presiding Member from office.

(7) The District Assembly shall adopt the Model Standing Orders with the necessary modifications prior to the conduct of any business at the first sitting of the first meeting of the District Assembly.

(8) The emoluments of a Presiding Member of a District Assembly shall be determined by the District Assembly.

18. Meetings of District Assembly

(1) A District Assembly shall meet at least three times in a year.

(2) Matters for decision by the District Assembly shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present and voting.

(3) In the event of equality of votes, the Presiding Member shall have a casting vote.

(4) The validity of proceedings of a District Assembly shall not be affected by a vacancy among its members or by a defect in the appointment or qualification of a member.

(5) A District Assembly may at any time summon any public officer in the district to attend any of its meetings to provide information or assistance as the District Assembly may require.

(6) The Minister shall develop Model Standing Orders for the conduct and proceedings of District Assemblies.

19. Executive Committee of District Assembly

(1) There shall be established an Executive Committee of a District Assembly to be responsible for the performance of the executive functions of the District Assembly.

(2) An Executive Committee shall consist of

(a) the District Chief Executive as chairperson;

(b) the chairpersons of the following Sub-Committees of the Executive Committee

(i) Development Planning,

(ii) Social Services,

(iii) Works,

(iv) Justice and Security, and

(v) Finance and Administration;

(c) the chairperson of one ad hoc Sub-Committee of the Executive Committee elected by the District Assembly, and

(d) any two other members elected by members of the District Assembly, at least one of whom is a woman.

(3) The Secretary of the District Assembly shall be the Secretary of the Executive Committee.

20. District Chief Executive

(1) There shall be a District Chief Executive for each district appointed by the President with the prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of the members of the District Assembly present and voting at the meeting.

(2) A District Chief Executive shall

(a) preside at meetings of the Executive Committee of the District Assembly and in the absence of the District Chief Executive a member of the Executive Committee elected by the members present from among themselves shall preside;

(b) be responsible for the day-to-day performance of the executive and administrative functions of the District Assembly;

(c) be responsible for the supervision of the departments of the District Assembly; and

(d) be the chief representative of the Central Government in the district.

(3) The office of the District Chief Executive shall become vacant if

(a) a vote of no confidence, supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the District Assembly, is passed against the District Chief Executive;

(b) the District Chief Executive is removed from office by the President; or

(c) the District Chief Executive resigns or dies.

(4) A District Chief Executive shall hold office for four years but the District Chief Executive shall not hold office for more than two consecutive terms.

(5) The emoluments of a District Chief Executive shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund and shall be determined by Parliament in accordance with article 71 of the Constitution.

21. Functions of the Executive Committee

(1) The Executive Committee of a District Assembly shall exercise the executive and co-ordinating functions of the District Assembly.

(2) An Executive Committee shall

(a) co-ordinate the plans and programmes of the sub-committees and submit these as comprehensive plans of action to the District Assembly;

(b) implement resolutions of the District Assembly;

(c) report to members of the District Assembly the decisions of the Executive Committee;

(d) oversee the administration of the district in collaboration with the office of the District Chief Executive;

(e) make recommendations on stated grounds to the appropriate Ministry, Department or Agency, for the appointment and replacement of officers for departments outside the control of the District Assembly where it is considered expedient to do so;

(f) develop and execute approved plans of the units, areas and towns and sub-metropolitan districts, within the area of authority of the District Assembly;

(g) recommend to the District Assembly

(i) the economic, social, spatial and human settlement policies related to the development of the district;

(ii) harmonisation of the development policies of the district with national development policies;

(iii) the integration and co-ordination of the processes of planning, programming, budgeting and implementation;

(iv) initiation and implementation of development programmes and projects at the district level; and

(v) the monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and projects.

(3) An Executive Committee shall in between meetings of a District Assembly, carry out functions of the District Assembly other than the legislative function of the District Assembly.

(4) The Executive Committee shall communicate its decisions to Members of the District Assembly at least seven days before the meeting of the District Assembly.

22. Meetings of Executive Committee

(1) An Executive Committee may co-opt any person to attend its meetings but a co-opted person shall not vote.

(2) An Executive Committee may conduct its business in English and in any local language decided under subsection (4) of section 5.

(3) The validity of the proceedings of the Executive Committee shall not be affected by a vacancy among its members or by a defect in the appointment or qualification of a member.

(4) An Executive Committee shall regulate the procedures for its meetings in accordance with the Standing Orders of the District Assembly.

23. Sub-committees of the Executive Committee

(1) An Executive Committee shall have the following subcommittees:

(a) Development Planning Sub-Committee;

(b) Social Services Sub-Committee;

(c) Works Sub-Committee;

(d) Justice and Security Sub-Committee;

(e) Finance and Administration Sub-Committee; and

(f) any other sub-committee the District Assembly may determine.

(2) Each sub-committee shall consist of members of the District Assembly determined by the District Assembly.

(3) A member of the District Assembly other than the Presiding Member shall serve on at least one sub-committee during the tenure of office of that member.

(4) Recommendations to the District Assembly for the constitution of a sub-committee shall be made by the District Chief Executive in consultation with the Secretary to the District Assembly.

(5) Heads of Departments of the District Assembly shall attend the meetings of the sub-committees and shall advise them on the performance of their functions but shall not vote.

(6) A sub-committee may co-opt a person to attend any of its meetings but a co-opted person shall not vote.

(7) A sub-committee shall regulate the procedure for its meeting in accordance with the Standing Orders of the District Assembly.

(8) The District Assembly may dissolve and re-constitute a sub-committee that is not performing its functions efficiently.

(9) The dissolution shall be supported by two-thirds of all members of the District Assembly present and voting.

(10) The Secretary to the District Assembly shall appoint a Head of Department of a sector relevant to the work of a sub-committee to be the Secretary to the sub-committee.

24. Functions of sub-committees

(1) The functions of the sub-committees of the Executive Committee shall be as provided in the Model Standing Orders issued by the Minister for the conduct and proceedings of District Assemblies.

(2) A sub-committee shall collate and deliberate on issues of its responsibility to assist the District Assembly in the deliberative, legislative and executive functions of the District Assembly.

(3) A sub-committee shall submit its recommendations to the Executive Committee of the District Assembly.

25. Instrument of Establishment of Metropolitan Assembly

(1) The provisions on the functions and meetings of an Executive Committee and the Sub-Committees and functions of an Executive Sub-Committee shall not apply to a Metropolitan Assembly.

(2) The legislative instrument establishing a Metropolitan Assembly shall specify its sub-committee system and other related matters.

Dissemination of Information
26. Public Relations and Complaints Committee

(1) A District Assembly shall have a Public Relations and Complaints Committee consisting of

(a) the Presiding Member who shall be the chairperson;

(b) five members of the District Assembly elected by the members of the District Assembly;

(c) a representative each of the district offices of the following:

(i) National Commission for Civic Education,

(ii) Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice,

(iii) Information Services Department, and

(iv) civil society organisations in the district selected by the civil society organisations.

(2) A person appointed under subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (c) of subsection (1) shall not have voting rights.

27. Functions of the Public Relations and Complaints Committee

(1) The Public Relations and Complaints Committee shall

(a) educate the members of the public on the activities of the District Assembly;

(b) promote transparency, probity and accountability in the dealings of the District Assembly with the public;

(c) investigate complaints or allegations made against the conduct of the District Chief Executive, members of the District Assembly, staff of the District Assembly and staff of the departments of the District Assembly;

(d) investigate complaints or allegations of administrative injustice, abuse and misuse of office and violation of the fundamental human rights of any member of the public in the district against the District Chief Executive, a member of the District Assembly, staff of the District Assembly and staff of the departments of the District Assembly;

(e) investigate a complaint or allegation of failure made by a person about the performance of the District Assembly or a department of the District Assembly in the discharge of its statutory duty or corporate responsibilities; and

(f) perform any other functions reasonably related to its core functions that the District Assembly may decide.

(2) The Public Relations and Complaints Committee shall not investigate a matter which is pending before a court or the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice.

(3) The Public Relations and Complaints Committee shall comply with the rules of natural justice in the performance of the functions of the Committee and make recommendations to the District Assembly in respect of its investigations for the appropriate action of the District Assembly.

(4) The Public Relations and Complaints Committee may make the following specific recommendations through the District Assembly:

(a) to the Electoral Commission to commence processes for the revocation of the mandate of an elected member of the District Assembly under subsections (1) to (6) of section 10;

(b) to the President for the revocation of the appointment of an appointed member under subsections (7), (9) and (10) of section 10; or

(c) to the President for the removal of the District Chief Executive from office.

(5) The Public Relations and Complaints Committee may also recommend that the District Assembly commences the processes to pass a vote of no confidence in the District Chief Executive.

28. District Chief Executive to address District Assembly

(1) The District Chief Executive may address the District Assembly in session on policies determined by the President.

(2) The District Chief Executive shall

(a) present a report on the performance of the functions of the Executive Committee, of the office of the District Chief Executive as well as of the state of the district to the District Assembly at the beginning of each session; and

(b) submit the recommendations of the District Assembly on matters of national concern to the Minister and the Regional Co-ordinating Council at the end of each session.

29. Other appointees of President to address District Assembly

A Minister of State or other appointee of the President may address the District Assembly on personal initiative, at the invitation of the District Assembly, or on the directive of the President on a matter related to the sector or function of the Minister or appointee of the President.

Other Matters Concerning District Assemblies
30. Provision of offices by District Assemblies

A District Assembly may

(a) build, acquire, provide, hire and furnish buildings within the administrative area of the District Assembly,

(b) combine with another District Assembly to build, acquire, provide, hire and furnish a building within or outside the administrative area of the District Assembly, or

(c) contribute towards the expense incurred by another District Assembly in building, acquiring, providing, hiring and furnishing any building within or outside the administrative area of the District Assembly to be used to transact the business of the District Assembly and for public meetings.

31. Joint committees of District Assemblies

(1) A District Assembly may appoint a joint committee with another District Assembly for a project in their mutual interest and may delegate a function of the District Assembly related to the project to the committee.

(2) A joint committee appointed under this section may be authorised to co-opt additional members.

(3) The delegation by the District Assembly to the joint committee shall not include the power of a District Assembly to approve by-laws, draw up annual estimates, levy rates or borrow money.

(4) Where a District Assembly appoints or agrees with another District Assembly to appoint a joint committee, the District Assembly may make, vary or revoke any of its regulations related to the quorum, proceedings and place of meetings.

(5) The quorum for proceedings and place of meeting shall be as determined by the joint committee.

(6) Each joint committee appointed shall, report the proceedings of the joint committee to the District Assembly concerned through the Executive Committee and the decisions of the Executive Committee shall be subject to the approval of the District Assembly.

32. Joint commercial activity

A District Assembly may join another District Assembly to carry out any commercial activity that falls within the scope of their respective functions and may determine the allocation of the cost and benefits in respect of that activity.

33. Procurement powers and tender procedures of District Assembly

The procurement powers and tender procedures of a District Assembly shall be in accordance with the relevant procurement laws.

34. Power of District Assembly to insure

A District Assembly may

(a) insure the property of the District Assembly against a risk of any kind; or

(b) insure a third party against injury or damage resulting from an act or omission by a member of staff of the District Assembly in the performance of an official function.

35. Ancillary powers of a District Assembly

(1) A District Assembly may

(a) through the District Chief Executive, authorise any person in writing to enter land, premises or any place at a reasonable time for a purpose connected with the functions of the District Assembly;

(b) request any person in writing to furnish the District Assembly with information reasonably necessary for the performance of the functions of the District Assembly; and

(c) give directions to any person that may be reasonably necessary for the performance of the functions of the District Assembly.

(2) A person who

(a) wilfully obstructs an officer of a District Assembly in the carrying out of the functions of the District Assembly,

(b) fails to furnish information requested from that person without reasonable excuse, proof of which shall be on that person, or

(c) gives information in response to a request made under this section which that person knows to be false, or which that person has no reasonable grounds to believe to be true, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than one hundred penalty units and not more than two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than six months and not more than two years or to both and in the case of a continuing offence to a fine of not more than five penalty units for each day that the offence continues.

36. Investigation by the President

The President may cause the performance of any function or matter of a District Assembly under this or any other enactment to be investigated if the matter is likely to affect the discipline of the District Assembly and shall give directions as appropriate.

37. Power of President to enforce functions of District Assembly

(1) The President may declare a District Assembly to be in default of its functions by Executive Instrument if it is in the public interest to do so and may by the same or another Executive Instrument

(a) direct the District Assembly on how to perform any of its functions within the time specified in the Executive Instrument; or

(b) transfer to a person or body the performance of any of the functions of the District Assembly in default specified in the Executive Instrument.

(2) Where the President has transferred the performance of any of the functions of a District Assembly in default to a person or body, the President may, by the same or another Executive Instrument, dissolve or suspend the District Assembly for not more than one year or prohibit that District Assembly from the performance of certain functions specified in the Executive Instrument for not more than one year.

(3) The President may issue an Executive Instrument to continue the suspension of a District Assembly in default for a period of not more than one year at any one time.

38. Expenses in respect of transferred functions

Where any functions of a District Assembly are transferred by the President to a person or body by Executive Instrument, the expenses incurred by the person or body in the performance of those functions shall be a debt due from the District Assembly concerned, to the person or body.

39. District Assemblies to contribute to Association

(1) A District Assembly shall make a contribution to the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana as the Association may determine.

(2) The contribution shall be in respect of any expenditure incurred by the Association to undertake its business and hold its meetings.

Participatory Governance at the Local Level
40. Participation in District Assembly processes

A District Assembly shall enable the residents and other stakeholders in the district to participate effectively in the activities of the District Assembly and the sub-district structures of the District Assembly.

41. Participation in by-laws and fee-fixing resolutions

District level stakeholders may

(a) participate in the deliberative function of the District Assembly by the publication of a draft by-law or fee-fixing resolution in a media of mass communication in the district that includes radio, the print media, notice boards on the premises of the District Assembly and in the major towns and settlements in the district, before the commencement of proceedings on the draft by-law or fee-fixing resolution;

(b) make representations to the District Assembly through the Secretary to the District Assembly on any provision of the draft by-law or proposal in the fee-fixing resolution;

(c) appear before a sub-committee of the Executive Committee to which a draft by-law or fee-fixing resolution is referred to make an oral representation;

(d) attend the proceedings of the District Assembly as observers when a draft by-law or fee-fixing resolution is being debated;

(e) disseminate the by-law or fee-fixing resolution as widely as possible and play an advocacy role on the contents of the by-law or fee-fixing resolution after the enactment of the by-law or the adoption of a fee-fixing resolution.

(f) The District Assembly shall cause a public announcement to be made at least ten working days before the first day of submission of the draft by-law or the fee-fixing resolution to the District Assembly for the first time.

42. Modalities and platforms for participation

A District Assembly shall facilitate the establishment of a structure for stakeholder participation that may include the following:

(a) information communication technology-based platforms;

(b) town hall meetings;

(c) budget preparation and validation fora;

(d) notice boards announcing jobs, appointments, procurement awards and other important announcements of public interest;

(e) visits to development project sites; and

(f) other avenues for the participation of the people.

43. Right of stakeholders to petition

(1) District level stakeholders may petition the District Assembly on any matter for which the District Assembly is responsible;

(2) The petition shall be made in writing or orally to the Secretary to the District Assembly.

(3) A District Assembly shall make a by-law on the procedure for the petition.

44. Duty of District Assembly to respond to petition of stakeholders

Officials, departments and agencies of a District Assembly shall

(a) acknowledge receipt of the petition of a stakeholder within seven days; and

(b) respond to the petition within three months of receipt of the petition.

45. District Chief Executive to report on participation

The District Chief Executive, in the report to the District Assembly, shall include a report on stakeholder participation in the activities of the District Assembly.

46. District Assembly communication

(1) A District Assembly shall

(a) create awareness on local level decentralisation and governance;

(b) promote public understanding for purposes of peace and national cohesion;

(c) undertake advocacy on core development issues such as agriculture, education, health, security, economics and sustainable development.

(2) A District Assembly shall establish mechanisms to facilitate public communication and access to information in the form of media with the widest public outreach possible in the district which may include

(a) television stations;

(b) information communication technology centres;

(c) websites;

(d) community radio stations; and

(e) public meetings.

(3) A District Assembly shall encourage and facilitate other means of mass communication including the traditional media.

47. Access to information

(1) Every resident in a district shall have access on request to information held by a District Assembly or a Department of the District Assembly subject to limitation imposed by law.

(2) The Secretary to a District Assembly is responsible for ensuring access to information on request.

48. Inclusion and integration of minorities and marginalised groups

A District Assembly shall observe the following principles:

(a) protection of marginalised groups from discrimination of any kind, including discrimination based on language, religion, culture, national or social origin, gender, birth, descent or other status;

(b) equality of treatment in each area of economic, educational, social, religious, political and cultural life of the marginalised and minority group;

(c) special protection to vulnerable persons who may be subject to threats or acts of discrimination, hostility, violence and abuse as a result of their ethnic, cultural, religious or other identity;

(d) special measures of affirmative action for marginalised and minority groups to ensure their enjoyment of equal rights with the rest of the population;

(e) respect for and promotion of the identity and characteristics of minorities;

(f) promotion of diversity and inter-cultural education; and

(g) promotion of effective participation of marginalised groups in public and political life.

PART TWO - LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICE
Establishment of the Local Government Service
49. Establishment of the Local Government Service

(1) There is established by this Act, a body corporate with perpetual succession to be known as the Local Government Service.

(2) The Service shall be decentralised at the regional, district and sub-district levels.

(3) For the performance of its functions, the Service may acquire and hold movable and immovable property, dispose of property and enter into a contract or any other transaction.

(4) Where there is hindrance to the acquisition of property, the property may be acquired for the Service under the State Lands Act, 1962 (Act 125) and the cost shall be borne by the Service.

50. Membership of the Service

Membership of the Service includes officers and staff of the following organisations:

(a) Offices of the District Assemblies;

(b) Departments of the District Assemblies;

(c) Offices of the Regional Co-ordinating Councils;

(d) Departments of the Regional Co-ordinating Councils;

(e) Offices of the Sub-Metropolitan District Councils, Urban, Town and Area Councils;

(f) Office of the Head of the Local Government Service; and

(g) other persons as may be employed for the Service.

51. Object of the Service

The object of the Service is to secure the effective administration and management of the decentralised local government system in the country.

52. Functions of the Service

To achieve its object, the Service shall

(a) provide technical assistance to District Assemblies to enable the District Assemblies effectively perform their functions and discharge their duties in accordance with the Constitution and this Act;

(b) conduct organisational and job analysis for the District Assemblies;

(c) conduct management audits for the District Assemblies in order to improve the overall management of the Service;

(d) design and co-ordinate management systems and processes for the District Assemblies;

(e) develop and co-ordinate the personnel plans and assess the personnel needs of the District Assemblies in consultation with the District Assemblies;

(f) develop and co-ordinate the training implementation plans of the District Assemblies in consultation with the respective District Assemblies;

(g) develop professional standards and guidelines for the various categories of staff who are members of the Service;

(h) work in consultation and close co-operation with other Public Services;

(i) assist the District Assemblies in the performance of their functions under any other enactment; and

(j) perform other functions incidental or conducive to the achievement of the object of the Service.

53. Governing body of the Service

(1) The governing body of the Service is a Council consisting of

(a) a chairperson with extensive experience in local government and decentralisation matters;

(b) a representative of the Ministry responsible for Local Government not below the rank of a Director;

(c) the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission or the representative of the Director-General;

(d) a representative of the Ministry of Education not below the rank of a Director;

(e) a representative of the Ministry of Health not below the rank of a Director;

(f) the Head of the Local Government Service;

(g) the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund or the representative of the Administrator;

(h) a representative of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana;

(i) a representative of the local government workers nominated by the workers;

(j) the Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies or a representative of the Director;

(k) a representative of the National House of Chiefs;

(l) two representatives of civil society organisations with considerable knowledge of local government and decentralisation matters nominated by the Minister; and

(m) two women with considerable knowledge of local government and decentralisation matters nominated by the Minister.

(2) The members of the Council shall be appointed by the President in accordance with article 70 of the Constitution.

54. Functions of the Council

The Council shall

(a) be responsible for matters of policy related to the management of the Service;

(b) ensure the proper and effective performance of the functions of the Service;

(c) approve a Scheme of Service , on the advice of the Public Services Commission, that prescribes the terms and conditions of service of the employees of the Service;

(d) recommend the remuneration of the employees of the Service to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission;

(e) develop policy guidelines to handle matters related to the recruitment, training, promotion, discipline, arbitration and petition within the Service;

(f) set performance standards within which the District Assemblies and Regional Co-ordinating Councils shall perform their functions and discharge their duties;

(g) monitor and evaluate the performance standards of District Assemblies and Regional Co-ordinating Councils;

(h) ensure the development and co-ordination of the personnel plans and assessment of the personnel needs of the District Assemblies;

(i) ensure the development and co-ordination of the training implementation plans of District Assemblies;

(j) ensure the development of professional standards and guidelines for the various categories of staff who are members of the Service; and

(k) perform other functions that may be assigned to it under this Act or any other enactment.

55. Tenure of office of members of the Council

(1) A member of the Council shall hold office for a period of not more than four years and is eligible for re-appointment but that member shall not be appointed for more than two terms.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the Head of the Local Government Service.

(3) A member of the Council may, at any time, resign from office in writing addressed to the President through the Minister.

(4) A member of the Council, other than the Head of the Local Government Service, who is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Council without sufficient cause ceases to be a member of the Council.

(5) The President may by letter addressed to a member revoke the appointment of that member.

(6) Where a member of the Council is, for a sufficient reason, unable to act as a member, the Minister shall determine whether the inability would result in the declaration of a vacancy.

(7) Where there is a vacancy

(a) under subsection (3) or (4), or section 57(2),

(b) as a result of a declaration under subsection (6), or

(c) by reason of the death of a member the Minister shall notify the President of the vacancy and the President shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy.

56. Meetings of the Council

(1) The Council shall meet at least once every three months for the despatch of business at the times and in the places determined by the chairperson.

(2) The chairperson shall at the request in writing of not less than one-third of the members of the Council convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council at the place and time determined by the chairperson.

(3) The chairperson shall preside at the meetings of the Council and in the absence of the chairperson, a member of the Council other than the Head of the Local Government Service elected by the members present from among their number shall preside.

(4) Matters before the Council shall be decided by a majority of the members present and voting and in the event of an equality of votes, the person presiding shall have a casting vote.

(5) The Council may co-opt a person to attend a meeting of the Council but that person shall not vote on a matter for decision at the meeting.

(6) The validity of an act of the Council shall not be invalidated by reason of a vacancy in the membership of the Council or a defect in the appointment of a member.

57. Disclosure of interest

(1) A member of the Council who has an interest in a matter for consideration shall

(a) disclose the nature of the interest and the disclosure shall form part of the record of the consideration of the matter; and

(b) not be present at or participate in the deliberations of the Council in respect of the matter.

(2) A member ceases to be a member of the Council if that member has an interest in a matter before the Council and

(a) fails to disclose that interest, or

(b) fails to recuse himself or herself and participates in the deliberation of the Council in respect of the matter.

59. Committees of the Council

(1) The Council may establish committees consisting of members of the Council or non-members or both to perform a function.

(2) A committee of the Council may be chaired by a member of the Council.

(3) Section 57 applies to a member of a committee of the Council.

59. Allowances

Members of the Council and members of a committee of the Council shall be paid the allowances approved by the Minister in consultation with the Minister responsible for Finance.

60. Presidential directives

The President may give directives to the Council on matters of policy and the Council shall comply.

61. Delegation of power of appointment

The President may delegate the power of appointment under this Act in accordance with Article 195 of the Constitution.

Administration of the Service
62. Head of the Local Government Service

(1) The President shall in accordance with Article 195 of the Constitution appoint a Head of the Local Government Service.

(2) The Head of the Local Government Service shall hold office on the same terms and conditions as the Head of the Civil Service.

63. Functions of the Head of the Local Government Service

(1) The Head of the Local Government Service is the head of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service and is subject to the general directions of the Council.

(2) The Head of the Local Government Service is responsible for the efficient organisation and management of the Service and for the day to day operation of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service.

(3) The Head of the Local Government Service may delegate the functions of the Office to an officer of the Service but shall not be relieved from ultimate responsibility for the performance of the delegated function.

(4) The Head of the Local Government Service shall

(a) provide leadership and guidance in the performance of the functions of the Service and the implementation of the decisions of the Council;

(b) ensure the effective organisation and development of training programmes consistent with the sectoral requirements of the Service;

(c) establish systems of effective inter-service and sectoral collaboration and co-operation between the Service and other public services to harmonise local government programmes and avoid duplication with the approval of the Council; and

(d) initiate plans and programmes within the Service, for the consideration and approval of the Council to accelerate the decentralisation process in accordance with the Constitution and any other enactments.

(5) The Head of the Local Government Service is the Secretary to the Council.

64. Office of the Head of the Local Government Service

The Local Government Service Secretariat in existence before the commencement of this Act shall be known as the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service.

65. Functions of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service

The Office of the Head of the Local Government Service shall

(a) be responsible for the day to day administration of the Service;

(b) be responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the Council;

(c) provide technical and other support to the Service and to the Council for the performance of their functions;

(d) ensure the effectiveness of the Service;

(e) perform functions that the Council may specify; and

(f) perform any other functions that are incidental to the effective operation of the Service.

66. Chief Director of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service

(1) The President shall in accordance with Article 195 of the Constitution appoint a Chief Director of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service to be the chief adviser to the Head of the Local Government Service.

(2) The Chief Director shall have the same terms and conditions as a Chief Director of the Civil Service.

67. Appointment of other staff

(1) The President shall, in accordance with Article 195 of the Constitution, appoint other staff of the Local Government Service that are necessary for the proper and effective performance of the functions of the Service.

(2) The Council may engage the services of consultants or advisers on the recommendation of the Head of the Local Government Service.

68. Transfer or secondment

(1) Other public officers may be transferred or seconded to the Local Government Service.

(2) The Council shall approve the transfer or secondment to the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service.

Expenses and Reports of the Council and the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service
69. Expenses of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service

The expenses of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service, including the administrative expenses, salaries, allowances, operational and other expenses as well as retirement benefits payable in respect of persons employed for and by the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service, shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.

70. Submission of budget estimates on the authority of the Council

(1) The Head of the Local Government Service shall prepare and submit to the Minister responsible for Finance through the Minister, the budget estimates of revenue and expenditure to be incurred by the Council and the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service for the next financial year not later than three months before the end of each financial year.

(2) The budget estimates shall be in the form approved for that purpose by the Minister responsible for Finance.

71. Accounts and audit

(1) The Council shall keep books of account and proper records in relation to them in the form approved by the Controller and Accountant-General

(2) The Council shall submit the accounts of the Service to the Auditor-General for audit within three months after the end of the financial year.

(3) The Auditor-General shall not later than three months after the receipt of the accounts, audit the accounts and forward a copy of the audit report to the Council.

72. Annual report and other reports

(1) The Council shall, within one month after the receipt of the audit report, submit an annual report covering the activities and operations of the Service for the year to which the report relates to Parliament.

(2) The annual report shall include the report of the Auditor-General.

(3) The Council shall also submit to Parliament through the Minister any other reports which Parliament may require.

Office of the District Assembly
73. Office of the District Assembly

There shall be an Office of the District Assembly for each District Assembly.

74. Functions of Office of the District Assembly

The Office of the District Assembly is responsible to the District Assembly in the performance of its functions.

75. District Co-ordinating Director

(1) There shall be a District Co-ordinating Director for each District Assembly who

(a) is the administrative head of the Office of the District Assembly, and

(b) co-ordinates the activities of the Departments of the District Assembly.

(2) The District Co-ordinating Director shall be appointed by the Head of the Local Government Service on the advice of the Council acting in consultation with the Public Services Commission.

(3) The District Co-ordinating Director shall be a member of the Service.

(4) The District Co-ordinating Director shall ensure that the functions and responsibilities of the Office of the District Assembly are efficiently and effectively carried out.

(5) The District Co-ordinating Director is answerable to the District Chief Executive in the performance of the functions of the District Co-ordinating Director.

(6) Staff of the Office of the District Assembly are answerable to the District Chief Executive through the District Co-ordinating Director.

76. Staff of the Office of the District Assembly

(1) The Office of the District Assembly shall have the staff that are necessary for the proper and effective performance of its functions.

(2) Until legislation provides for the appointment of the staff of the Office of the District Assembly by the District Assembly, the staff of the District Assembly shall be appointed by the Head of the Local Government Service.

(3) The Head of the Local Government Service may delegate the powers to the District Assembly in respect of specified categories of staff.

(4) A District Assembly shall establish a five member District Appointments Advisory Committee chaired by the District Co-ordinating Director to be responsible for the appointment of staff of the District Assembly with the prior approval of the Head of the Local Government Service.

(5) The Head of the Human Resource Department shall be the Secretary to the Appointments Advisory Committee.

(6) The members of the District Appointments Advisory Committee shall not be members of the District Assembly.

(7) The staff of the Office of the District Assembly shall perform the functions assigned to them under this or any other enactment.

(8) The staff of the Office of the District Assembly shall be appointed on the terms and conditions that the Head of Service on the advice of the Council acting in consultation with the Public Services Commission determines.

Departments of the District Assembly
77. Decentralised sectors at the district level

(1) The sectors listed in the First Schedule are the decentralised public service sectors.

(2) The President may amend the Third Schedule by Executive Instrument and shall specify which of the functions of the decentralised public service sectors are to be performed by the District Assembly in the same Executive Instrument or another one.

78. Departments of a District Assembly

(1) The Departments listed in the Second Schedule are the Departments of the District Assembly.

(2) The Departments specified in the first column of the Third Schedule shall cease to exist in their present form and shall form part of the Departments specified in the second column of the Third Schedule.

(3) A District Assembly shall establish the Departments specified in the first column of the Fourth Schedule and consequently, the Departments specified in the second column of the Fourth Schedule shall cease to exist after the coming into force of this Act.

(4) The President may by Executive Instrument amend the Second Schedule.

(5) The Departments of the District Assembly shall be headed by Heads of Departments who are responsible for the proper and effective performance of their functions.

(6) The Heads of Departments of the District Assembly shall be responsible to the District Chief Executive through the District Co-ordinating Director.

(7) The Head of the Local Government Service shall issue administrative instructions that specify

(a) the mode of implementation of the Departments ceasing to exist;

(b) the details of the reporting relationships between the Heads of Departments of a District Assembly, the District Co-ordinating Director and the District Chief Executive; and

(c) the details of the reporting relationships between the Departments of the District Assembly, the Sub-Committees of the Executive Committee of the District Assembly, the Executive Committee of the District Assembly and the District Assembly.

79. Staff of the Departments of the District Assembly

(1) The Departments of the District Assembly shall have the staff that may be necessary for the proper and effective performance of their functions.

(2) Until legislation provides for the appointment of the staff of the District Assembly by the District Assembly, the staff of the Departments of the District Assembly shall be appointed by the Head of the Local Government Service in consultation with the Public Services Commission.

(3) The Head of the Local Government Service may delegate the power of appointment to the District Assembly in respect of specified categories of staff.

(4) The staff of the Departments of the District Assembly shall perform the functions that are assigned to them under this Act or any other enactment.

(5) The staff of the Departments of the District Assembly shall be appointed on the terms and conditions that the Head of the Local Government Service on the advice of the Council acting in consultation with the Public Services Commission determines.

80. Functions of the Departments of a District Assembly

The Departments of the District Assembly shall

(a) perform the functions assigned to them under the Local Government (Departments of District Assemblies) (Commencement) Instrument, 2009 (L.I. 1961) and any other enactment for the time being in force;

(b) be responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the District Assembly; and

(c) provide quarterly reports on the implementation of the decisions of the District Assembly to the Executive Committee of the District Assembly through the Office of the District Chief Executive.

District Level Inter-Service and Inter-Sectoral Collaboration and Co-operation
81. Collaboration and co-operation between Departments of District Assemblies and other organisations

(1) Departments of a District Assembly shall collaborate and co-operate with non-decentralised departments, state-owned enterprises and public corporations operating in the district to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the development and management of the district, avoid duplication and ensure a more convenient and cost-effective implementation of programmes and projects.

(2) The District Chief Executive shall play the lead role in the system of collaboration and co-operation with other sectors.

(3) The Heads of Departments of the other sectors shall attend meetings and participate in the deliberations of the Sub-Committees of the Executive Committee of the District Assembly, the Executive Committee of the District Assembly and the District Assembly to which they are invited.

(4) The Heads of the other sectors shall provide information on any matter affecting their sectors reasonably requested by the District Chief Executive, the District Co-ordinating Director or Head of a Department of the District Assembly.

PART THREE - PLANNING FUNCTIONS OF DISTRICT ASSEMBLIES
Economic Planning
82. Establishment of a District Planning Authority

(1) Each District Assembly is hereby established as the planning authority for its area of authority for the purposes of national economic planning.

(2) The District Assembly as the planning authority for the district shall perform any planning functions conferred on it by this Act or any other enactment.

83. Planning functions of a District Planning Authority

(1) A District Planning Authority shall

(a) initiate and prepare district development plans and settlement structure plans in the manner prescribed by the Commission,

(b) ensure that the district development plans and the settlement structure plans are prepared with the full participation of the local community;

(c) carry out studies on

(i) development planning matters in the district that include studies on economic, social, spatial, environmental, sectoral and human settlement issues and policies; and

(ii) the mobilisation of human and physical resources for development in the district;

(d) initiate and co-ordinate the process to plan, programme, budget and implement a district development plan, programme or project;

(e) integrate and ensure that sector and spatial policies, plans, programmes and projects of the district are compatible with each other and with national development objectives issued by the Commission;

(f) synthesise the policy proposals on development planning in the district into a comprehensive framework for the economic, social and spatial development of the district including human settlements and ensure that the policy proposals and projects are in conformity with the principles of sound environmental management;

(g) monitor and evaluate the development policies, programmes and projects in the district; and

(h) provide the Commission with the data and information that the Commission may require.

(2) Despite subsection (1) (a), the planning authority of a District Assembly shall prepare a settlement structure plan in accordance with the provisions of any enactment on planning relevant to the preparation of the settlement structure plan.

(3) The Heads of Departments of a District Assembly and the Heads of other sectors shall collectively prepare a draft Strategic District Development Plan to form the basis of a District Development Plan.

(4) The Commission shall issue guidelines and manuals for the operation of District Planning Co-ordinating Units.

84. Establishment of District Planning Co-ordinating Unit

(1) There shall be established a District Planning Co-ordinating Unit for each District Assembly.

(2) A District Planning Co-ordinating Unit shall comprise the Heads of Departments of a District Assembly and any other person that the District Planning Authority may deem fit.

(3) The Heads of other sectors shall attend meetings of the District Planning Co-ordinating Unit and participate in the preparation of the District Development Plan.

(4) The District Co-ordinating Director shall lead the District Planning Co-ordinating Unit in the preparation of the District Development Plan.

(5) Each District Planning Authority shall have a District Planning Officer who shall be the secretary to the District Planning Co-ordinating Unit.

85. Planning functions of the District Planning Co-ordinating Unit

A District Planning Co-ordinating Unit is responsible for

(a) the provision of advice and a secretariat for the District Planning Authority in respect of its planning, programming, monitoring, evaluating and co-ordinating functions;

(b) the co-ordination of planning activities of the Departments of the District Assembly and other appropriate agencies connected with the planning process;

(c) synthesising the strategies related to the development of the district into a comprehensive and cohesive framework;

(d) formulating and updating the components of a District Development Plan; and

(e) providing the data and information the Commission may require.

86. District Development Plans

(1) The Commission shall prescribe the format for a District Development Plan.

(2) Each proposed District Development Plan shall be submitted through the Regional Co-ordinating Council to the Commission for consideration.

(3) The Commission shall

(a) determine the compatibility of District Development Plans with national development objectives; and

(b) where the District Development Plans are approved incorporate them into the National Development Plan.

(4) A District Assembly shall not make modifications to an approved District Development Plan without the prior approval of the Commission.

87. Preparation of Sub-District and Local Action Plans

(1) A District Planning Authority shall prepare or direct the preparation of a Sub-District or Local Action Plan that may be required for the implementation of an approved District Development Plan unless the Commission otherwise determines.

(2) A local community in a district that is authorised by the District Planning Authority to prepare a Sub-District Plan or Local Action Plan shall prepare the Sub-District Plan or Local Action Plan in accordance with

(a) the approved District Development Plan;

(b) development guidelines of the District Planning Authority; and

(c) any other guidelines that may be prescribed by the Commission.

(3) A Sub-District Plan or Local Action Plan is subject to the approval of the District Planning Authority.

(4) Despite subsection (3), the Commission may call for the plans made under subsections (1) and (2) for consideration and may modify the plans as it considers appropriate.

88. Public hearing of District Development Plans, Sub-District and Local Action Plans

(1) A District Planning Authority shall conduct a public hearing on a proposed District Development Plan and shall consider the views expressed at the hearing before the adoption of the proposed District Development Plan.

(2) The Heads of Departments of a District Assembly and other sectors shall attend and participate in a public hearing in respect of a District Development Plan.

(3) A local community in a district that is authorised by the District Planning Authority to prepare a Sub-District Plan or Local Action Plan shall conduct a public hearing before the adoption of the proposed Sub-District Plan or Local Action Plan.

(4) A District Planning Authority shall attach a report on the outcome of a public hearing to the proposed District Development Plan.

(5) The Commission may, by legislative instrument, prescribe the manner in which the public hearing shall be conducted.

89. Grievance procedure

A person who is aggrieved by a matter related to the performance of a function of a District Planning Authority may seek redress in accordance with the grievance procedure as prescribed by the Commission.

Land Use and Spatial Planning
90. Application of sections 91 to 107

Sections 91 to 107 of this Act shall apply to the extent that they are not inconsistent with the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016, (Act 925).

91. Permit to carry out physical development

(1) A person shall not carry out a physical development in a district except with the prior written approval in the form of a written permit issued by the District Planning Authority.

(2) A District Planning Authority may approve an application referred to in subsection (1), before the adoption of an approved District Development Plan for the district.

(3) A District Planning Authority shall consult public agencies and local communities as may be prescribed by Regulations issued by the Minister in the determination of an application for a permit to develop prior to the adoption of an approved District Development Plan.

92. Development charges

(1) A District Planning Authority may levy a development charge in respect of a permit to carry out a physical development.

(2) Development charges shall be utilised for the provision of infrastructure and services.

(3) Development charges shall be rated by, payable to and collected by the District Planning Authority to the exclusion of any other body, except in the case of land estates where other specific bodies take responsibility to provide infrastructure and services.

93. Development permit to be conditional or unconditional

(1) A District Planning Authority may issue a permit for physical development with conditions or without conditions.

(2) Where a District Planning Authority refuses to issue a permit, or issues a permit with conditions, that District Planning Authority shall provide reasons in writing in each case.

(3) A District Planning Authority may revoke a permit to develop or impose additional conditions in respect of a permit already issued.

(4) Where a District Planning Authority makes a decision under subsection (3), the District Planning Authority shall, subject to the receipt of a claim, pay compensation as it may determine to the affected person.

(5) The following activities and any other action, programme or project shall not require prior written approval from a District Planning Authority unless the proposed activity obstructs or interferes with a community right of space:

(a) subsistence farming;

(b) farming in any settlement that comprises a population of not more than five thousand; and

(c) small-scale vegetable and flower gardening.

(6) Despite subsection (1), members of the community may regulate activities specified in that subsection.

94. Enforcement in respect of unauthorised development

(1) Where

(a) a physical development has been carried out without a permit or is being carried out without a permit, or

(b) conditions incorporated in a permit are not complied with, a District Planning Authority shall give written notice in the form that shall be prescribed by Regulations, to the owner of the land to require that owner on or before a date specified in the notice to show cause in writing addressed to the District Planning Authority why the unauthorised physical development should not be prohibited, altered, abated, recovered or demolished.

(2) If the owner of the land fails to show sufficient cause why the development should not be prohibited, altered, abated, removed or demolished, the District Planning Authority may carry out the prohibition, abatement, alteration, removal or demolition and recover any expenses incurred from the owner of the land as if it were a debt due to the District Planning Authority.

(3) A District Planning Authority may issue an enforcement notice that demands the immediate stoppage of work that is being carried out contrary to this Act or the terms of an approved development plan.

(4) A person who fails to comply with a notice to stop work commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than two hundred penalty units and not more than four hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than three months and not more than six months or to both the fine and term of imprisonment and in the case of a continuing offence to an additional fine of not more than four penalty units for each day that the contravention continues, after written notice has been served on the offender.

 

95. Enforcement in respect of execution of district plans

(1) A District Planning Authority may,

(a) prohibit, abate, alter, remove or demolish a physical development that does not conform to an approved District Development Plan;

(b) abate, alter, remove, or demolish a physical development for the implementation of an approved District Development Plan;

(c) prohibit the use of any land or building for a purpose or in a manner that is contrary to an approved District Development Plan; or

(d) execute any work a person is expected to carry out under an approved District Development Plan, where a delay in the execution of the work has occurred and the efficient operation of the approved plan has or will be prejudiced.

(2) A District Planning Authority shall serve notice in the form prescribed by Regulations on the owner of the land in respect of the action the Authority proposes to take.

(3) A notice referred to in subsection (2) shall state the nature of and the grounds upon which the District Planning Authority proposes to take the action.

96. Enforcement against nuisance

(1) A District Planning Authority may serve notice on a person to abate a nuisance within a specified time where substantial injury to the environment, amenity, public health or the economy has been caused by the nuisance or is likely to be caused from the action or inaction of that person.

(2) The notice shall specify the nuisance and the steps required to be taken to abate the nuisance.

(3) If a notice issued by a District Planning Authority is not complied with, that District Planning Authority may carry out the abatement and recover the costs from the person who caused the nuisance or the owner of the land where the nuisance is occurring.

(4) The costs of the District Planning Authority shall be recovered as if they were a debt owed by the person to the District Planning Authority.

97. Enforcement against unauthorised development in respect of community right of space

(1) A District Planning Authority may effect or carry out an instant prohibition, abatement, alteration, removal or demolition of any unauthorised development carried out or being carried out that encroaches or will encroach on a community right of space or that interferes or may interfere with the use of the space.

(2) The action to stop the encroachment on the community right of space shall be without prior notice.

 

98. Claims for compensation

A person

(a) whose property is adversely affected by the commencement of an operation for the execution of an approved development plan, or

(b) who, for the purpose of complying with an approved development plan incurs an expense

(i) by a subsequent revocation or modification of the District Development Plan, or

(ii) by a subsequent revocation or variation of a development permit issued that person by a District Planning Authority, or

(c) who is aggrieved by a decision, action or policy related to an approved District Development Plan or the enforcement of the plan may lodge a claim for redress or compensation with the District Planning Authority within six months after the date of approval of the District Development Plan, or the revocation or variation of a permit or of the taking of the decision or action complained of.

99. Appeals Advisory Committees

(1) A Regional Minister shall appoint an Appeals Advisory Committee that is considered necessary to determine a dispute concerning a District Development Plan.

(2) An Appeals Advisory Committee shall consist of

(a) one lawyer of at least five years standing at the Bar;

(b) one person with expert knowledge of the subject matter of the appeal; and

(c) one person with local knowledge of the subject matter of the appeal.

(3) The convenor of an Appeals Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Regional Minister.

(4) The membership of an Appeals Advisory Committee shall terminate on the determination of an appeal referred to the Committee for advice.

100. Functions of Appeals Advisory Committee

(1) The Appeals Advisory Committee shall advise the Regional Minister on the relief or redress sought or on the amount of compensation payable in respect of an appeal referred to it by the Regional Minister.

(2) A recommendation by the Appeals Advisory Committee for the settlement of a claim or payment of compensation in respect of land and immovable property shall be made in consultation with the Valuation Division of the Lands Commission.

101. Appeals

A person aggrieved by a decision or the action of a District Planning Authority in connection with a District Development Plan, may appeal to the Regional Minister who shall refer the appeal to the Appeals Advisory Committee within one month after receipt of the notice of the decision or action.

102. Recovery of betterment

(1) A District Planning Authority shall recover from a person whose land is increased in value, a determinable percentage of the amount of the increase where that person sells or otherwise disposes of the land.

(2) The determinable percentage shall be payable where the provision of a plan or the execution of public works or a decision or action of a District Planning Authority increases the value of land within the district.

(3) The District Planning Authority shall act on the advice of the Valuation Division of the Lands Commission.

(4) A financial gain on urban land transaction shall be liable to betterment charges.

(5) A sum recoverable under this section may be set off against a claim of compensation.

(6) A District Planning Authority shall utilise a recovered amount under this section for the provision of infrastructure and utility services.

103. Non-conforming land allocations and transactions

(1) An allocation of land shall be null and void if the purpose or use for which the allocation is made is contrary to an approved Development Plan.

(2) A landowner shall not sub-divide or allocate land for use, development or occupation in a town, city or the suburb of a town or city or in an area where there is an approved planning scheme except in consultation with the District Planning Authority or a sub-district acting on behalf of the District Planning Authority.

(3) A person who allocates, transfers, sells or develops land for a use or a purpose that is contrary to an approved development plan, settlement structure plan, action plan or programme, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than two hundred penalty units and not more than four hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than three months and not more than six months or to both the fine and term of imprisonment.

(4) A District Planning Authority may revise an approved Development Plan in order to accommodate a proposed non-conforming allocation if it is satisfied that the accommodation or revision is in the public interest.

Buildings
104. Building by-laws

(1) A District Planning Authority may make building by-laws within the scope of national building requirements provided under an enactment and shall in particular make provision for

(a) the control of the construction of buildings, streets, hoardings, fences and signboards;

(b) the execution of work in relation to existing buildings, structures and streets;

(c) drainage and sanitation;

(d) the removal or abatement of obstructions and nuisance; and

(e) any other matters referred to the District Planning Authority for guidance, as set out in the Fifth Schedule.

(2) The by-laws may be made with respect to the district generally or with respect to a particular area, building or work in the district.

105. National building regulations

The Minister responsible for Works and Housing may, in consultation with the Minister responsible for the Environment, by legislative instrument, prescribe national building regulations to be complied with by a District Planning Authority in the making of a by-law for the district.

106. Building permits and unauthorised buildings

(1) A person shall obtain a building permit from a District Planning Authority before undertaking the construction of a building or other structure or undertaking any other work.

(2) The permit shall contain the conditions that the District Planning Authority considers necessary.

(3) A District Planning Authority may give notice in writing in the form set out in the Sixth Schedule, to an owner, occupier or developer of premises, if the owner, occupier or developer

(a) is constructing a building or other structure;

(b) has constructed a building or other structure; or

(c) is working or executing work without a permit or in contravention of a by-law made by the District Assembly.

(4) The notice shall require

(a) the owner, occupier or developer to show sufficient cause why the building, structure or work should not be removed, altered or demolished on or before the day specified by the District Planning Authority; and

(b) a written response by the owner, occupier, developer or duly authorised agent to be served on the District Planning Authority.

(5) If the owner, occupier or developer fails to show sufficient cause why the building, structure or other work should not be removed, altered or demolished, the District Planning Authority shall by notice order the owner, occupier or developer within one month to remove, alter or demolish the building, structure or other work at a personal cost.

(6) If the owner, occupier or developer fails to comply with the order of the District Planning Authority within the one month, the District Planning Authority may carry out the removal, alteration or demolition and shall be entitled to recover the expense incurred by the District Assembly from the owner, occupier or developer as a debt owed to the District Assembly.

(7) A person who contravenes the terms of a permit, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than two hundred penalty units and not more than four hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than three months and not more than six months or to both the fine and term of imprisonment and in the case of a continuing offence to a fine of not more than four penalty units for each day that the contravention continues after written notice of the contravention has been served on the offender.

107. Signing of plans of special building

(1) A District Assembly shall by by-law specify which buildings plans are required to be prepared by or under a registered architect or engineer or an architectural draughtsman licenced under an enactment and shall specify the types of buildings or special areas of a district for the designed plans.

(2) There shall be no restriction as to the person to design or sign the plan of a single-storey traditional building characteristic of a rural area or part of an urban area.

(3) A person shall not submit the plan of a building which may be required to be submitted under sub-section (1) unless the plan has been prepared by or under the supervision of and signed by a person registered as an architect or an engineer under any enactment in force to a District Planning Authority.

108. Delegation of functions

A District Planning Authority may delegate any of its functions on land use and spatial planning to a Sub-Metropolitan District Council, Urban Council, Zonal Council, Town or Area Council or Unit Committee in writing.

109. Request for information

(1) A District Planning Authority may request a person to furnish it with information required for the performance of its functions within a specified time.

(2) A person who without lawful excuse fails to comply with a request for information or furnishes information that that person knows to be false, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than fifty penalty units and not more than one hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than one month and not more than three months or to both the fine and term of imprisonment.

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