Regional councils and local authorities are now mandated with the responsibility to budget and plan for the delivery of public services in their respective areas, specifically dealing with capital projects such as revamping and construction of new schools and staff facilities.
This is to assist with the speedy implementation of capital projects as there have been instances of bureaucracy leading to projects taking longer than expected, as all processes were centralised.
The idea of decentralisation was adopted by government as a national policy, with the aim to bring the provision of public services closer to the communities and the end users.
This was shared by the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, at the launch of a five-day decentralisation workshop held in Tsumeb.
The workshop aimed to deliberate on ways to establish the key stakeholders’ perspectives in the education ministry’s intention of transferring the capital budget to the regional councils, and to assess the capacity of the regional councils and their readiness to take on the additional functions and responsibilities from line ministries in general.
The workshop also discussed concerns relating to the practicality of the intervention, as well as the implications for the existing accountability and reporting structures and procedures of bringing the education capital budget under the regional councils.
“The success of the decentralisation process in Namibia will depend on the full cooperation of all stakeholders,” Hanse-Himarwa said. “It is therefore imperative that sub-national governments be assigned to gradually take over budgetary and planning responsibilities for the provision of public services, and eventually to take over the full responsibility for personnel management and human resource development at the regional council and local authority levels.”
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