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MIA Ends Regional Consultations in Gbarnga

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As part of its decentralization  approach in developing a comprehensive strategic plan for local government structures nationwide, the Ministry of Internal Affairs with support from the Liberia  Decentralization and Local Development Programm has concluded a one day regional consultation  in Gbarnga, Bong County to support the strategic planning process  of the Ministry.

At the formal opening of the regional consultation, Deputy Internal Affairs for Planning and Research Peter Kemei pointed out that the forum was initiated to draw the inputs of the local leaders in formulating a plan that will reflect a realistic agenda of the Ministry for the next five years.

He indicated, the forum further seeks to involve the participation and giving ownership to local government officials, traditional leaders and civil society organizations in the Ministry’s planning for the purpose of strengthening both the strategy and its institutional sustainability.

The Deputy Internal Affairs Minister further stressed that the strategic plan of the Ministry  is a key instrument to  be used in embarking on physical decentralization, structural roles and responsibility among the various sub-divisions of the ministry  including political  decentralization , coordination and reporting  mechanism to ensure administrative  efficiency .

He exerted  the  strategy  will also help  guard the MIA in the implementation of  plan  which he believes will assist in the  reinforcement of the County Development Agenda( CDA) to bring on board new priority areas employing the bottom  to top approach  to realize measurable  impact in the implementation of its various  programs and plans throughout the country.

Participants at the regional consultation also reviewed the mandate, mission and functions of the Ministry aimed at injecting new ideas and removing those that   are no longer relevant to the existence of the Ministry or not clearly defined.

Key among recommendations advanced by the participants  to be considered by the Ministry in its institutional reform process, were the need to review the Term Of  Reference (TOR) of the Ministry taking to consideration the bottom to top approach which should be climaxed by a national consultative  forum, they also advanced the  budget  planning process of the Ministry should start from the county  level and ends up at the central office .

The third recommendation called for a clear definition of the role a statutory superintendent, district commissioner and traditional council in dealing with local government issues to avoid the overlapping of  functions in the local government structures.

Participants also urged the Ministry of Internal Affairs to come with a clear policy on what constitutes towns and cities. They indicated policy of such will help government in the apportion of resources to undertake development based on deserving need of a particular community. 

The regional consultation in Gbarnga brought together  County Superintendents, selected district commissioners, clan and paramount chiefs from Bong, Lofa, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Bassa, Maryland, Nimba, Rivercess, and  Sinoe Counties.

The MIA regional consultation process is been funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under its Liberia Decentralization and Local Development Programme.

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