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Making decentralization work - A compliance perspective of decentralization

Boedhoe, Janet Basmatie (2013) Making decentralization work - A compliance perspective of decentralization.

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Abstract:As stated by Machiavelli, it is a delicate, dangerous and doubtful matter to conduct changes. Especially for changes in the public sector since the interest of the public sector is society (van Helden & Jansen, 2003). However, since we live in a complex and dynamic world, the public sector needs to make changes and decentralization is one of the most extensive and comprehensive form of all. According to the administrative agreement 2011-2015, the central government decentralizes tasks and responsibilities to strengthen the economy and restore public finances. In order to make decentralization work, several conditions need to be taken into consideration. These conditions for decentralization are described in the administrative agreement, and are summarized in three decentralization agreements. These are: policy discretion, reducing vertical control and enabling local governments to collaborate with other actors. The compliance issue is pivotal in this research. The decentralization agreements are examined on behalf of the decentralized WWB legislation to see if there is a compliance, allowing decentralization to likely succeed. The NPM influences are also examined with the analysis of the decentralization agreement since NPM plays a leading role in this report to encounter if it is a valid management theory. The study has been conducted under four local governments in the Netherlands, which are the municipalities Enschede, Hengelo, Almelo and Dinkelland. Several random respondents that are involved with the implementation of the WWB were interviewed to analyze whether or not the decentralization agreements are obtained. If the central- and local governments comply with the WWB to the decentralization agreements, decentralization is likely to succeed since it is generalized to all social legislations. The WWB is examined as a role model for all social legislations since it is a long time (since 2004) in hands of the local government and can therefore function as an example for further decentralizations to come. Besides the interviews, policy documents that were provided by the respondents have also been studied. The results of this study has extended to determine the role of NPM and to the degree that decentralization is likely to succeed, allowing the central government to become a smaller and more powerful government. This research has revealed that that two of the three decentralization agreements are not complied to. The agreements policy discretion and vertical control seem to be intertwined and are not obtained due to an extensive control by the central government and by opposing strict rules and regulations. This control and prescribing the way the legislation should be carried out, results in a lack of policy discretion and vertical control. The decentralization that is complied to, is the collaboration agreement. Local governments are collaborating with non- and semi public actors and other local governments. Since the decentralization agreements are not obtained as a collective, decentralization is not likely to succeed. NPM influences are present with the obtained decentralization agreement, establishing NPM as a valid management theory of decentralization. The other not obtained decentralization agreements do not have NPM influences, which confirms NPM of a management theory of decentralization. If the central government wants to make decentralization succeed and become a smaller and more powerful government, it must comply to the decentralization agreements.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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