The FINANCIAL -- The World Bank announced on October 22 a US$200 million operation to support ongoing reforms in Morocco to make government more efficient and more accountable to citizens. The Transparency and Accountability Development Policy Loan (DPL) is the second operation of a comprehensive program designed to assist the government lay the foundations for meeting the governance goals outlined in the new constitution.
The new constitution responded to public discontent over poor service delivery and government institutions that were out of reach to ordinary citizens. The Transparency and Accountability DPL program was designed to support the government in taking the critical first step toward putting the constitution into practice, by developing the relevant policies and legal framework. The first DPL supported a broad package of reforms to improve performance and transparency of key public institutions and allow for greater citizen participation by making the chain of accountability clearer. The second DPL provides further momentum through deepened support to policies for fiscal transparency and citizens’ access to information and the right to petition. The new operation also promotes increased efficiency in the overall handling of public funds, with a focus on better financial management at the central and local government, as well as state owned enterprises, according to the World Bank.
“Morocco is undertaking an ambitious overhaul of its governance framework and the World Bank is pleased to support these reforms with this comprehensive program,” said Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb. “This program not only supports reforms but also aims to provide the capacity building needed to ensure they can be implemented. What matters now, however, is that Moroccans see the results of change, and that reforms lead to greater participation of citizens in public life.”
The program, also titled Hakama, or ‘Governance’ in Arabic, is a joint effort with the European Union and the African Development Bank who have both contributed a further US$250 million in support of the budget, procurement and open governance reforms. In parallel with the financial support, Hakama provides technical assistance to the central and local governments as well as to parliament for the implementation of the governance reforms, including training on performance budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, fiscal decentralization and citizen engagement.
“The translation of these new constitutional governance rights and principles into specific laws and policies is a key millstone of the program” said Fabian Seiderer, World Bank Public Sector Specialist and task team leader of the program. “The next phase will focus on the implementation of these policies with a view to improving the quality of public services to Moroccans and allowing citizens to make effective use of these new rights.”