Factors affecting performance of local government in Tanzania: a case study of Tanga Municipal council, 1992-95.

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University of Dar es Salaam
Poor Performance has been a significant feature of local governments in Tanzania since when they were re-introduced in 1983. The study sought to examine factors affecting performance of local government in Tanzania. Three hypotheses guided the study namely: (i) Unreliable flow of resources affects performance of local authorities (ii) Poor staffing contributes to poor performance of local authorities (iii) The performance of local governments varies with the degree and modality of policy makers involvement in the implementation of local government programmes. The performance of local government was found to be influenced by several factors mainly poor staffing, lack of funds and the prevalency of central government interference in local government affairs. In respect of finance, it was found that grants from central government constitute one of the major source of revenue for financing of local government. For capital expenditure, total authorities are experiencing a decrease in grants as there is discrepancy between estimates and approved grants. There was also a discrepancy between the amount of grants approved by the central government and the amount actually released. Furthermore, release of the approved funds did nut accord well with the implementation plans of the council. Thus poor performance was the outcome. The findings indicated also that revenue from own sources was another important source of revenue. Though the actual collections exceeded the budget there is room for collecting more revenue than what was recorded. Council revenue estimates from own source are hardly based on accurate and reliable information. Weaknesses that were identified in respect of revenue collection included peoples reluctancy and inability to pay, competition from central government, embezzlement and theft together with weak revenue base. In respect of staffing the findings suggests that the Tanga Municipal Council is faced with the problem of shortage of qualified staff. In addition even those who are available are not motivated to work hard due to lack of training, delayed promotions, poor wage structure and non adherence to staff performance control measures all of which result in the poor performance of Local authorities in Tanzania. In respect of central government interference in local government affairs, the findings indicated that local authorities are not free from central government interference particularly in areas of finance and manpower. The interference is evidenced in a form of orders, directives and guidelines from the Ministry responsible for local government, parent ministries, and the Local Government Service Commission. The makes it difficult to plan for local development thus poor performance is the outcome. It is recommended that local authority should be granted more powers in decision making so as to make them more autonomous. It is further suggested that, local authorities should build the capacity of its staff, together with creating an attractive non-contributory pension scheme. In addition to that, there should be control of staff performance by linking promotion with performance.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF JS7649.T34M2)
Local government, Municipal government
Mbutta, J. J. (1999). Factors affecting performance of local government in Tanzania: a case study of Tanga Municipal council, 1992-95. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.