According to Article 1 in the Law of Local Government no. 43/1979 the local government units include the governorates, administrative districts, towns, quarters and villages. Each of these units are considered a legal entity.
Article No. 183 in the New Egyptian constitution states that:
The State is divided into administrative units that are considered as judicial persons and include governorates, provinces, cities, districts and villages. One administrative unit may comprise more than one village or district. Other administrative units that are judicial persons may be established, all as regulated by law, in a manner that supports decentralization, empowering administrative units in providing local services and facilities, improving them and managing them well.
Mission and Responsibilities
According to article 2 of the law 43/1979:
Local government units, within the limits of general policy and the State’s general plan, shall take charge of:
- Establishing and managing all public utilities falling within their administrative boundaries and all these units, within its scope of competence.
- All competences performed by ministries, pursuant to the applicable laws and regulations, with the exception of national utilities having special nature for which a presidential decree shall be issued. The executive regulations shall specify the utilities to be entrusted to the governorates for their establishing and managing, and those whose establishment and management shall be entrusted to other local government units.
The governorates shall manage all the competences in connection with the public utilities which are out of the competences of other local units.
Budget and Final Account
Article 119-124 from law 43/1979 organizes the budget proposal for the Local Administrative Units as follows:
The concerned financial bodies in each local unit – shall define the project of its annual budget, including its revenues and expenses according to the rules applicable in laying down the State budget; and shall raise it to the governorate, five months at least before the start of the fiscal year, provided to attach with the project all statements and documents upon which the estimations of the revenues and expenses were based.
The financial body is the governorate and it shall take charge of preparing the project of the governorate budget including projects of the local units’ budgets within its scope. The governor shall take charge of submitting the project to the local popular council of the governorate for discussing it, and approving it, four months at least before the start of the fiscal year. Each governorate shall send the project of its budget – promptly on its approval by the local popular council – to the Minister of Finance to take charge of studying it with the concerned governor.
The following amounts should be included in the projects of the governorates budgets, in case they are wholly or partially missed:
- The obligations which the governorate or any of the local government units within its scope – is held responsible for them.
- The exploitations which are imposed by the present Law or any other law.
- Administration, or maintenance expenses necessary for the good operation of the utilities, establishment, or works which are managed by the governorate, or the local government units within the scope of the governorate.
The budget of each governorate shall be included in a special section in the State General Budget, and shall be considered a part of it; and shall be subject to what is applicable on the State General Budget of provisions.
The concerned financial bodies in the governorate should submit the projects of the annual final accounts – of the governorate and the local units belonging to it – to each of the Ministry of Finance, and the Central Machinery of Accountancies in the dates and according to the rules and procedures stipulated upon in the law for the State General Budget.
- The governor shall submit the project of the annual final account including projects of the final accounts of the local units within its scope to the Local Popular Council of the governorate, attached with the documents of the Ministry of Finance and the reports of the Central Machinery for Accountancies, in the dates, and according to the rules and procedures. with which a decree shall be issued by the Minister of Finance.
- The governor shall submit the projects of final accounts after their being approved by the local popular council of the governorate – to the Minister of Finance; and the final account of each governorate, shall be indicated in a special section of the State final account, and shall be subject to what is applicable on this account of provisions.
Taxes, Duties and Local Finances
The following article from Local administration Law no. 43/1979 organizes the financial affairs of the local administrative unites as follows:
The executive regulations indicate the rules concerning the definition of the principles and procedures of calculating all the fees comprising the local character, the way of complaining thereof and the measures of their reduction. It is permissible that these regulations shall include various methods for the principles and procedures of calculating all these duties; and each of the local popular councils are entitled to select from them the method which is adequate to the circumstances of the local unit.
- In collecting the taxes and duties stated for the local units, the exemption thereof, and for their abolition by the prescription of time, the rules stated with respect to the general taxes and duties, shall be followed.
- The debts of such taxes and duties are considered to be privileged debts over all the creditors’ monies, and shall be fulfilled promptly after the legal expenses and the government taxes.
- It is permissible that the concerned governmental machineries shall take charge of allocating and collecting the taxes, and duties which concern the local units, and to pay the proceeds thereto, after the approval of the local popular council of the governorate.
It is not permissible to grant exploiting obligation for any of the local public utilities, or any source of the natural wealth sources except the petrol and mineral wealth in the local unit scope of competence, except after obtaining the approval of the concerned local popular council .
It is not permissible for the local popular council to accept contribution on a conditional stipulation whose execution is out of the council power; or to change its allocations except by the approval of the governor. The Prime Minister must approve the acceptance of the contributions and aids which shall be presented by foreign authorities or persons.
It is not permissible for the local government units to conclude any loan, or to be obligated by any project not mentioned in the plan, or the budget, if it will result in expending amounts during a future period, except after the approval of the People’s Assembly, with the observance of the provisions of Article (15).
With the exception of what is mentioned in its regard a special provision the laws and financial regulations applicable in the government, shall be applied on the local units; and the rules stated for the government funds shall be applied on the local units; and such units shall be exempted from all the taxes and duties which the government is exempted therefrom.
Supervision and Control on Local Administrative Units
The following articles determine the methods to supervise the local administrative units:
The supervision and control on the work of the popular councils and their executive machineries, aim to realize harmony and unity between them with what shall be in conformity with aims of the State general policy; also to introduce consultation and assistance to the local popular councils with what ensures achieving the goals of the local government order.
- The decisions of the local popular councils are considered in force within the limits of the competences stated for them in the present law, and within the outline of the State general plan, and the approved budget, and by observing laws and regulations.
- It is permissible for the governor or the chief of the concerned local unit, to object against any decision issued from the local popular council, in contrast with the State General Plan, or the approved budget, or to include any breach to the laws and regulations, or to be out of the competences of the council defined in this law; in this case, he is entitled to return this decision to the local popular council which issued it, supported by his comments, and the reasons upon which his objection is based, within fifteen days as of the date of informing him with the decision.
- If the local popular council insisted upon its decision, the minister concerned with the local government shall submit this matter to the Cabinet within thirty days of the date of informing him with it; but in case any of the local popular councils of the other local units shall insist upon its decision, the matter shall be submitted to the local popular council of the governorate to issue a decision therein.
- The Cabinet shall carry out resolution with regard to the decisions objected upon, within 6 days of the date of submitting the matter to it; the resolution of the Cabinet in this regard shall be final.
- The local popular council of the governorate must issue its decision regarding the decisions objected upon, during 30 days of the date of his being informed about them.
- The Cabinet shall take charge of control of the work of the governorates, and evaluate their performance according to the provisions of the present law and its executive regulations. This control, aims to what follows:
- Observance of executing the State general policy and general plan.
- Realization of the governorates for the aims stated for them, evaluation of their performance, and their carrying out the directions which will ensure coordination between the governorates and the ministries.
The Minister concerned with Local Government shall submit to the People’s Assembly an annual report about the activity and accomplishments of the local popular councils, comprising what had been executed of the development plans and the budgets concerning each governorate, statement of the questions, briefing requests, the important proposals and the interpellations which were discussed in the local popular councils, and the decisions issued in their respect.
Each of the ministers within the scope of his ministry shall have:
- To inform the governorates with the State general plan, and following up its execution from the technical side also to inform the local units with what he sees of instructions, advices and technical directions leading to the good operation of services in the public utilities with what shall be in conformity with the State general policy, and specially in respect to agricultural policy, and the harvest structure, the affairs of supply, and the pricing of commodities.
- Laying down an annual plan in agreement with the concerned governors for the distribution and coordination of the technical workmen between the governorates according to their requirements, and notifying the governors of this plan to take the necessary procedures for its execution.
- Participation with the local units in the works and projects entering within the competence of these units after the agreement with them.
The governor shall take charge of inspection on the executive bodies of the local units within the scope of the governorate and utilities subject to its supervision. He shall have to charge for managing this inspection – the concerned control machineries, or whom he selects of the concerned technicians and administrators from the civilian personnel in the governorate.
- Each of the Ministry of Finance, and the Central Machinery for Accountancies, according to the law of the general budget, and the law of the Central Machinery for Accountancies, shall take charge of auditing the accounts of the local units with regard to their revenues and expenses.
- The representatives of the Ministry of Finance in these units shall be responsible for the correctness of these accounts, and their adherence to the laws, regulations, and the financial instructions applicable therein, in the way detailed by the executive regulations.
- The Central Machinery for Accountancies shall notify the local popular council of the governorate, and the concerned governor with the reports which it prepares about the accounts of the governorate, and the other local units subject to its supervision.
- The State Council shall take charge of deliverance of legal opinions in the legal matters connected with the local government units. Also, the department of governmental lawsuits shall manage the claims in which these units shall be a party therein.
- The referred legal matters shall be remitted from the chairman of local popular council to the governorate, or from the concerned governor or whom he deputizes according to the cases.
Personnel of the Local Administrative Units
The following article from law 43/1979 for Local Administration organizes the Local Administrative Units personnel issues as follows:
Each of the governorate provinces shall have an independent organizational structure including all the personnel in its field of competence within the scope of the governorate; and the personnel in each of these provinces shall form one employment unit, with the observance of their specializations according to the rules which are defined by the executive regulations
- For occupying the offices of the general secretaries, and assistance general secretaries, chiefs of town and quarters, through appointment or delegation, and their displacement from their offices between the local government units and to the different machineries of the local government – a decree shall be issued by the Prime Minister in agreement with the concerned governors.
- For occupying the offices of chiefs of villages through appointment or delegation, and for their displacement between the local government units entering with the scope of the governorates – a resolution shall be issued by the governorate.
- With the observance of the provisions applied on the civilian personnel in the State, the local government units shall announce the vacant offices therein, and in which the appointment shall be by a resolution from the governor. The announcement shall comprise the information connected with the office and the conditions of occupation.
- The governor shall define the offices whose occupation shall be through examination, and those which shall be occupied without examination. The appointment in the offices which are to be occupied through examination shall be according to the priority mentioned in the final order of the examination results; and if the regular sequence is equal, the priority in appointment shall be for the natives of the governorate.
- It is permissible by a decree from the governor that the examination shall be confined to the natives of the governorate, and shall be considered natives of the governorate, who dwells within its circle, as an ordinary residence.
- It is permissible for the governor within the limits of the approved budget, to occupy certain positions which necessitate its occupant to be totally committed to this position, through contracting in return of inclusive remuneration, defined by the contract, according to the general rules issued in this regard.
- It is also permissible for the governor to appoint in the sections of the unit, through contracting, excellent workmen for the technical works which require special skill or experience in return of a wage to be defined in the contract.
By force of law, the financial credits – regarding the employees, in the authorities whose competences were transferred pursuant to this law, to the local government units – shall be transferred to the respective budgets of these units.
For what is not mentioned in its respect a stipulation in this law, the provisions and rules regarding the civilian personnel in the State, shall be applicable on the civilian personnel in the local government units.