On December 6, the Cabinet Secretariat of the Mongolian government, the Mongolian Association of Local Authorities (MALA) and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) held the first Decentralizing Policy – Regional Development Forum to discuss the lack of development and decentralization in independent regions and provinces over the past twenty years.
Participants considered the lack of autonomy and financial power at the local level as the biggest obstacle keeping local officials from providing faster services to residents and carrying out projects for soums, provinces, and the capital.
However, a consensus at the forum voiced the necessity to keep all education, culture, health care, social security, social welfare and insurance, environment, and employment funding responsibilities to central agencies and ministries. In these sectors, local authorities will have to continue to request funds from the government.
Among other scientists and researchers, the forum most notably brought together Parliament member and Head of the State Building Standing Committee N.Enkhbold, Cabinet Secretariat Deputy U.Byambasuren, MP D.Togtokhsuren, and Ulaanbaatar Mayor and MALA Head S.Batbold.
“It’s the perfect time to hold this forum. I believe it’s a very significant measure. I’m confident that conferencing with local authorities and representatives from the KAS will help us to successfully decentralize and strengthen independency of regions and provinces,” S.Batbold stated.
They agreed to deliberate this issue by analyzing responsibility of local authorities, capacity building, and provincial and capital city councils, mayors and associated officials, to provide guidance for projects to be implemented by the government,
Three keynote speakers presented at the forum: the Cabinet Secretariat Deputy U.Byambasuren on “Government Decentralizing Policy and Futures”, Ulaanbaatar Mayor S.Batbold on “Decentralizing – The Foundation to Governing Development”, and Professor Paul Witt from Germany’s University of Public Administration on “Local Management System of Germany”.