Challenges of Fiscal Desentralization Policy in the Akuapem South District of Ghana
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The Government of Ghana introduced the decentralization concept in 1988 as part of her effort/determination to make local government administration autonomous in Ghana. The main aim of the concept was to make the people at the grassroots part of the decision making process with the view to ensuring total socio-economic transformation of the country. Until then, decentralization was not a new phenomenon in the politics of Ghana, however, it has since 1988, assumed a new dimension. New structures and institutions such as the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), and the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) were established by law. These structures and institutions sought to transfer means, skills, power and competence to the districts. The DACF is believed to be the major innovation under the reform. The fund, which constitutes five percent of the National Income (NI), is disbursed by the central government to the districts through the Office of the Common Fund Administrator. In addition, each DA is required to generate revenues from local sources referred to as Internally Generated Fund (IGF) to supplement the DACF to carry out socioeconomic development of the local areas. It is against this background that, this study was carried out to describe and explain the implementation process of the Fiscal Decentralization Policy in the Akuapem South District of Ghana. The study set out to describe the assumption that inadequate bureaucratic resources, lack of political resources, poor economic and social resource and lack of inter-governmental communication and enforcement agency may impede effective implementation of the fiscal decentralization policy in the district. The Mixed method approach of social science research and a case study approach were used in the study. Interviews and questionnaires were used to solicit data for the study. The research found out among things that the fiscal decentralization policy is underway. However, the ability and capabilities of the DAs implement the policy is affected by various several factors namely bureaucratic resource such as technical, managerial and financial resource; political resource which implies the acceptance by the bureaucrats of the policy; economic and social resource such as the social condition prevailing at the time of the implementation; and the inter-organizational communication and enforcement agencies which refers to the relationship between the policy makers and the implementers. The study concludes that for effective implementation of fiscal decentralization in Ghana there is the need to provide the necessary resources intended for the policy. 2 The study seeks to investigate the implementation of the fiscal decentralization policy in the Akuapem South District of Ghana. It aims to highlight some of the challenges confronting the district in the implementation of the policy and the strategies being employed to meet these challenges.