Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Local government finance

Resourcing local government remains a central challenge to effective decentralisation. This section has content relating to different models of fiscal decentralisation, options for identifying new sources of local revenue, such as local property tax; and strategies for improving collection and deployment of own-source revenue. It also offers information about improving the borrowing potential of local government, innovative financing models such as municipal bonds, shared services, and public private partnerships.



Review of the commonwealth local government good practice scheme

The final (third) phase of the Commonwealth Local Government three year capacity building programme, the Good Practice Scheme, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) came to an end in late 2011. The programme partnered councils and local government associations from six targeted Commonwealth countries - Jamaica, India, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Ghana - with their counterparts in South Africa, India and the UK with the objective to exchange good practice and generate innovative solutions to challenges faced by local governments. A total of 34 projects were active during the Scheme’s lifetime and contributed successfully to having a positive impact on the ground for local communities. The dissemination of the project activities through national workshops in partnership with national local government associations meant that the successes and lessons were shared with local governments throughout the countries concerned. A new focus of the third phase of the GPS was to promote south-south partnerships: six of these partnerships were set up, three of them being tripartite, two having a northern hemisphere partner, with the remainder, both dual and tripartite, being south-south. Despite partners’ diverse cultural, socio-economic circumstances and administrative practices, this methodology of technical support and exchange of ideas allows partners to share and compare their challenges and reflect on own approaches. The south-south partners, with varying cultural beliefs, learnt that cultural practices should not be ignored in advancing new initiatives: traditional norms and practices are a way of life for the majority of communities especially those in the agricultural, small scale farming sector.

Author: Rachael Duchnowski Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2012

Leading communities: community-led development in England’s small towns: the market towns initiative

The Market Towns Initiative (MTI), a UK community-led development programme, operated throughout rural England from 2000 until 2005/6. It was designed to help local people, with professional support, identify – and then capitalize on – the economic, environmental and social strengths and weaknesses of small country towns. This paper explains the origins and ways of working of the MTI. Examples of the topics explored and participants’ views are given, and conclusions drawn. The opportunity is also taken to explain how interest in the roles of England’s small country towns grew in the years following the Second World War, and how this led to the development of the MTI. Evidence suggests that the programme worked well. It demonstrated that local people have the enthusiasm, skills and knowledge to take a lead in the development of the places in which they live; something which, until local government reforms changed roles and structures, was largely taken for granted.

Author: Gordon Morris Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2012

Rates versus developer contributions as revenue sources for local government

Population expansion in many New South Wales (NSW) local government areas (LGA) has resulted in an increase in demand for local infrastructure and services that has far outstripped sources of local government revenue. This paper looks at two important sources of local government revenue in NSW, municipal rates and Section 94 contributions, as a source of funding increased demand and maintenance of infrastructure. It examines some recent and potentially long-term trends of both these revenues within different economic climates. An analysis and comparison of data over the period from June 2006 through to June 2010 against data collected for the period ending June 1993 forms the basis of this research. The research objective is to compare changes in the relativity of these revenue types and assess their application as a source of local government revenue. Data collected from the Department of Local Government NSW is compared with the findings of an earlier study, conducted by Barnes and Dollery (1996), in determining their relativity. The provision and maintenance of infrastructure by local government is essential for growth in the economy and is a valuable asset to be used by the community. Two types of funding for this infrastructure, among others, is sourced from municipal rates and developer charges levied under Section 94 contributions either by the developer providing the infrastructure, or a contribution towards its funding (Barnes and Dollery 1996).

Author: Kate Koutifaris, Vince Mangioni Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2012

Role of local government in Botswana for effective service delivery: challenges, prospects and lessons

This paper begins with an explanation of the nature of local government in Botswana, its structures, and their functions and accomplishments since independence. It then proceeds to look at the challenges, and considers measures for meeting them. It ends by looking at future prospects and draws some lessons.

Author: Keshav C. Sharma Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2010

Is monitoring implementation the key to preventing repeated workplace corruption?

This paper examines cases of low-level non-compliance in a municipal waste collection services and a state owned railway to identify some of the factors that could be contributing to reoccurring workplace corruption. The analysis suggests that a major factor in repeated workplace corruption is the failure to monitor and implement reforms recommended by investigations and existing organisational integrity systems.

Author: Ray Plibersek Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2010

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