Fiscal Decentralization: Re-centralization by Other Means?
Finance is a major terrain in which stakeholders compete and collaborate. Fiscal decentralization affects the prospects of partnership formations among often contending stakeholders. Uganda has used a phased approach in fiscal decentralization. In FY 1993/94 a first group of 13 districts were allowed to make certain decisions on tax collection and revenue allocations. In FY 1994/95, a second group of another 13 districts followed, and then a third batch of 13 districts in FY 1995/96. During this initial phase, an experiment was made to share revenues among different levels of local governments. The earlier experiences assisted the formulation of the Constitution, 1995, that provides three forms of central government transfers to local governments. First, unconditional grants are provided for discretionary use by local authorities. Second, conditional grants are funds already earmarked for specific activities by the central government. The third form is equalization grants for districts, which cannot provide public services up to national standards. In FY 1997/98, all districts were financially decentralized in terms of recurrent expenditures. In the meantime, the Local Governments Act, 1997, clearly provided the policy framework of decentralization. Local Governments Financial and Accounting Regulations, 1998, offered detailed guidelines for managing revues and expenditures. The LC 3 (sub-county) is now in charge of local tax collection, which is shared with other levels of local government.
KeywordsLocal Government Local Authority Central Government Fiscal Decentralization Grassroots Level
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