The 8th National Advisory Committee (NAC) meeting of LGCDP, Phase-II was held on 30th November 2016 under the chairpersonship of Mr. Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, Secretary, Ministry of Federal affairs and Local Development (MoFALD). The DP Chair for the meeting was H.E Mr. Jorg Frieden, DP chair and Ambassador, Embassy of Switzerland, and DP Co-Chair, Mr. Tom Wingfield, Team Leader, DFID.
Likewise, the meeting was attended by representatives from line ministries such as Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation. Likewise, Joint Secretaries of MoFALD, and other sector line ministries such as Financial Comptroller General’s Office (FCGO), Ministry of Finance, National Planning Commission, DOLIDAR and Local Bodies Associations’ representatives like ADDCN, NAVIN and MUAN were present in the meeting. Similarly, high level dignitaries and representatives from various development partners were in attendance as well.
The Secretary in his opening remarks acknowledged LGCDP’s achievements and its contribution in institutionalizing GESI and CFLG at local level. In general, he remarked that MoFALD has crucial role to play in supporting functionaries at province and local level. It is a historic opportunity for poverty reduction. With regards to the programme, he welcomed the almost completion of the concept note of the new Sub National Local Governance Programme and urged to finalize the transitional management plan of the programme as well.
Likewise, the DP chair in his opening remarks congratulated LGCDP for the programme’s achievements and for successfully conducting field visits on GESI, PFM and the recent Joint Field Visit. He stated that it allowed to understand local challenges on the ground. He requested GoN to take concrete steps to manage the Federal transition. DPs are eager to support through this programme and also through other means such as districts. He mentioned that there is considerable amount of uncertainty at the local level regarding the transition and how the service delivery will be affected. These confusions will increase as the process of restructuring will move forward. No clear instructions and concrete decisions will impact the works at the local level.
Furthermore, he urged to broaden the ToR of the joint task force for the transitional management plan. The concept note provides a good basis to start discussion and DP’s support in the future governance programme, in line with the commitment made in Dhulikhel. It is critical to reflect on issues and lessons’ learnt. He also expressed some concerns on outstanding audit arrears, completion of UCPA data, managing fiduciary risks.
In the closing remarks, the DP Co-chair acknowledged that in absence of local elected local bodies, the programme has sustained local accountability, reached millions of people through community institutions. The sentiments from the ground is that despite the challenges, the poorest members of the communities are prepared to engage in the state restructuring programme. That DFID has been proud to support the programme.
Some of the major policies endorsed by the NAC were as following:
- NAC congratulates MoFALD and LGCDP for successfully spending 90% of the planned budget in 2015/16 and thanks, MoFALD and concerned stakeholders for their efforts to carry out LGCDP activities despite all the challenges.
- NAC endorses in principle the broad ideas of the concept note for Sub – National Governance Programme and requests the MoFALD to consult with the relevant government agencies for their official feedbacks, and authorizes the Joint Task Force to finalize the concept note based on the feedbacks to be received.
- NAC agrees to formally extend the current LGCDP-II framework as the transition phase for a period of one year from July 2017 to July 2018 to continue those ongoing activities particularly related to public financial management and support to implement federalism as a preparation towards the new Sub-National Governance Programme.
- The Committee requests the Joint Task Force to support MoFALD to prepare a detailed transition phase work plan including for Technical Assistance along with a budget ceiling by February 2017 and submit it in the Sub-NAC for endorsement. NAC decides to authorize the Sub- NAC to endorse the transition plan along with the budget.
- NAC recommends the LGCDP management to reconcile the existing LGCDP audit arrears and ensure that all audit arrears will be settled within this fiscal year.