Decentralization and Financial Management in the Tanzanian Local Government Authorities

Cosmas S. Mbogela, Henry Mollel


Decentralization is the allocation of power between central and lower levels structures of the government. The dimensions and the extent to which powers are transferred from one level to another vary across countries depending on the goal a country wishes to achieve. But one of the common aspects included in the transfer of powers to the lower level structures is financial decentralization. The reason is clear. It makes no sense to transfer power to the lower level structures without finance to execute own decisions.  Transfer of financial powers to lower level structures and creating an alignment that support efficient and effective operation of each structure,  has often been one of the major challenges in the implementation of decentralization model of government. Tanzania has been one of the victims in this situation. In view of various government reports, since independent in 1961, the several attempt tried by the government to transfer powers to the lower level structures led to either little or no success. The adoption of Decentralization by Devolution (D by D) in 2000 could be considered as the government attempt to correct the existed bottlenecks that led to the failure in the previous initiatives to decentralise. This paper attempts to answer the question: ‘is financial decentralisation realised under the DbyD, and what are the factors that contribute or hamper the financial decentralisation? The paper is based on the research findings presented in Mbogela (2009). The report consisted of descriptive presentation on financial matters from four case councils namely: Mbozi District council, Mbeya City council, Mbeya District council and Morogoro Municipal council. The findings from the four cases are presented, examined and compared.

Keywords: Decentralisation by devolution, financial management, Local government authorities.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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