Rabat - The Governing Council is expected to adopt a series of decrees related to the implementation of the Organic Law on regionalization after a meeting held Thursday.
Rabat – The Governing Council is expected to adopt a series of decrees related to the implementation of the Organic Law on regionalization after a meeting held Thursday.
The long-promoted decrees applying four categories of territorial communities were at the heart of the government weekly meeting in Rabat on Thursday, under the presidency of Saad-Eddine El Othmani. This council of government is particularly strategic, as it will see the members of the Executive adopt more than 20 decrees on the realization of advanced regionalization, putting an end to the regional and local deadlock that has prevailed since the September 2015 elections.
The activation of the debate on the implementation of the powers of the elected bodies marks a real turning point in the process of advanced regionalization. Twenty-five decrees on the application of organic laws covering the four categories of territorial communities were thus programmed by the Governing Council held yesterday.
The Administrative Plan of the Advanced Regionalization
The adoption of these decrees will help achieve the heavily anticipated advanced regionalization. Much of the decrees discussed cover the financial management of the regions, which is a problem.
On the regulatory front, the two main issues in implementing the decrees relate to the financing arrangements and the financial balance required by law to avoid slippage. Before adopting the decrees, the government was able to finally turn the page on the prickly question of the criteria for distributing the budget allocated to the regions.
Set by Article 1 of the decree of December 30, 2015, the budget allocation specifications notes that 50 percent of the budget must be equally distributed between regions, 37.5 percent depending on the population and 12.5 percent on the area of the region.
The Council agreed that during this regulatory stage, it is necessary to introduce even more precise rules which will enable the regional councils to acquire the budgetary means conferred on them by the organic law. This will also prepare them for the stage of implementation of the deconcentration charter, which it is said will have a positive influence on regional autonomy.
Application of the 25 Decrees
The members of the Executive discussed the modalities of the granting of financial advances to the regions, prefectures, provinces and municipalities on the part of the State, as well as the methods of reimbursement.
The Council’s agenda also included draft decrees concerning the procedures for depositing money to the General Treasury of the Kingdom (TGR) and the methods for calculating the general results of the region’s budgets.
The attributions to be laid down in the new decrees, examined by the Council of Government, will introduce a system of budgetary transparency that is more akin to legal entities governed by private law. In particular, this will allow for the determination of the data contained in the accounting and financial statements and the manner in which they are published.
The regions will also be given more visibility on all rules governing the modalities of the inclusion of budget balances as well as the definition of the rules for the terms of borrowing.
The State has also decided to put an end to the wait-and-see attitude which prevailed in defining the terms and conditions for the granting of financial advances and their payment, as well as the standards for depositing funds to be deposited with the Treasury.
The Prickly Matter of Governance
The 25 projects submitted to the Governing Body for approval put several safeguards in place for a greater moralization of the actions resulting from the public service tasks of the municipalities and regions.
The new standards refer directly to the problematic issue of governance. Despite of the reforms that have been carried out for the establishment of effective and credible local governance, several constraints remain. These often require the intervention of the supervisory authority, in spite of the disappearance of a priori controls over the actions of elected councils.
In return for the increase in local government revenues resulting from the new decrees, the supervisory bodies will have to strengthen their methods of intervention for the supervision of local and regional expenditure.