Bill to change Country Planning into Authority

A Draft Bill that will change the Town and Country Planning Department into an Authority, to ensure sanity in the country’s planning process, will soon be passed by Parliament.

When passed, the Legislation would replace the 1945 law on spatial planning, and also give some autonomy to the Department.

Mr Kofi Osei, Acting Director of the Department of Town and Country Planning, who announced this in Accra on Thursday, said the National Land Use and Spatial Planning framework when passed into law, would bring a new order to the planning process.

“The new law will be a paradigm shift from the 70 year-old system of planning, to a new order,” Mr Osei said.

Mr Osei said this in a presentation at the on-going New Year School, which began on Monday, January 5, on the theme: “Improving the Performance of the Local Government System in the Era of E-Governance.”

The School is organised by the Department of Adult Education and Human Resource Studies, School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education of the University of Ghana, and sponsored by Airtel Ghana.

The School, which has attracted participants from academia, non-academia and industry, is divided into syndicate groups to discuss topics including; the state of local government reforms and the role of E-government, fiscal decentralization; managing resources through e-governance, social accountability and citizens participation, effective deployment of human resource in decentralization local government system, using e-platform for knowledge and information dissemination.

Mr Osei said the Department had been saddled over the years with a law which made special planning difficult, adding that there exists about 160 other pieces of legislations which impinge on planning in the country.

He said the new spatial planning law would involve the public.

Mr Osei said a public data room would be created to allow access to information on planning, adding that the Department is in the process of instituting a statutory committee in the Assemblies.

He said funding is among the key challenges of the Department, and expressed the hope that the new law will facilitate the posting of planning officers to every district. GNA

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