Focus Group Discussion - Bahawalnagar and Pakpattan

Local Government Services

March 10, 2019

Before conducting Citizen Report Card survey, two focus group discussions were conducted. The reason to conduct these sessions is to get various stakeholders’ opinion and point of views to discuss the situation of local government services and citizens’ problems and incorporate it the research. One session was conducted in Bahawalnagar and the other was conducted in Pakpattan. The sessions were attended by councilors, ex-MPA, journalist, civil society members and educationalists. The focus of the discussions in two FGDs were around the themes like: the need of reforms in Local Government laws, allocation of more funds, introduction of minimum education for elected representatives, political interference of MNAs and MPAs, indirect election of District Council Chair/vice Chair, complaint system, corrupt practices of LG representatives, inefficiency of collecting taxes, lack of transparency, lack of coordination of LG representatives and citizens, women CNICs and voter registration. The participants also discussed that these LG representatives needed public management and administrative training which is exclusive to bureaucrats. Lack of training and administrative skills make these LG members fail to assess the nature of issues existing in their areas. As a result, a large sum of development funds could end up being be misappropriated and misused at local levels without any benefits to the people. Moreover, the bureaucracy has given enough powers which create problems for the local bodies. These unelected office bearers are not prone to share their power and resources with ‘uneducated and incompetent’ local representatives. The bureaucrats delay the approval of development projects proposed by the local bodies which obstructs local representatives from serving the people their people. TI Pakistan representative Ashfaque Ahmed moderated the session. The questionnare used in the CRC was also validated by the partcipants.

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