THE DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL COUNCIL DEVELOPMENT
The Department of Local Council’s Development is one of the core departments in the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG). It was created under the post Constitutional Restructuring of the MoLG prepared by the Ministry of Public Service in 1998 (Restructuring Report: 1998).
The department is currently manned by seven Officers namely;
Commissioner – Swizin Mugyema
Assistant Commissioner – Robert Nashiero
Principal Research Officers (Legal) – Stella Aguti, Rashid Biruma
Principal Research and Development Officers – Deo Waiswa, Geoffrey Ntaro
Senior Research and Development Officer – Gerald Nuwagaba
Senior Research Officer (Legal) – Elias Mutumba
Research and Development Officer – Kenneth Lujja, Sadat Molocho
Florence Ntegyereize – Stenographer Secretary
Karim Matende – Driver
Kayongo Shaban – Driver
Milly Nyakyo – Office Attendant
The mission of the Ministry of Local Government is “to coordinate and support Local Governments for sustainable, efficient and effective service delivery in a decentralized system”.
In line with the above mission, the department of Local Councils Development is mandated “to build and sustain the necessary capacity of the Local Councils and Administrative Units to enable them perform efficiently and effectively”. The capacities to be built are both for elected and appointed officials of the Local Councils right from Village to District Council levels.
The Department in addition to the above, deals with all issues relating to Local Councils in liaison with other departments within the Ministry, line Ministries, Non-Governmental Organizations and Development Partners.
7.2 FUNCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT
In order to fulfill its Mandate, the Department performs the following functions:
- Holding sensitization workshops aimed at overall development of elected and appointed Local Government officials. This is aimed at facilitating effective and efficient implementation of the decentralization policy;
- Continuous induction of councilors at all Local Government Levels. This helps to increase knowledge in areas crucial to the operations of the Local Councils System;
- Providing Technical guidance, advice and counseling to Local Governments from time to time;
- Research and data collection on performance of Local Governments to help in development of systems, structures, policies and guidelines for LGs and set operational standards for LGs;
- In liaison with Attorney General’s office, advise on interpretation of laws relating to Local Governments and harmonize the Local Government laws with the Constitution and other Laws;
- Advocate for interests of Local Governments at National Fora in liaison with the Permanent Secretary (PS);
- Advising the Minister, PS and Directors (DLGA, DLGI) on matters of Local Councils and preparing cabinet memos on Local Government Council Matters;
- Training and mentoring Local Governments and lower councils as well as monitoring their performance to ensure compliance with relevant laws i.e. LGA, Constitution 1995 etc;
- Study and advise the Minister, PS and Directors (DLGA and DLGI) on creation of new Local Governments and administrative units as provided for in the law;
- Development of Manuals, guidelines and publications for Local Governments and enhancing awareness among the populace on matters of good governance and LG issues as well as the decentralization policy;
- Coordination, promotion and provision of institutional linkages between government Ministries, International and National NGOs and the public in liaison with other departments;
- Build capacity of Local Council Courts (LCCs) officials in administration of justice at all levels where these courts are established i.e. Village, Parish, Sub-County, Town Council, Division levels;
- Support other Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) fulfill their mandates.
7.3ACHIEVEMENTS AND ONGOING ACTIVITIES
7.3.1 Induction of Councilors
The department coordinated the induction of councilors exercise in 2018-19. The exercise consisted of six main activities including: Revision and Printing of trainer’s manuals, orientation of facilitators, monitoring and recording of experiences during the induction exercise, induction/training of district councilors, induction/training of sub-county councilors and supervision of the whole exercise.
The overall aim was to facilitate the process of enhancing good governance and systems under decentralization. It was envisaged that this would be achieved through orientation, induction and follow up training based on the lessons learnt as well as providing guides and reference materials to local councils to improve the councilors’ efficiency and effectiveness in the execution of their duties and responsibilities.
The target groups for this training were the councilors of higher and lower local governments, and technical heads of departments in the districts.
This exercise was successfully implemented and it enhanced the understanding of the decentralization policy among local government leaders and has contributed to reduced friction and conflicts between elected and appointed leaders.
- Creation of Administrative Units and Local Governments
The main objective of this activity is to ensure that Local Governments and administrative units are created within the requirements of the law and are administratively viable.
The Ministry undertook technical feasibility studies for 23 new Districts of Kasanda, Bugweri, Namisindwa, Butebo, Bunyangabu, Kapelebyong, Kyotera, Pakwach, Nabilatuk, Omoro, Kitagwenda, Kakumiro, Kagadi, Rukiga, Rubanda, Kyadondo, Rwampara, Kazo, Kikuube, Kwania, Obongi, Madi-okollo and Kihiihi.
The recommendations were cleared by Cabinet and laid before Parliament for consideration.
Today these have all been operationalized and functional
As of today, there are still demands from a number of corners for creation of more administrative units.
7.5 Conflicts between appointed and elected LG Officials Resolved
The objective is to harmonize relations between appointed and elected local government officials.
In this respect, the department undertakes conflict resolution measures with local Government officials and offers guidance to amicably resolve conflicts. Conflict resolution is an on-going process and the department intervenes as and when a conflict arises in a Local Government. For instance, conflicts have been resolved in the districts of Mpigi, Bushenyi, Kyenjojo, Masaka, Mbale, Manafwa, Luwero, Nakaseke, Yumbe, Hoima, Arua, Busia, Apac, Pallisa, Kalungu, Ntungamo, Moyo, Masindi, Tororo and Busia.
These conflicts range from conflict in roles and responsibilities; resources and border disputes.
7.6 Amendment of LGA CAP 243
The Ministry reviewed and proposed amendments to the LGA for purposes of harmonization with other laws and keeping up to date with the changing socio-economic and political environment in the country. A report on the proposed amendments with the principles has been prepared.
7.7 Strengthening capacity of Local Councils to administer justice
The main objective is to enhance the capacity of Local Council courts officials to administer justice in faster, efficient and just manner. The Ministry and department in particular trains Sub-County Chiefs, Town Clerks, Chairpersons and other court members on Local Administration of Justice and in Planning and Budgeting for Local Council Courts at all levels.
With support from the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) the Ministry has established Desk Officers across the country, developed a Local Court reference materials like the register, handbook and IEC materials.
7.8 Technical Support to LGs
The main objective is to ensure compliance with laws and other Local Governments guidelines governing the performance of Local Governments. A number of Local Governments have for instance been offered technical guidance in the following areas;
- Manafwa and Nakaseke districts were assisted in establishing the location of District Headquarters.
- Revised council rules of procedure with the institute of parliamentary studies.
- Busia, Koboko and Wakiso were assisted in capacity building and ethical adherence on procurement laws and procedure.
- Routine Inspections on Compliance to LG Laws, Regulations, Procedures and Guidelines by LG Councils.
The main objective is to ensure compliance with laws and regulations and to ensure that necessary support is given to Local Governments for maintenance of standards and productive council deliberations.
7.10 Ordinances and Byelaws for LGs Processed
This activity is conducted to support Local Governments in making laws that are in conformity with the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, Local Governments Act Cap 243 as amended and other laws.
These ordinances and byelaws are processed once submitted by the respective LG.
7.11 Linkages of LCD with other Departments in the Ministry
There are six core departments in the Ministry of Local Government and these are; Finance and Administration, Local Government Administration, Local Government Inspection, District Administration, District Inspection, Urban Administration, Urban Inspection and Local Councils Development and the Projects.
The department participated in activities jointly with other departments in cross cutting activities such as support supervision, compliance inspections and in dissemination of information to Local Governments.
7.12 PLANNED ACTIVITIES
|Activity / Events||Status as at today|
|Procuring of stamps for village and parish councils.||Procurement in advanced stages|
|Training Councilors and civil servants in skills requested/identified.||Continuous activity|
|Conflict resolution between appointed and elected LG officials.||Continuous activity|
|Production of reference and training materials for LG’s and IEC materials for LC Courts.||Continuous activity|
|Revision, printing and dissemination of Standard Rules of Procedure||Revised with support from the Institute of Parliamentary Studies, pending dissemination to all LGs|
|Strengthening the Capacity of Local Council Courts to administer justice||Continuous activity|
|Offering Technical support to local governments.||Continuous activity|
|Routine inspections on compliance to LG laws, regulations, procedures and guidelines by LG councils.||Continuous activity|
|Processing Ordinances and bye-laws for LGs.||Continuous activity|
|Induction of councilors 2019||Completed|