Xai-Xai IDP – IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK
No doubt a degree of consultation and co-ordination takes place already between officials of the different spheres of government and at political level, but perhaps this could be more formal and structured, without creating additional bureaucratic burdens.
6.2.2 Formation of Intergovernmental Development Committee
It is suggested that a formal Standing Committee be constituted to sit regularly (say once a month) to co-ordinate planning and policy issues, but also to receive and evaluate applications/proposals for concessions and development projects. The idea is that instead of proposals going from one department to another in serial, with constant referrals and delays, all the inputs, questions and discussions can happen at one sitting or hearing.
There are at least two options for decision-making:
In the first, the Committee is a technical one, consisting of officials only, who then makes recommendations to a political executive for ratification.
In the second, the Committee itself is constituted of officials and politicians, and takes decisions without further referral.
The Committee may also co-opt stakeholders from the private sector and civil society if it wishes. The processes which such a Committee would be planning, co-ordinating and guiding would include:
Integrated development planning;
Land-use approval and allocation of concessions;
Technical evaluation of project proposals, with recommendations for development controls;
Prioritisation, phasing, programming, and elaboration of infrastructure requirements;
Regulation of tourism and other development and business; and
Elaboration of uniform guidelines for service agreements with developers, conditions of contract and tender procedures for outsourcing, joint ventures and "Build, Operate and Transfer" infrastructure projects. In this, it could be assisted by the Development Agency.
Specific procedures such as issuing of building permits, inspections and approvals, certificates to occupy, registration of provisional and final titles, trading licences, etc. could continue to be administered by the responsible departments, but they would be guided by, and answerable to the Committee on a regular basis.
If it is not possible to get government to agree to decentralise certain decision-making powers which now lie with national departments/ministries, the Committee could at least ensure that properly motivated, screened and evaluated proposals are referred higher up for quick decisions with minimum comebacks and delays.
Another important task of the Committee could be to analyse existing capacities and skills, and identify further training and information needs of officials at all levels.
If the above is considered, it should be done with full cognisance of the potential difficulties such as:
Additional costs of convening such a committee. It is unlikely that local budgets would be able to carry the additional burden, and perhaps central government should be approached for funding. Alternatively a fee could be charged for evaluation of development proposals and applications. (There should be no additional payment to officials and politicians as the activities of the Committee include their regular administrative duties).
So-called "Turf issues" and protocols around power and authority between different levels of government (This is a very difficult one, and probably means that such a