A total of 542 local staff of the Births and Deaths Registry have been transferred to the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) pursuant to provisions in the reviewed Births and Deaths ACT 2020 Act 1027.
A ceremony to symbolically transfer the staff from the Civil Service to the Local Government Service was held in Accra on Wednesday, December 14, 2022.
The Head of Civil Service, Nana Agyekum Dwamena, handed over data of the affected staff to the Head of Local Government Service, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, to demonstrate the commitment of the government to deepen local governance and decentralisation in the country.
The transfer makes the staff the administrative part of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) as provided by the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 2020 (Act 1027) and the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936).
The offices of the Registry at the national and regional levels remain part of the Civil Service.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of MLGDRD, Dan Botwe, said the transfer was necessary to improve the collection and collation of statistics of births and deaths for national development.
He said the new Act, which decentralised the Births and Deaths Registry (BDR), would allow the public to easily register and acquire birth and death certificates at the local level across the country.
He said the Act assigned responsibility of the registration of births and deaths to MMDAs, who in consultation with the Registrar, were required to appoint district registrars and registration officers for the district office of the BDR.
Mr Botwe said a key objective of Act 1027 was to make the district registrar responsible to ensure that all registration officers at post continued the mandate of the Registry.
“It is important to state that this process gives meaning to our decentralisation agenda, particularly the urgent need to devolve functions of central government to ensure accessibility to public services by the citizenry.
“Thus, basic services such as acquisition of birth and death certificates should be easily accessible to the citizenry at the local level,” he said.
M Botwe said the MLGDRD as part of discharging its oversight responsibilities over the BDR facilitated the review and passage of the Act 1027 in October 2020 to ensure a decentralised births and deaths registration in the country.
He said the Registration of Births and Deaths Regulations 2021 (LI2436) was passed on 17th February, 2022 by Parliament to ensure a smooth implementation of Act 1027.
He added that the effective work of the Births and Deaths Registry would augment the work of the National Identification Authority and by extension, the Ghana Statistical Service.
The Registrar of the BDR, Hennrietta Lamptey, said the transfer of the staff would better position the registry to perform its functions and to ensure timely registration of every birth and death occurring in the country.
“As part of the government’s digitalisation agenda, the BDR has successfully enrolled onto Ghana’s digital payment platform. I will entreat assemblies to collaborate with their respective registrars to promote transparency and accountability.”
“We are confident that this great institutional arrangement will enhance capacity to attain universal birth and death registration and address the growing demands of the Registry,” she said.
She thanked the MLGDRD for supporting the registry’s recent relocation to the new office at the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana House.