King Abdullah on Wednesday ordered an overall evaluation of the decentralisation plan to “enhance the advantages and overcome the obstacles” facing the provincial councils elected under this project, a Royal Court statement said.
During his meeting with the Prime Minister Omar Razzaz and heads of the provincial (aka decentralisation) councils at Al Husseiniya Palace, the King pointed out that the aim of the plan was to ensure greater citizens’ engagement in the developmental decision making process, improve services and distribute the gains of development fairly among regions.
In this context, The King said that the decentralisation impact should be measured on the ground in terms of the level of services provided to citizens, after one year had passed since launching the experience, the statement added.
The King, after listening to the comments of the heads of provincial councils on the key challenges facing their work, urged revisiting the Decentralisation Law in a way that facilitates achieving its envisioned purposes.
The King stressed the need for continuous and direct communication with local communities to entrench the principle of active participation, identify the developmental needs and continue to communicate with concerned state agencies to develop convenient mechanisms of work, the statement added.
The King added that the economic challenge is the biggest for all Jordanians, but efforts are being made to attract investments into governorates, which would improve the economic conditions and job creation rates in these areas.
For his part, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz underlined the importance of rendering the provincial council a “real developmental unit”, noting that the government is keen to organise continuous meetings with the provincial councils to discuss the challenges facing them, the statement said.
Razzaz added that the elections of decentralisation produced leaders from the field capable of creating developmental plans and providing practical solutions, expressing optimism about the decentralisation experience, which, he said, is still in the initial phase.
He also pointed out that the decentralisation law needs to be amended, adding that there are some obstacles related to the implementation of projects in terms of financing and lands acquisition.
The heads of the provincial councils took turn to outline the challenges facing their work and the need to trim and ease bureaucratic procedures that obstruct the developmental decision making process.
They stressed that the provincial councils need more executive jurisdiction and tools to perform their tasks, and they especially need to have their own headquarters and personnel.
They also pointed to the need to expand the role of the councils in attracting investments according to the developmental needs of governorates, taking into consideration the competitive advantages of each.
Royal Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi, Adviser to the King and Director of The King's Office Manar Dabbas, Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Musa Maaytah and Interior Minister Samir Mubaidin attended the meeting.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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