On August 30-31, in cooperation with the High Commission for Coordination between Provinces Secretariat (HCCPSEC), GSP/Taqadum held a workshop on the Technical Relationships between Ministry of Health and Provinces, and the Transfer of Functions to Directorates that resulted in the following:
MOH officials recommended the following:
Urging participants to execute the law, decentralize, and enable the provinces to exercise their functions accordingly, Council of Representatives (COR) Regions and Provinces Committee member, Mr. Salim Al-Musallamawi said, “The transferring of the functions to the provincial level builds the capacity of the federal government to make good decisions and the provinces to serve citizens better. The Iraqi Council of Representatives strongly supports the transfer of functions and authorities. Achieving legislative consistency in the administrative decentralization execution stage in accordance with Constitution is among its priorities.”
According to Baghdad PC Chair, Dr. Riyadh Al-Adhadh, Governors should devolve the authorities to the Health Directors, and the functions and authorities transferred to provinces should regularly be evaluated based on service-delivery work progress and achievement indicators. Highlighting that all hardships endured by Iraq stem from the ministerial concentration of power and their reluctance to give the provinces a role, he said there is a need for the federal government to involve the provinces in ministerial budgeting discussions and stressed the necessity of conducting regular workshops and meetings with the Ministry of Health.
On September 25-26, GSP/Taqadum held a Monitoring, Oversight, and Accountability Framework Development workshop for 14 ministerial and provincial representatives that, after lively discussions on accountability mechanisms for implementing ministerial policies and monitoring provincial execution, resulted in participants agreeing on the following accountability policies:
After a presentation by GSP/Taqadum Senior Specialist (Legal), Mr. Ahmed Sinjari, on the current framework of accountability relations in Iraq, GSP/Taqadum International Public Administration Adviser, Mr. Murat Daoudov, reviewed best practices in accountability and suggested the use of “performance agreements” between the ministries and provinces. Participants strongly agreed on the necessity to study this as a possible tool to be added to the framework to improve accountability relations.
In a closing statement to participants, GSP/Taqadum Chief of Party, Mr. Cameron Berkuti, stressed, “The PCs, Governors, and executive directorates should coordinate before promulgating any legislation or issuing any local decision. The decentralization and accountability experiments of any country cannot be replicated in Iraq. Instead, decentralization and accountability should be adapted to Iraq’s situation and laws.”
Acknowledging how GSP/Taqadum’s workshops have enhanced his understanding of decentralization in Iraq, Diyala PC Secretary, Mr. Kheder Al-Obeidi, said, “Because I have participated in its workshops, attended more than 11 Council of Ministers’ Secretariat meetings on behalf of Diyala PC Chair, and I am an active advocate for decentralization, GSP/Taqadum nominated me for a US-sponsored leadership program. This increased my knowledge of decentralization exponentially.”