17 October 2007
Finance is a critical factor in determining effective performance of local governments
Senior local government officials, policy-makers and members of sub-national governments will meet in Birmingham, UK, to discuss finance, local taxation and the management of municipal budgets.
The Third Commonwealth Executive Programme on Finance for Sub-national and Local Governments will take place at the University of Birmingham from 22 to 26 October 2007. The workshop will explore themes such as enhancing local revenue sources, property taxation, intergovernmental fiscal transfers and alternative forms of service delivery including partnership, competition and contracting out.
Jacqueline Wilson, Director of the Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD) at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said: “This is our flagship programme held every year. The key thrust of the programme is to enhance the capability of local governments to mobilise local financial resources and to use those resources effectively and efficiently. It also helps local government officials understand that there are ways of devising alternative forms of service delivery and of bringing in private sector monies and expertise, but these collaborations need to be institutionalised.”
Speaking on the relevance of the programme, Adviser on Public Sector Management John Wilkins stated: “With the decentralisation of powers to local government also comes a huge responsibility. We assist these governments with up-to-date financial management techniques and tools.”
“This time we are expecting more than 30 officials from all regions of the Commonwealth to attend this workshop, which is supported by the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation,” said Dr Munawwar Alam, GIDD’s thematic lead on the programme.
Mike Chisoni Kacherem from the National Local Government Finance Committee at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in Malawi commented: “We are looking forward to the many concepts we will discuss. Sharing best practices and upgrading our skills and knowledge are especially essential.”