Local Government Minister outlines areas of focus for Local Authorities

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie has emphasized that revenue collection will be one of the main areas of focus of the Ministry, in its drive to assist Local Authorities to finance a greater proportion of their operations and service delivery responsibilities.
At a special introductory meeting today, involving senior officials of the Ministry and the Secretary Managers of the Local Authorities at the Ministry’s corporate headquarters, Minister McKenzie expressed his desire to see improved compliance with the existing regime of fees and taxes. “This government is driven by the need to create economic growth, and Local Government will have a critical contribution to make to national growth and development. We can enhance and significantly improve the quality and extent of the services we provide to our citizens, without being a drain on central government, if we collect outstanding fees and taxes”.

The Minister identified Market rehabilitation, the establishment of an efficient network of streetlights, the improvement of Infirmaries and public cemeteries as important areas for enhanced service delivery.
“People expect us to deliver more and better local services, while at the same time ensuring that we do not fall afoul of the laws relating to the functioning of Local Government. This is a time when our Local Authorities will have to demonstrate their operational efficiency, in this new dispensation of governance.”

In this regard, the Minister noted that a series of meetings will also be held with Mayors, sitting and aspiring Councillors, to fully educate them about the provisions and implications of the recently passed Three Strategic Laws for the reform of Local Government. These are the Financing and Financial Management Act, the Local Governance Act and the Unified Service and Employment Act.