Support for Local Governance Processes
Title: Support for Local Governance Processes
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Prime Minister’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PMO-RALG)
Overall term: 2007 to 2014
For several years now, the Tanzanian Government has been reforming central areas of governance and pursuing a decentralisation policy. Since the reforms began, it has strengthened the performance capacity of local government and administrative structures. Change processes, however, take time and are subject to many different interests, particularly in the context of transferring responsibilities to the local level. Deficits remain in the acceptance and performance of newly defined roles.
Reasons for this include:
- a shortage of adequately qualified personnel;
- insufficient financial resources of municipalities;
- weak internal control systems to ensure proper budget execution;
- inadequate instruments to enable the population to demand public service provision and accountability;
- insufficient legal safeguards for decentralisation in the constitution and regulatory framework;
Broad sections of the population are unfamiliar with the role of municipalities in a decentralised governance and administration system. Municipalities are still not making sufficient use of the range of opportunities associated with advancing decentralisation to promote local development. Endowing municipalities with the necessary capacities and skills to generate revenues of their own, manage and account for their revenues and ensure the transparency of municipal expenditure continues to be a significant challenge.
The provision of municipal services, the accountability and transparency of municipal budgets and the use of their funds are performed within an increasingly secure legal framework.
The project is aligned with the strategic plan of the Tanzanian reform programme for improving local governance. It supports the decentralisation process
- in improving municipal revenues and budget management;
- in ensuring good local governance processes, including transparent budgets and accountability;
- in harmonising the legal framework.
The programme aims to strengthen the capacities required for implementing reforms in the partner ministry, in its decentralised structures (in the regional administrations) and at the community level.
The municipalities will increase their public revenues by collecting taxes more effectively, particularly the building tax. Pilot communities are introducing a system for the integrated management of their revenues in order to improve municipal finances. In this way they are making the collection and management of diverse revenues more efficient and transparent.
Internal control systems in the municipal and district administrations are being strengthened in order to make budget execution more efficient and compliant with national standards and regulations. To this end the German consulting firm Particip GmbH has been subcontracted to provide on-the-job coaching for partner cities and district administrations as well as in the responsible regional administrations.
The programme is enhancing the transparency of municipal budgets and municipal accountability in district and village communities. Municipalities are working together with civil society organisations to introduce instruments that enable the population to demand public accountability, for example participatory procedures for monitoring the use of public funds.
The regulatory framework is being harmonised through the provision of strategic advisory services for the responsible inter-ministerial working group and by strengthening the capacity of the responsible personnel. Municipalities are being supported in regulating their affairs through local bylaws.
Results achieved so far
Public revenues have been significantly increased in the municipalities supported by the programme. These revenues create greater scope for municipal services and contribute to a fair distribution of the tax burden.
The support provided to the municipal budget system has made budgets and expenditure more transparent and has improved accountability to the population.
Varying degrees of progress have been achieved in harmonising the regulatory framework. A new draft of the law on municipal finances is soon to be adopted by parliament. A proposal for amending the regional administration act has been prepared. It recognises the partners’ stated political will to confer more tasks on the regional administrations within central government in order to free up capacity at ministerial level and to engage them more extensively in such tasks as municipal supervision.