This Act provides with respect to local government and selected matters of local development and planning in Ghana. It, among other things, provides for the creation of district assemblies, metropolitan assemblies, district planning authorities, the Local Government Service, the District Assemblies Common Fund, Regional Co-ordinating Councils, and the Inter-Ministerial Co-ordinating Committee on Decentralisation. For purposes of Local governance, the districts in existence immediately before the commencement of this Act shall continue to exist. The President may, by Executive Instrument, create new districts. The Minister shall, by legislative instrument, establish a District Assembly for each district, municipality and metropolis. Functions of district assemblies are defined. The Act also provides for participatory governance at the local level. A District Assembly shall enable the residents and other stakeholders in the district to participate effectively in the activities of the District Assembly and the sub-district structures of the District Assembly. The Inter-Ministerial Co-ordinating Committee is the key national institutional mechanism for the inter-sectoral policy coordination of decentralisation and for the decentralised local governance system.Each District Assembly is hereby established as the planning authority for its area of authority for the purposes of national economic planning. A District Planning Authority may levy a development charge in respect of a permit to carry out a physical development. A person shall not carry out a physical development in a district except with the prior written approval in the form of a written permit issued by the District Planning Authority. A District Planning Authority may issue a permit for physical development with conditions or without conditions. The Act provides for enforcement in respect of unauthorised development.
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