Municipalities Overstaffed

Municipalities OverstaffedMunicipalities Overstaffed

During the past year municipalities in Iran hired three to five times more people than was necessary leading to financial and administrative problems.

The controversial policy has, among other things, resulted in declining performance and allocation of most of funds and state financial assistance for executive affairs, said Houshang Khandan-Del, deputy interior minister for urban and rural affairs.

Since municipalities do not have adequate capacity to meet the financial needs of the workers, they have been grappling with a plethora of problems including corruption and declining productivity, IRNA quoted him as saying.

The senior official called on mayors and human resources departments at municipalities to hire people on merit and as per their real need and financial capabilities.

He also criticized the poor income diversification at municipalities. “About 70% of the municipalities’ revenues come from issuing construction permits and activities associated with it.”

Khandan-Del underscored the crucial need for “transparency and openness with regard to income and expenditure of municipalities to gain public confidence.”

The interior ministry has decided to assign some governmental tasks to NGOs, including municipalities, in a bid to reduce the mounting financial burden on government coffers gradually move away from centralized decision-making the futility of which has been established in many countries. He did not say which tasks would be handed over and when.

Centralization has led to unequal access to opportunities in big cities and metropolises like Tehran and subsequently led to the burgeoning migration from rural to urban areas for the past several years.

To curb centralization and improve downsizing, several pieces of legislation have been passed but the results so far have been below expectation.

Laws also have been passed to define sustainable sources of revenues for the municipalities, urban services, and administrative affairs, division of labor and mayoral elections, the deputy minister said.