DAMASCUS, (SANA) – President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday issued Legislative Decree No. 107 for 2011 on the local administration law.
The Decree outlines the local administration law and its definitions and goals, defining such concepts as administrative units, councils, executive offices, local plans and local authorities, among others.
The law has five goals. The first goal is applying decentralization of authorities and responsibilities and placing them in the hands of the people to achieve democracy, while the second goal is establishing administrative units capable of devising and implementing development plans for local communities efficiently and effectively.
The third goal is boosting financial revenues of administrative locals to enable them to pursue their developmental and services roles, and the fourth goal is improving society on local levels and achieving balance growth and equal opportunities among areas through cooperation among administrative units, while the fifth goal is simplifying procedures for providing services to citizens via establishing services centers.
The law also defines the Higher Council of Local Administration and its tasks. The Higher Council is chaired by the Prime Minister with the Minister of Local Administration as his deputy, with the membership of the Chairman of the Planning and International Cooperation Committee, Governors, heads of local councils, Chairman of the Regional Planning Committee and the Deputy Minister of Local Administration.
The law defines administrative units as governorates, cities, towns and municipalities, with each unit having a local council consisting of members elected according to the general elections law. Each council serves for four years and has an executive office.
Local councils are tasked with the economic, social, cultural and urban development of its area in accordance with balanced and sustainable development in the fields of planning, industry, agriculture, economy, trade, education, culture, tourism, transport, irrigation, electricity, health, social affairs, labor, services, environment and so forth.
The full text of the law will be published in official dailies and is in effect as of October 1st 2011.
Minister of Local Administration Omar Ghalawanji considered the new law as "a quantum leap and "a new framework for the concept of local administration in Syria.
"The law goes in line with the progressing reform process as it meets the local and future needs of society," said Ghalawanji in a statement to the journalists.
He pointed out that the new law provided for creating new job positions including that of the governorate secretary general, the city's director and the town's director with the aim of finding legal reference at the administrative units and enhancing decentralization.
The law allowed allocating 25 % of the governorate's budget to establish investment projects to boost the financial revenues of the administrative units in the governorate, added the Minister.
H. Sabbagh/H. Said