Restructuring the Government, Required Visions
State governments collectively resigned one after another in implementation of the decisions of the Ministry of Finance and National Economy regarding diminishing governmental spending through restructuring the government on the federal and state levels.
In the wake of the decision to diminish executive and legislative bodies by a percentage of 45-50% passed by the parliament, Al-Khidir, Governor of Khartoum state, commenced the process by dissolving the state government, members of the Northern state government also presented their resignation letters to Fathi Khalil, Governor of the state, and the same took place in River Nile state. Governor of Sinnar State Ahmed Abbas formed a new government according to the requirements of this particular juncture.
In the meantime, press releases suggested that the Darfur states, Blue Nile state, and South Kordofan state were exempted from these measures.
This poses a question: Are the measures taken in the states capable of bridging the gap in the budget and balancing the commercial exchange scale? Another question also presents itself: What exactly must be done on the state level concerning the implementation of the previously mentioned restructuring decisions to accommodate the economic circumstances the country is going through?
Many of the experts monitoring the economic reforms think that the states need a clear vision as to how to implement the decisions regarding the reduction of the number of the constitutional post holders, especially in light of the fact that huge amounts of money are spent on mayors, ministers, and consultants. Mohammed Adam from Darfur thinks that the state government must only consist of the governor and three ministers, while employing the help of the general managers of ministries to run things until the country weathers the current economic storm. Adam added: "The post of mayor in localities must be canceled and the duties of the post must be assigned to the executive managers of the localities who do not need opulent cars or lots of money to run their tasks, besides they are in possession of sophisticated experience regarding the affairs of localities and rural areas."
Criticism and notes were shot at the administrative system on the state level. The Supreme Decentralized Governance Council in its 2011 cycle presented notes and evaluated the aforementioned system. State governors attended while some of the participants put forward suggestions to replace the mayor position with "head of province" position.
Speaking at the same conference, the former governor of South Darfur state Abdulhamid Musa Kasha said: "The legislative councils of localities must be canceled and replaced by a number of 7 people the mayor can depend on as consultants as a way of reducing government spending, he also suggested that the 30 localities in his state must be merged into only 9."
A number of columnists and analysts think that should centralism be returned instead of decentralism, it would represent a decisive solution for the problem of sprawling government body, a body that impacts the federal and state governments' budgets negatively.
The latest decisions state that governors must consult with the federal government before the addition of new localities. Experts think that the states have added new localities for political reasons in the past regardless of the necessary standards taken into consideration in such cases, such as the income of the locality, number of citizens, productivity, and covering the first chapter of the budget regarding the salaries of the employees in these localities.
The steps taken by states are considered a good start, but keeping the position of "mayor" and not replacing ministers by general and executive ministry managers made most citizens doubt the seriousness and credibility of the government in applying these changes to sail safely through the current crisis.
By Mohamed Abdallah, 30/06/2012