Presentation on theme: "Principles of Local Governance: Covering local governmental legislations and compliance issues IMFO WOMEN IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE CONFERENCE 07/02/13."— Presentation transcript:
Principles of Local Governance: Covering local governmental legislations and compliance issues IMFO WOMEN IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE CONFERENCE 07/02/13
Purpose of the presentation To highlight the following: – What is local governance – Principles of governance as they pertain to Local Government – The importance of these principles as they pertain to Local Government
Introduction Definition: Local governance describes the process of making decisions, allocating funds and delivering services at the local level. It involves actors (e.g. mayors, local councils, NGOs, business associations), formal and informal institutions (e.g. municipal administration, council, but also rules and regulations), and available means (e.g. human resources, money).
Background: Legislation underpinning Local Governance Section 152 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) [Constitution], describes the objectives of local government as follows: – to provide democratic and accountable government for local communities; – to ensure the provision of services to the communities in a sustainable manner; – to promote social and economic development; – to promote a safe and healthy environment; and – to encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in the matters of local government. Local Governance therefore is the process that ensures the fulfilment of the constitution and related legislation.
Background: Legislation underpinning Local Governance Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000, with an amendment in 2003), which established a framework for the operation of municipalities, with guidelines for development planning and service provision (including a partnership-based approach), staffing matters and performance management systems
The role players in Local Governance Before one can address the principles, its important to understand who is responsible for good governance in the Local government sphere. The legislative and executive authority of municipalities is seated in the Municipal Council (headed by the mayor), which consists of elected representatives of political parties as well as the administrative leadership (headed by the MM) within the municipalities. To ensure good governance, the Municipal Council and the administrative leadership should push the agenda of good governance.
The role players in Local Governance The challenge however with the council members in Local government is often that they do not have particular qualifications and requisite skill to be elected into the service of the state. This then requires that municipalities be vigilant and prudent in ensuring that the capacity and skill of councillors is built as they come into office. Furthermore, there is need for performance assessment of the councillors to ensure optimal performance in executing their duties. Furthermore, Section 82 of the Structures Act compels council to appoint the municipal manager has the appropriate skills and experience.
The role players in Local Governance In municipalities, functional internal audit functions and audit committees are also at the centre of ensuring good governance. The audit committee should be external and appointed by council to ensure that they are independent. These governance structures should ensure effective and efficient risk management
The Principles of Governance Public Participation: – Citizens should be at the heart of public activity in clearly defined ways. – All voices should be heard especially of the vulnerable, and they are included in resource allocations. Responsiveness: structures, rules and procedures should be responsive to legitimate needs of citizens Efficiency and effectiveness: – Results match objectives – Resources are optimally utilised
The Principles of Governance Openness and transparency: – Decisions should be taken and enforced in accordance with the law/legislation – There should be access to information by the public Rule of Law: Councils should abide by the law Innovation and openness to change: Councils to embrace new and efficient solutions
The Principles of Governance Ethical conduct: – Public good to be placed before individual interest – There should be effective measures to prevent and combat corruption Competence and capacity: professional skills of those who deliver governance to be continuously strengthened to improve output Sustainability and long-term orientation: Needs of future generations have to be considered in policies.
The Principles of Governance Sound Financial management: – Prudence to be observed in financial management. – Planning and budgeting to be done in consultation with citizens – Risks to be properly estimated and managed – Charges should not exceed the cost of services
The Principles of Governance Human rights and cultural diversity observed: – Human rights should be respected – Access to basic services ensured – Diversity is an asset and should be treated as such Accountability: – Decision makers must take responsibility for decisions made – There should be effective remedies against maladministration
Conclusion Although municipalities have made strides, and much has been achieved since the dawn of our democracy, Governance in municipalities has so far not been as effective as envisaged by legislation. For example, most municipalities failed to produce IDPs that we truly strategic and genuinely premised on meaningful community participation processes. This can be clearly seen by the service delivery protests. This therefore calls for those who have been tasked to deliver governance to go back to the basics and implement these principles without fear or favour After all, these were drawn up by the same implementers