Project partners working together to make an impact in Iraq.

Project partners working together to make an impact in Iraq.

3 minutes reading time (570 words)
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Mapping an Inclusive Federal System

Process mapping has been a useful tool for newly elected representative, newly appointed officials and others who need to know how decision-making processes, helping political leaders be more systematic in their deliberations in order to capture and consider all legitimate viewpoints and relevant information.

Moving to a Democratic Federation

For more than a decade, Iraq has struggled to move from a highly-centralized, authoritarian regime to a democratic federation in which the central government and the 19 governorates share power as mandated in the Constitution. To move down the path toward a modern federal state, elected leaders, public servants, leaders from civil society and others, in Baghdad and the provincial capitals, must abandon old ways of thinking about government and agree upon their roles and responsibilities in the new system.

To make their democratic federal system work, all players must understand the constitutional and administrative intricacies behind key government processes.They must know who is involved and at what stages as laws are enacted, and ideas develop into policies for legislators to debate, amend, approve and implement. No less important is to understand how governments pay for what they do.How do they make decisions about taxation and expenditures?Again, who is involved and at what stage as the federal government raises funds and allocates resources not just to federal ministries, but also to fund services which the Constitution commands the provinces to deliver.


The People Involved

 Many of the players involved in Iraq's governance – elected representatives, public servants, religious authorities, leaders from business, labour, civil society and others – are new to their offices and all are working within a new and rapidly evolving system.To assist them in their vital work, the IOG has worked with the Ministries of Finance, Planning and other federal agencies including the Prime Minister's Advisory Council to develop detailed "maps" of three vital government processes: the Legislative Process, the Budgetary Process and the Investment Budget Planning Process.

Working with senior officials to develop these process maps been valuable in many ways.The maps have become a useful tool for newly elected representative, newly appointed officials and others who need to know how decision-making processes, of which they are a part, will proceed. But the impact of exercise goes further.


The Impact of Process Mapping

Process mapping has also underlined the need for Ministries and central agencies to be more systematic in their deliberations in order to capture and consider all legitimate viewpoints and relevant information as proposals advance through the system toward the Council of Representatives.This inclusive approach is vital in a federal system where there are diverse needs and interests to accommodate.

The mapping exercise has forced leaders and officials with potentially conflicting agendas to agree on how the legislative or budgetary process should work. Beyond this, however, by breaking up long and complicated processes into their component parts, the maps allow participants to identify pieces which add little value or are unduly complex.Eliminating these choke points will lead to more streamlined budgetary and legislative processes which are widely seen as onerous and time consuming.

The IOG's process mapping work has thrown much-needed light on the inner workings of the federal government.It has been a learning experience for all of the players and is helping them to understand and exercise their responsibilities within the new system.

Talks are now underway to map the business processes under the Federal Board of Supreme Audit to map and clarify its role within the Government of Iraq.

Location (Map)

Crisis Co-ordination
Federal Budgetary Process