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Wolesi Jirga's decision on IDLG seen as inadequate.

KABUL (PAN): Some analysts view the Wolesi Jirga's call for giving the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) the status of a ministry as an appropriate decision, but said this move alone could not resolve problems at the provincial level.

On Wednesday, the lower house voted overwhelmingly for giving the IDLG the status of a full-fledged ministry, whose head could be summoned for answering parliamentarians' queries on use of funds and corruption.

A number of lawmakers floated the suggestion after the Wolesi Jirga Domestic Security Commission placed a bill regarding the directorate before the house. The measure proposed the IDLG should either be made a separate ministry or merged into the interior ministry.

Under the law, no government organ was exempted from the national assembly's monitoring, but governors had independent after the directorate's creation, political analyst Abdul Sattar Sadat told Pajhwok Afghan News.

There has been little coordination between police chiefs and provincial governors, who were previously appointed by the president through the interior ministry. But now the governors are named through IDLG, a process that has taken a toll on coordination.

He said the IDLG -- whether fused into the Ministry of Interior or made a separate ministry -- would be answerable to the parliament under the law. Once realised, the legislative move would firmly place the directorate under the lower house's watch and have a positive impact on provincial affairs, he added.

But the measure in itself would not be sufficient to forge coordination or eliminate a mismatch of perceptions among senior provincial officials, the analyst pointed out, suggesting the president set store by professional skills and experience in the process of appointing governors and give them more authority.

But Shahla Farid, a teacher at the Kabul University, thought giving IDLG the ministry status would not remove lawmakers' concerns. She said the proposal, if approved by the president, could be translated into action.

Merging the directorate into the interior ministry could yield better results, she opined, because elevating its status to a ministry could not bridge the gap between governors and police chiefs. "What is needed is greater focus on the capability of senior officials."

According to Shahla, governors are working with the cooperation of provincial councils. If the lower house is willing to bring all affairs under its control, then what was the justification for bringing provincial councils into being, she asked.

The provincial councils could not influence governors and other officials, insisted Sadat, who said the Wolesi Jirga could remove the provincial chief executives and force them to introduce reforms through different ministries.

Ex-governor of central Maidan Wardak province, Mohammad Halim Fidaee, saw a political aspect to the parliament's decision. Without giving details, he called the existence of parallel departments a big hurdle to delivery of services.

mm/mud

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Date:Dec 20, 2012
Words:476
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