Update > Decentralizing executive functions

Decentralizing executive functions


Prior to decentralizing executive functions, constitution builders should consider whether the local or regional executive will execute and implement:

(a) only national law, due to the absence of a legislature at the regional or local level

(b) only regional or local law drafted by the regional or local legislature, given that the national administration exclusively will implement national laws or

(c) substantial portions of national law in addition to regional or local law—if, for instance, the regional or local level executes national regulations more effectively (often referred to as ‘cooperative decentralization’ or ‘cooperative federalism').

Regional preferences also affect which governmental level should deliver particular public services. For example, many regions might favor a primary education curriculum that includes the teaching of local language(s) and culture, which sub-national governmental units can provide more efficiently. On the other hand, constitution builders might agree that the national level of government is better able to provide certain public services, such as old age pensions and unemployment benefits, to which all citizens, for equity reasons, should have equal access no matter where they live.

Determining the most efficient size of a programme can also reveal which governmental level should provide the service. For instance, some programmes, such as the weather forecast, might function efficiently only if provided to the whole country.