Objectives of inter governmental relationship

objectives of inter governmental relationship

The national government's ability to achieve its objectives often requires the participation of state and local governments. Intergovernmental grants offer positive. respect to the problems and complexities of intergovernmental relations inherent in a federal .. mental objectives, the less occasion there will be for bypassing. UniProjects aim of providing Intergovernmental Relations And The Practice Of Federalism In Nigeria project research material is to reduce the stress of moving .

An Intergovernmental relation system therefore consist of facilitative system and relationship that enables the unit of government to participate effectively and carryout mandate so that governmental goals are achieved. This include executive mechanism, coordination mechanism, cooperative agreements, judicial and legislative mechanism that all facilitates delivery by government mechanism. The aim of Intergovernmental relations therefore is to enable governmental activities Primary source deliver through surveyor effectiveness and efficiency in delivering services to sustain democratic and delivery across all pheres of government for the common good Isumina Flovino from the above, Intergovernmental relations can be described as the interactions that takes place among the different levels of government within a state usually the concept is associated with stated having a federal administrative system.

Federalism as a system of government is not easily managed world over because of the differences that exists between independent states that form the federation. However, some countries like the United states of America, Australia, Canada, among others haveb managed their federal state local affairs coordinate no matter the problem they face Nigeria is not an exception of other federal system faced with management problems of affairs of its federal principles Nigerian federal situation is prune to competitions, tensions and conflicts insight from its introduction in to date due to structure for domination by the ethnic elements in the country Wright Intergovernmental relations do not just imply between different government organs but involves both the citizens and governmental institutions.

Power and Purpose in Intergovernmental Relations

Agencies and officials at various levels of government operations. It is very difficult for the policy by keeping it isolated from the effect and impact of the other governmental agencies in existence at different. It has been noted that financial subordinates of units or markets inequality between the, in terms of wealth, population and land mass constitute potent distablishing factors in federalism and make an end of federalism Wheare,Awa In the fiscal context, there is no doubt that profound conflict exists among the component units of the Nigeria federation at inception of the system, there was a brok devolution of power of the regions equally, each region endgeers considerable autonomy over its internal affairs in addition to having a regionally police force and civil service but in terms of relative distribution, the principle of derivation occupied a significant place the distribution formuar.

The derivation remained a major emphasis in federal revenue allocation between and when the military look over hardship of the country.

The Nigeria federal situation over the years have been power tussle between the different tiers of government within the Nigeria policy due to diversities almost in all ramification of cultural regions, social and national environment to mention a few from its origin in These tussles in other to get the lion share of the natural cake by the federation units have resulted to competitions, tensions and conflicts that have threatened the survival of Nigeria as a nation.

As there are inses of marginalization, deprivation and unemployment of some parts by other parts which eventually led to the hesitation for control of resources and practice of the federalism in Nigeria. To identify the major course of dispute between the federal and state government.

To examine the extent to which federal government control on state government militate against its development. To ascertain if the revenue allocation formular is justifiable. To proffer solutions to the causes of uncordial Intergovernmental relations between different tiers of government.

To compare the policies of the militants and cinlians administration and Intergovernmental relations and indentify the difference between the two 2. The revenue allocation formula a major problem of Nigeria Intergovernmental relations 1.

  • Collaboration without Purpose?
  • Introduction

In what areas has the federal control or state government affected bayelsa state government initiatives in socio-economic and political development? What are the factors militating against federal state government relationship in Nigeria? The reason there shoud be done that way is because it will reveal hidden details of how the Nigeria federalism was formed and why there are struggle for domination in the Nigeria federal situation.

Furthermore, this work have put forward ingredient for the restriction of the Nigeria federal system in order to avoid competitions, tensions and conflicts that have engoulf Nigeria over the years.

This research is contain by so many factors. During the war the federal government had occupied most of the tax fields, and after it withdrew only partially. Unemployment insurance was created infamily allowances in and old age security in The provinces had a clear constitutional jurisdiction and an established capacity to administer these service-oriented programs.

In many cases, in health care in particular, some provinces actually were at the forefront of policy inno- vation. These programs, along with equalization mechanisms that gave poorer provinces the means to offer com- parable services, were used to promote more or less standard measures in areas of provincial jurisdiction.

With these transfers and conditions, the central govern- ment confirmed its dominance in social policy, against financially dependent and often politically conservative provinces. Because cost-sharing was the privileged policy instrument, each side had to agree on the specific configuration and management of social programs.

Power and Purpose in Intergovernmental Relations

Bythey col- lected 34 percent of total tax revenues compared to 16 percent in and the federal government 55 percent compared to 70 percent 20 years earlier. As a percentage of gross domestic product, total tax collection had also increased, from 22 percent in to 29 percent inmaking all governments better able to design and implement new programs. Provincial governments also worried about programs that were expensive and complex and that distorted their priorities.

Only Quebec took advantage of this offer. At the outset, many provinces welcomed the flexibility associated with tax points and block grants. In health care, this approach did not even prevent the federal government from imposing conditions.

In fact, with the Canada Health Act, adopted in to prevent user fees and extra-billing, federal rules became more specific and more strictly enforced than before. Provincial governments gained fiscal autono- my and became more assertive, the federal government grew wary of out-of-con- trol financial commitments and replaced cost-sharing by block funding, and retrenchment, rather than expansion, came to define the social policy agenda.

By the end of the period, in the early s, expenditures had been curtailed in most areas, including in the core income security programs managed directly by the federal government. With the election of a Liberal government, ina new period began. At the outset, there was no mention of collaborative federalism or of a social union. More importantly, the fight against the deficit prevailed over every other objective. The fiscal agenda was the prime motive behind the introduction, in the budget, of the Canada Health and Social Transfer CHSTwhich completed what EPF had started and combined federal transfers for health, post- secondary education, social assistance and social services into a single, smaller and less conditional block grant.

Some have argued that practically all transfers to the provinces had become overwhelmingly unconditional.

By the end, the stan- dards associated with the CAP had become minimal and not very constraining. CHST cash transfers do involve some redistribution because they take into account the varying value of the tax points conceded to the provinces in Apparently, they can also allocate most of the federal transfers as they wish, and have fewer standards and conditions to respect.

Federal-provin- cial negotiations no longer concern federal standards and audits; they are mostly about comparable performance indicators and accountability procedures. The logic at play, however, is not so simple. It was to prevent unilateral and unpre- dictable changes in federal transfers and social programs that the provincial and territorial governments initiated the social union process in Along with oth- ers, I have argued that these governments did not obtain much on this count when they signed SUFA.

From this perspective, SUFA may be part of a new way to manage intergovernmental relations, and only time will tell whether or not this new approach truly makes Canadian federalism more collaborative. Consider, first, the evolution of transfers. In the last two years, in a con- text defined by an important federal surplus and by anticipated elections, trans- fers to the provinces have increased significantly and some of the ground lost with the introduction of the CHST has been recovered.

The manner in which this reversal has been conducted, however, is revealing. Indeed, an important part of the increase in social transfers has occurred through the allocation by the feder- al government of ad hoc funds that are conditional and earmarked for health care, early childhood development or post-secondary education.

Offered unilaterally and with little prior con- sultation, these extra funds are often tied to specified purposes and leave the provinces without much of a say and without predictability. In the first years of SUFA, with respect to transfers at least, control trumped collaboration.

There are instances where collaboration seems possible, as with policies for children or for persons with disabilities, but there are also impor- tant areas where federal unilateralism prevails. Significant federal initiatives were announced through federal budget speeches.

This was the case in health care var- ious investments in health-service delivery reforms, health information, health- related research and innovation, and targeted services such as prenatal nutritionin post-secondary education Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Canada Research Chairs and in family policy enhanced Employment Insurance provi- sions for parental benefitsas well as with the federal homelessness initiative.

When this approach is possible, and when the political and financial stakes are high, it tends to prevail over collaboration. The same could be said of social transfers that remain ad hoc and earmarked, and which are in effect new fiscal federalism policy instruments.

NLCB & Intergovernmental Relations

To sum up, collaborative federalism and SUFA in particular have not pro- duced a more institutionalized and stable fiscal federalism, have not eliminated unilateral federal initiatives in core areas of provincial jurisdiction and have given prominence to new policy instruments that increase control or freedom for the central government.

Acknowledging much that is presented in this balance sheet, those who wish to remain optimistic about collaborative federalism are tempted to associate these features with a lack of vision. What if these difficulties made sense? What if they were not anomalies, but rather the product of coherent deci- sions, consistent with a meaningful pattern of intergovernmental relations? This is what I propose in the next section. Playing by the Rules — or Not Whether they are states in the international arena, unions and employers in industrial relations, or partners in intergovernmental relations, social actors cre- ate rules and institutions to reduce uncertainty.

The idea is not to eliminate con- flicts, which are inherent to such relationships, but rather to regulate them. More specifically, the purpose of social actors is to bind opponents or partners, to insti- tutionalize — for the long term — concessions that have been accepted in the heat of conflict or commitments that have been made on a mutual basis. States constrain their own sovereignty when their neighbours accept a free-trade regime. Trade unions and employers define lasting rules for themselves through collective bargaining.

In intergovernmental relations, the situation is similar: In a federation, relations are by definition unequal. Above and beyond differences in size and power, common in interna- tional relations, there is also a difference in kind between the central and sub- central governments. This specificity, however, does not affect the general logic presented here. There are, indeed, no cases where social actors are perfectly equivalent, and an infinite number of instances where differences between the parties in conflict are huge and fundamental.

Institutions matter because they constrain social actors. Institutional con- straints, however, need not be evenly distributed. In an unequal relationship, they may be heavier for the weaker side. Institutional rules, in particular, are often created to mitigate power, and some arrangements may actually be more constraining for the powerful.

Collective bargaining rules, for instance, constrain employers more than workers. This is their very purpose: In the same manner, in intergovernmental relations, effective institu- tional rules are likely to place more constraints on the central government, the actor least likely to demand formal constraints. In Canada, the social union process was initiated precisely to circumscribe the power of the federal govern- ment to change at will the rules of the game.

Ottawa eventually signed SUFA because it settled a long debate without compromising much of its freedom and capacity for control. It also provided some gains through a recognition of the fed- eral spending power, of the legitimacy of pan-Canadian objectives and of new mobility rules. Consider, first, fiscal federal- ism. The implicit, or notional, composition of these transfers, however, is indicative of fed- eral priorities. In —, the health-care component of CHST for the first time became more important than the social assistance component, and the gap is likely to widen over time.

The principles of the Act are quite general and largely accepted, even by provincial governments. Still, in health care the conditions in place after the CHST and SUFA are basical- ly the same as they were inand there has been no opening about a possi- ble joint interpretation and implementation of the rules.

Beyond the Canada Health Act, ad hoc increases in funding make long-term planning and reform dif- ficult, and distort provincial priorities. Meanwhile, the weight of health expenditures has risen for the provinces, to the point that in — it represented around 40 percent of total program expenditures in many provinces. More generally, the fiscal imbalance between the federal and the provincial governments has increased, and it is likely to worsen in the years to come, because Ottawa collects a larger share of the most rapidly growing rev- enues while the sharpest rises in expenditures occur at the provincial level.

A similar picture can be drawn for other areas of intergovernmental rela- tions, where unilateral federal policies are simply too numerous to be treated as anomalies.

objectives of inter governmental relationship

The reverse may, in fact, be true. Collaboration has succeeded in areas where the federal spending power previously had been less significant and where there were fewer pre-existing patterns of hierarchy, standards and control. This was the case with child benefits, disability policy and, to a lesser extent, job training. In the core spending sectors of health care and post-secondary education, many federal initiatives actually seem driven by the will to circumvent the provinces.

In social assistance and social services, the inten- tion seems more related to a desire to shift from invisible and unpopular expenses to more visible and politically palatable spending. The federal government prefers supporting children to unemployed adults, supporting low- and middle-income families to the poor, and supporting visible homelessness initiatives to stodgy social services.

The use of a new policy instrument such as the ad hoc, earmarked trans- fer is, of course, consistent with the picture presented here. Ad hoc transfers are, by definition, less structured and pre- dictable than block grants. In the past, federal programs for individual Canadians were entitlements, associated for instance with age, family or employment status, or earlier contributions.

In the s, most of these entitlements became, at least in part, targeted on the basis of income. This was the case with old age and child-related programs, but also with Employment Insurance. Poverty and economic insecurity increased in Canada in the s, and to a large extent this can be attributed to changes in income security programs.

Tax benefits tend to be obscure, technical and difficult to appraise. They make public engagement difficult and retrenchment by stealth easy. Again, the pattern is clear and consistent. It does not correspond, however, to the promises of insti- tutionalized collaboration. Adjusting to Sub-Optimal Cooperation If the situation is so one-sided, why did all provincial and territorial governments except Quebec accept the Framework Agreement?

Why do they participate so earnestly in collaborative efforts on a range of social policy issues for instance, early childhood development, benefits and services for persons with disabilities, housing and labour market policy?

A number of explanations can be offered concerning these choices. Many accounts associate the signature of SUFA to the increased equal per capita transfers offered at the time by the federal govern- ment. Undoubtedly relevant, these financial incentives are not sufficient to explain what happened.

New investments could be expected in any case. More importantly, a pure logic of incentives cannot explain why provincial and terri- torial governments participate actively in collaborative efforts. These govern- ments were not forced into signing SUFA. The Agreement fell far short of their initial common position, but it incorporated some of their demands, albeit in a diluted version. It also institutionalized a pan-Canadian vision that they, and their electorates, considered valuable.

objectives of inter governmental relationship

Provincial-territorial initiatives on the social union did not emerge from an inner desire to collaborate on social policy. They were, first and foremost, reactions against the CHST and the reduction in cash transfers it entailed.

Provinces and territories wanted constraints on the fed- eral spending power that would be in line with the decreasing value and relia- bility of the transfers that came from Ottawa. The Quebec government also react- ed to a moving situation.

It joined the other provincial governments after wit- nessing the adoption, by the federal government and the other provinces, of the National Child Benefit.

In both instances, new rules were sought not to change the status quo, but rather because the status quo had changed already. This pat- tern is indicative of the causal mechanism at play. Provincial and territorial gov- ernments were prompted to action more to protect themselves than to transform the federation. Collaboration, or cooperation, as it is usually called in the social sciences, does not preclude conflict. As suggested above, cooperation is a regulated and institutionalized form of conflict.

Stable cooperation structures emerge when social actors succeed in constraining each other. When this happens, the out- come is often positive for all participants.

Cooperation, however, is not always beneficial.

objectives of inter governmental relationship

There may well be sub-optimal results, situations that produce losers as well as winners. This possibility is often neglected in the social science litera- ture, because cooperation is primarily understood as a public good.

Social actors are assumed to face a collective action problem, which they can solve only through cooperation. Cooperation, even when it is driven by a hegemonic power, is thus perceived as a gain for all. In a recently published book on international institutions, Lloyd Gruber suggests that in some cases cooperation may also be detrimental, at least for specific actors. The argument is simple. It starts from the idea, neglected in conventional rational choice representations, that some actors may prefer not to cooperate, because they want to maintain their autonomy or have preferences distinct from those of the dominant group.

They end up coop- erating, however, when stronger actors go ahead and change the choices that are available.

objectives of inter governmental relationship

When the status quo is no longer an option, argues Gruber, actors may favour a cooperative outcome that they would have rejected otherwise. At best, preferences can be inferred from choices, and when social actors decide to cooperate, it is risky to argue that they would have preferred otherwise. However, if one follows the evolution of a process, such as the social union negotiations, it is possible to argue that preferences have been modified and adjusted along the way.

For the Quebec government, this evolution is unmistakable. In Saskatoon, in Augustthe Bouchard government compromised on principles stated explicitly in the months prior, and it did so precisely because the status quo ante no longer existed. For other provincial governments the evaluation is not as straightforward, but there was undoubted- ly a shift downward in expectations and demands.

As explained above, provin- cial governments reacted after the fact to a moving situation and they mainly asked to be consulted and involved in future changes. In the SUFA, they obtained modest responses to these concerns, but even these limited gains were not respected fully in the following months, with unilateral federal initiatives on transfers, homelessness and health care. Given their underlying preferences for cooperation, the expectations of their electorates and the additional transfers they received, provincial governments basically adjusted their expectations rather than holding on to their initial positions.

They decided to want what they got.

objectives of inter governmental relationship

In summary, provincial and territorial governments accepted SUFA and collaborative federalism, in part because they did not demand as much autono- my and freedom as the Quebec government and in part because they came to accept the options defined by the federal government as the only options avail- able.

Two readings of this outcome can be proposed. One would say that the provinces were dominated by a more powerful actor, which was able to define and impose the rules of the game. The provinces failed to impose genuine constraints on the federal government, but they also joined Ottawa to define the final, sub-optimal outcome, without the only government that held the line.

In other words, provincial and territorial governments did not achieve their initial objectives, but adjusted rapidly to a new situation they con- sidered unavoidable, not so damaging and useful in some respect. This evolution of preferences explains why provincial and territorial gov- ernments accepted the Social Union Framework Agreement and remained involved in collaborative federalism even though, as discussed above, these insti- tutional arrangements left more freedom and control than expected to the feder- al government.

Conclusion The Canadian government does not need a mission statement. Its social and inter- governmental policies may appear ad hoc, fickle or unpredictable, but this is not a sign of weakness or lack of purpose. The cultivation of uncertainty is a prerog- ative of power. Fiscal federalism in the late s has been defined not only by the decline of social transfers but also by their transformation. Transfers for health, post-sec- ondary education, and social assistance and social services were curtailed severe- ly afterand they gradually but only partially recovered after the budget.

These changes have numerous implications. First, they create new types of inequities and increase the vulnerability of smaller provinces. If the per capita rule had applied inOttawa would have contributed 4. Third, the adoption of ad hoc transfers increases even more the level of uncertainty in future funding.

In other areas of intergovern- mental relations, federal unilateralism also has remained important, either to cir- cumvent the provinces in sectors such as health care and post-secondary educa- tion, or to prevail in particular policy sectors and establish federal visibility.

Even measures aimed at individual citizens now share this characteristic. Targeted benefits are gradually displacing universal entitlements. Social rights are increasingly folded into the tax code. Except for the Quebec government, which is necessarily penalized by its marginal position and lack of influence in this process, the provincial and terri- torial governments have adjusted their expectations and their demands down- ward. They accept the precepts of what is now called collaborative federalism, and play a defensive game that mixes unheeded demands for more predictable relationships and efforts to have a say in jointly defined policies.

As for individ- ual citizens, most of them remain unaware of issues that appear arcane and are poorly covered in the media. In this context, a call for a new mission statement appears unlikely to make a difference. The situation is structured not by a lack of vision, but rather by an uneven relationship, which is solidly rooted in a sharp and growing vertical fiscal imbalance between the two orders of government.

Provincial and territorial governments could alter the course of events by taking advantage of the SUFA review and renewal process to re-establish a com- mon stance and put forward simple but forceful demands. Seeking increases in social transfers and redress in the fiscal imbalance would constitute an obvious rallying point. New demands would have a greater chance of succeeding, as well, if the provinces could convince the Quebec government to enter this new round.