The Impact of District Assemblies' Common Fund on the Performance of the District Assemblies: a Case Study of Ejisu-Juaben Municipal Assembly

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This research work is an attempt to investigate and establish the impact of the District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF) on the performance of the DAs in general and the EJMA in particular. The choice of this topic was influenced by the current discussions among the citizens of Ghana on the introduction and utilization of the DACF under Ghana's current decentralization process, its impact on the performance of the DAs and the need to investigate its contributions towards the development of a district and offer suggestions or recommendations for improvement. It has also been widely argued and discussed that the District Assemblies have relaxed in their efforts to collect internally generated funds (IGF) since the introduction of the DACF in 1994 and have heavily depended on the DACF. The need to investigate the extent to which this allegation is true can, therefore, not be overemphasized. Data for the study was collected from both « primary and secondary sources, that is, respectively they are from the field and the offices of the EJMA and the DACFA. As much as practically possible all categories of actors in community development at the local level were involved in the administration of questionnaire, so as to make the findings and conclusions universally accepted. The research revealed the following: • that the EJMA has benefited tremendously from the introduction and utilization of the DACF since its inception in 1994. • that the Assembly has utilized the funds as directed by the MLGRD&E and the DACFA for the benefit of the people in the district. • that there has been positive impact on the development of the districts using EJMA as a case study. • that it may not be wholly true to say that the Districts have in fact relaxed in their local revenue generation using the performance of EJMA in local revenue generation as a case study using the percentage achievement in IGF collection. However, if one critically looks at the credibility of the estimates (i.e looking at whether the estimates were actually realistic) a different conclusion could be made. In fact in the case of EJMA where IGF revenues were actually falling for three consecutive years one could agree with the notion that the EJMA had been relaxing in IGF collections at least for those years. Some challenges in the utilization of the DACF have also been identified in the study, leading to certain recommendations or suggestions, which if adopted and well implemented would improve upon the utilization of the fund at the EJMA in particular and all the Districts in Ghana in general. The challenges identified in the EJMA may not be different from other MMDAs. The recommendations offered in this study can, therefore, be applied in other districts, even though the study was limited to the EJMA.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Finance and Banking, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Executive Master of Business Administration, 2008