Decentralisation

Topics: Local government, Local council, Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England Pages: 16 (4908 words) Published: June 19, 2013
THE SIERRA LEONE CHAPTER OF THEPUBLIC SECTOR MANAGEMENT TRAINING PROGRAMME (CLASS OF 2013)

1. DUGBA NGOMBU12024487
2. MUSA SAIDU12024474
3. SAMUEL SESAY 12024513
4. GIBRILLA JUSU12024494
5. ANTHONY DOMAWA12024476
6. HENRY TALUVA12024496
7. DOROTHY ADEOLA12024486

INTRODUCTION
Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with unicameral parliamentary system (GoSL, 2009). The President is the Head of State, the supreme executive authority of the Republic and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Sierra Leone. He is the Fountain of Honour and Justice and the symbol of national unity and sovereignty. The President is also the guardian of the Constitution and the guarantor of national independence and territorial integrity, and shall ensure respect for treaties and international agreements (GoSL, 1991). Under the constitution (1991), no person shall hold office as President for more than two terms of five years each whether or not the terms are consecutive. The legislature of Sierra Leone, the Parliament consists of the President, the Speaker and Members of Parliament (GoSL, 1991). There are 124 Members of Parliament, 112 of whom are elected by a universal adult suffrage to represent their constituencies. The 12 are Paramount Chief Representatives to Parliament who are voted for by their fellow PCs and the chiefdom councilors, each PC representing a provincial district. The MPs (not as in the case of the president) can exceed more than two, three or four terms of five years each, once s/he is the popular choice of the people. The Members of Parliament (MPs) are not permitted to hold any other public office.

Sierra Leone is divided into three provinces (Eastern, Southern and Northern) and the Western Area (also divided into Western Rural and Western Urban). The three provinces are subdivided 149 chiefdoms. Sierra Leone has 394 wards.

Sierra Leone abolished the elective aspect of local government in 1972 which was a fundamental element of governance during the colonial era. The district councils ceased to operate, while the urban councils continued to operate as local councils under appointed committees of management (GoSL, 2010). Soon after the 2002 presidential and parliamentary elections, the government decided to reintroduce the local government system. This was preceded by the enactment of a local Government Act of 2004 which established the 19 local council. The main aim of the reintroduction of decentralisation in 2004 was to promote good governance and democracy, accountability and transparency, improve service delivery and develop the local economy The present decentralisation process is principled on the concept that semi autonomous entities are better placed to address the immediate needs in their various localities than the central Government. Decentralisation has moved a long way since its introduction in May 2004. (GoSL, 2010)

LEGAL BASIS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone does not make provision for decentralization thus in March 2004, because the government wanted to reintroduce decentralization, the Local Government Act, 2004 (LGA 2004) was approved and enacted into law by Parliament to usher in local councils and decentralisation. “Specifically, the Act aims to consolidate and streamline the law on local government to give effect to decentralisation and devolution of powers, functions and resources. It provides for local elections, the political and administrative set-up of local councils, local council financing and decentralised decision making to ensure good governance, democratic participation and control of decision making by the people” (GoSL, 2010). To give full effect to the provisions of the LGA 2004, statutory instruments were enacted, establishing 19 local councils in 19 localities, and, by the Local Government (Assumption of Functions) Regulations, 2004 (SI No 13 of 2004), providing for the devolution...

Bibliography: BMC. (2013). Bonthe Municipal Council Development Plan. Bonth Island: Kama Printing, Bo.
GoSL. (2004). Local Government Act. Freetown: Government Printing Department.
GoSL. (2010). National Decentralisation Policy. Freetown: Government Printing Press.
GoSL. (2009). The Chieftaincy Act. Freetown: Government Printing Department.
GoSL. (1991). The Constitution of Sierra Leone. Freetown: Government Printing Press.
GoSL. (2009). The Local Government System in Sierra Leone. Freetown: GoSL.
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