By Ernest Addo
Startling details emerging out of a research conducted by one of the fast-growing legal brains- DenisLaw in collaboration with Corporate Secretarial and Training Services (CSTS)- revealed that many Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), are operating without valid by-laws.
“While 108 sets of by-laws representing 109 MMDAs were found be gazetted, 3 sets have lost their validity and fallen into desuetude since their geographical areas of jurisdiction have been re-demarcated and ceased to exist in their original form. Thus, only 105 sets of by-laws at the various levels of local governance have been validly passed and are of effective application. By this finding, the study concludes that a total of 154 out of 260 MMDAs representing 59% of the various assemblies in Ghana are operating without legitimate and valid by-laws,” the research disclosed.
It was aimed at examining whether the MMDAs complied with the provision of section 182(4) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936).
The study found that a total of 108 sets of by-laws operated by 109 MMDAs have so far been validated as being in compliance with the publication requirement. This is because, of the number of validated sets of by-laws, one set has been made applicable in two different districts.
The research report, dated May 2022, which was released yesterday and published by sections of the media admonished that the “overall importance of by-laws to the decentralization and local governance of the country calls for a convergence of efforts by the Ministry of Local Governance and Rural Development, MMDAs, Assembly Press and other relevant agencies to secure defaulting assemblies’ compliance with the publication requirement.”
The research brings to question how these 154 are running the affairs of the MMDAs without any valid by-laws and whether any of the MMDCs could be held responsible in the vent that any aggrieved party goes to court.
The Executive Summary of the research read in part that the research, collated data primarily from the Ghana Publishing Company Limited (Assembly Press) as the institution with the sole responsibility to gazette laws in the country. It also examined newspaper publications relating to publication of by-laws. The study also sought the support of a number of MMDAs for validation of the data collected.
Meanwhile, New Crusading GUIDE’s checks at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development yesterday after the research report was released showed that the ministry as been made aware of the DenisLaw findings and is making effort to remedy the situation.
Below is the table of the MMDAs featuring those with valid by-laws and those without any.