A clear schedule of mandated service responsibilities for local authorities is established in the Local Government Act 2011, as amended. Local authorities aim, amongst others, at ensuring that provision of services and facilities are accessible and equitably distributed within their respective areas of jurisdiction. The process of allocating stalls is one of the responsibilities of local authorities where the provision of a stall facility aims at enhancing economic activities, creating job opportunities and at the same time, providing valuable services to the community.
It cannot be denied that there have been gradual improvements in local authorities with respect to transparency in decision making, enhanced accountability and ownership of public investments. Despite the achievements, local authorities still face many challenges and one of them is the fight against malpractices/corruption. The negative consequences of corruption include rising expenditure for local authorities, inadequate enforcement of regulations, loss of revenue and potential endangerment of public health. The social costs comprise loss of public confidence, and an increased resentment by those who must continue to comply with the laws and rules while others are benefiting from special treatment.
Allocation of stalls is an area prone to corruption particularly when the demand for stalls exceeds the supply. The increasing demand fr stalls has led to an unhealthy competition as well as opportunities for corruption. In fact, many complaints of alleged corruption in this area have been investigated and have led to conviction for corruption offences. It is important that local authorities allocate stalls on the basis of merit and equity and not for extraneous or improper reasons that would lead to corrupt practices. It is thus fundamental that robust but simple systems are implemented to render the process of allocation of stalls transparent, fair and accountable.
The ICAC has developed this Best Practice Guide on Allocation of Stalls by Local Authorities in close collaboration with both the Ministry of Local Government and local authorities to promote sound and corrupt-free practices. It is intended for reference to establish best management systems to fight corruption and promote fairness in the stall allocation process. This guide contains valuable tools, techniques and practical advice that Management and staff of local authorities can adopt in their daily work practices. It focusses on the legal and institutional framework regarding stall allocation, governance structure for effective allocation of stalls, the allocation of stalls by expressions of interest, the drawing of lots and transfer of stalls.
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