- Ms Word Format
- 76 Pages
- ₦3000 |5000 CFA/Frs
- 1-5 Chapters
MIX OF SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS AND THE EFFICIENT AND TRANSPARENT PROVISION OF SERVICES IN KUMBA COUNCILS IN THE SOUTH WEST REGION OF CAMEROON.
The provision of services of good quality and quantity is vital to improve and sustain human life and living standards of the population of any community in Cameroon in general and Kumba councils in particular. This service ranges from health, education, sports sanitation, electricity, drinking water, toilets to roads. Generally, the type of public goods and services and the way services are delivered by local government are frequently changing in the context of delivery. The Changes come from technological innovations, scientific innovations, availability of resources and changes emerging both internally and externally, though several attempt has been made to enhance service delivery of local government. The creation of city councils to ease service delivery in the municipality, creation of the ministry of public contract, putting in place a contract board through continuous technical and financial assistance in the Kumba councils. Despite this measures, service delivery in the Kumba municipalities have not improved. Thus the main objective is to examine the extent to which a mix of service delivery systems result efficiently in the provision of services by local government, in most cases the local people were socially excluded. a reason being that, the central government impose to the local government and also the local government lack resources to fully carry out their duties of service provision. A hybrid of qualitative and quantitative approaches was employed and a descriptive design adopted for the study, constituting inhabitants and mayors of the three councils were selected using a sampling technique. Primary data was then collected from these participants using a questionnaire and interviews. Though several attempts have been made to enhance service delivery of local government through continuous technical and financial assistance, it is realised that in most cases, the local people where totally excluded from getting public services due to a number of factors ranging from political interference, corruption lack of competition, poor public private partnership, inadequate financial resources. Therefore, this also focuses on how councils will overcome these obstacles of service delivery. The major findings of this study is that, local government service in the Kumba municipalities implemented several strategies and innovations as developing partnerships with the private sectors and also enhance the public partnership in the service delivery process, but still failed to ensure accountability, efficiency and transparency in service delivery. It is realised that, some of hindrances to the realisation of accountability, efficiency and transparency of local government service provision is that, the councils lack autonomy to bring about a level of efficiency and accountability in their management and provision of services. this includes shortage of competence human resources, political interference, unclear power and functions to provide services, inadequate financial resources and unqualified staffs? The key recommendations is that local governments in Cameroon need adequate autonomy that can assist them to be efficient in service delivery.
1.1 Background to the Study
This section comprises service delivery in the Kumba councils through a separate local government body or enterprise with delivery by the local government itself (Kitchen, 2001). In a bit to ease the provision of services, thereby reducing the concentration of power. The Kumba councils where created in 2007. Decree no 2007/177 of 24th April 2007 creating sub divisional councils. local government services can be delivered in many ways and different methods. Alternatives ranges from complete public provision to complete private provision, or a mix of these two, including public private partnerships
Local or municipal governments are directly responsible for a range of public services. Local streets, roads, street lighting, fire and police protection, and neighborhood parks are almost always funded from local taxes, grants from senior governments, and other locally generated revenues. In many countries, local or municipal governments are also responsible for service delivery for which they charge user fees or prices – water, recreation, public transit, and so on. For all municipal services, local government staff and personnel generally share accounting, auditing, and legal services, municipal employees, and capital equipment. As for governance, local councils are responsible for making policy decisions for all services, including the trade-off between spending on one service rather than another.
The universe of what constitutes a local business enterprise covers a wide range. There is no single and uniform definition, but it is generally the case that each body or enterprise is responsible for the provision of a marketable good(s) or service(s)—one that has characteristics of a private good and for which a fee or price per unit can be charged. This explains, at least in part, why electricity, water, and public transit are often (but not always) the responsibility of local government enterprises or special-purpose bodies, and why local streets and roads, street lighting, sidewalks, fire protection, and neighborhood parks – services that have characteristics of public goods and for which specific fees or charges per unit cannot be imposed – are the responsibility of local governments themselves.
Each enterprise generally operates as a separate functioning business entity – sometimes independent of the locally elected council and sometimes under some kind of governing control or affiliation with the locally elected council. Each tends to be responsible for only one service (water or electricity or sewer and so on). Usually, each body has its own independent or quasi- independent (from the local council) governing body that is responsible for all policies affecting the enterprise. Each has its own accounting and financial system, frequently has its own work force and capital equipment, and is responsible for monitoring and reporting on its own activities.
Looking at the constitutional revision of 18th January 1996 constitution, constitutes a major decisive turning point in the decentralisation process of Cameroon. The constitution instituted the second category of regional and local authorities known as the regions. In a bid to implement these constitutional reforms, three important laws were passed in 2004. These laws are: law No 2004/17 of 22nd July 2004 on the orientation of decentralisation, law No 2004/18 of 22nd July 2004 laying down rules applicable to regions. With the promulgation of these laws, there was a need to enhance their harmonious implementation. It is in this light that the ministry of territorial Administration and decentralization conducted all to ease local government in their provision of services. various studies with the administration of taxes by local Authorities being part of the study, this study led to the passing of law No.2009/11 of July 2009/19 of 15 December 2009 0n the Local Fiscal System.
In New Zealand, North America, and Europe, local government enterprises are responsible for relatively few local services. Furthermore, almost all of them are provided in an environment where there are generally no alternatives or no competitors. These services often include one or more of the following: electricity, telephone, water and sewers, municipal airports, and social housing. In other countries, by contrast, local government enterprises are responsible for many more services. A number of them may compete with the private sector. For example, subnational governments in the Russian Federation have long looked to state enterprises to finance many essential services. In 1992, it was estimated that 40 percent of subnational budgetary outlays in Russia came from enterprise contributions (Martinez-Vasquez 1994). In most one-company towns, the percentage was much higher, some- times reaching almost 100 percent. At the subnational level in Russia, for example, revenues from local enterprises are important because they help finance basic services that might not be funded if left to the local tax base (Bahl and Wallich 1995). A similar important revenue-generating role for local government enterprises has been reported for Colombia (Bird 1984).
Local government enterprises may be separated into those that operate in an environment where there are no competitors and those that openly compete with the private sector. For the former, there is only one supplier – a public sector monopolist. Water and sewers in a municipality, for example, are the responsibility of one agency – a separate utility or business enterprise, sometimes under the direct governance of the municipality and sometimes under the governance structure of a special-purpose board or commission that tends to have features and characteristics similar to those of a separate business entity. Similarly, electricity is the responsibility of one agency, as is public transit, and so on. Furthermore, services with high infrastructure costs such as water, sewers, and electricity have characteristics of a natural monopolist. A natural monopolist is often depicted by local utility services (water, sewers, and natural gas, where it is a municipal responsibility). Their predominant characteristic for analytical purposes here is that they exhibit decreasing per unit costs over the entire range of output (economies of scale). Others, such as public transit, may not benefit from economies of scale over their entire output (not a natural monopolist) but are, nevertheless, provided in a protected setting. In short, there is no competition for many of these services (electricity, water, and sewers) and limited and indirect competition for others (cars competing with public transit, for instance).
For publicly provided goods or services that compete with the private sector, there is the question of whether the public sector should be involved at all. In response, there is no solid economic rationale for public sector provision, although such provision has been defended on the basis of generating revenue for the local government. Examples include public sector involvement in bakeries, paint shops, flower shops, sports clubs, mushroom growing, and handicraft businesses in Russia (Kurlyandskaya, Nikolayenko, and Golovanova 2001).
In Cameroon, attempts to monitor the efficiency of local government structures in the provision of services only gained prominence from June 2000 when the report on a national programme to monitor the gradual implementation of the reform to decentralise institution in order to promote democracy and grassroots development was presented (Ewumbue-Mnono 2001). Report highlighted the need to decentralised units. Devolve powers to local entities and the need for effective transfer of powers. From this report, a national policy on decentralisation was adopted in 2000. The extent to which these policy documents, coupled with local government performance, measurement tools have helped improve the performance of councils in Cameroon in service provision is what this study intends to investigate. The essence is that, national document and policy statements have all called for the transfer of more financial resources to councils, for these councils to manage these resources. It is believed that an increase in finance, will eventually results to efficiency and improved council’s performance in service provision. But the drives of council performance, go beyond finance. That is to say an increase in finance may necessarily lead to an increase service provision by councils. It is on the basis of this that the current research seeks to investigate the extent to which a Mix of service delivery systems results to accountability, efficiency and transparency of the KUMBA councils. Meme division South west region
1.2 Statement of Problem
A variety of arguments have been advanced in defense of using a mix of service delivery system for the provision of services in Local and National Governments in Cameroon
First, in some countries or some provinces, states, or regions within countries, legislated requirements stipulate that specific services must be the responsibility of a separate body or enterprise, generally under a governing structure called a commission, board, or utility. This is the case for municipal electricity distribution in Ontario, Canada, where all policy decisions are made by either a private corporation or a municipally appointed board of directors operating at arm’s length and independently of the local council.
Second, where local governments are free to choose their governing structures for the provision of local goods and services, tradition often plays a role in relying on separate enterprises; that is, it has always been done that way and there is no reason to change.
Thirdly, Looking at the Cameroon constitution of January 18th 1996 article 55 (2) which states that the regional and local authorities shall have administrative and financial autonomy and shall be freely administered by elected councils, but the problem is thus the local government have autonomy because according to article 58(1) (2) which states that a government delegate appointed by the president shall represent the state in regions, they shall be responsible for national interest, administrative control, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations as well as maintaining law and order. They shall under the authority of the government supervise and coordinate state services in the region. They shall exercise the supervisory authority of the state over regions (Finken 1996) argues that all the resolutions of the council must be approved by the supervisory authorities before they are enforceable. The supervisory powers of the central government agencies over councils are considered so strange to the council efforts in providing essential services to local communities. (Ahmad 2005) sited a number of obstacles including the lack of capacities in some national levels of government to exercise responsibility of public services. Limited ability to manage public finances and proper accountability
This efficiency is achieved within the local public sector when all service responsibilities are organized and allocated so that society gets the greatest possible gain from the use of all resources (inputs) at its disposal. In other words, if reliance on local government enterprises leads to the use of fewer resources than would be required if the same service were provided directly by local government, then it would be more efficient to provide the service by a local enterprise because society would be better off collectively. Economic efficiency is more than technical efficiency – the latter is a necessary but not sufficient condition for economic efficiency. Technical efficiency exists when a producing unit (firm, government, commission) operates in such a way that it is not possible to secure any additional output given the available inputs (labour, material, and capital) and level of technology. In other words, technical efficiency is achieved when the output per unit of input is maximized or the cost per unit of output is minimized. This, it should be noted, is not concerned with whether one good or service generates more or fewer net benefits than another good or service. It simply concentrates on the efficient employment of inputs in the production of a specific good or service
In the provision of local public sector services, accountability is achieved when the customer or taxpayer is able to identify who is responsible for what and is able to link the governing unit responsible for the service directly to its funding. But in the case of Kumba, the is alote of political influence as the centeral government suppress the local government services with the creation of the city councils. Thereby making the service delivery process very complex. Also, there is only one governing unit, taxpayers know who is responsible for what and who to contact if they wish to have an impact on decision making. Where there are a number of local governing units responsible for a diverse range of services, customers or taxpayers may become confused as in the case of Kumba where the mayors and the government delegate have similar functions and not knowing who is responsible for what and how to have an impact on decision makers.
Consequently, as scholars of Public Administration, it becomes compelling to assess the extent to which the mix of service delivery system can be adopted in the provision of service delivery to local communities. Also, the extent to which decentralization provide efficient service delivery
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study comprise the main and specific objectives.
1.3.1 Main Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study is to establish the relationship between a mix of Service Delivery Systems and the Efficient and transparent provision of services in Kumba Councils in the South West Region of Cameroon.
1.3.2 Specific Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of the study are to:
- Assess the link between the establishment and management of local/municipal government enterprises and the provision of services in Kumba Councils;
- Examine the influence of the implementation of the Public-Private Partnerships on the Provision of Services in Kumba Councils; and
- Evaluate the extent to which the engagement of Non-Profit organizations for Service Delivery relates to the Efficient Provision of Services in Kumba councils.
MIX OF SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS AND THE EFFICIENT AND TRANSPARENT PROVISION OF SERVICES IN KUMBA COUNCILS IN THE SOUTH WEST REGION OF CAMEROON.