Palestinian National Authority

Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State

Program of the Thirteenth Government

August 2009

Table of Contents



Our Vision of the State of Palestine

Foundational Principles

National Goals

Institutional Development

Sector Priorities, Policies and Programs:


In a modern state, the governance sector – its structures, its systems and its operating procedures – must embody the supreme values of the society as well as the basic principles on which the state is founded. Governance affects all walks of life across all sectors. Accordingly, it can be considered as cross-sectoral. However, in the Government’s program, it is viewed as a separate sector in which cross-cutting institution-building issues need to be addressed. Policy priorities in the sector may be summarized in five domains.

Public administration: The Palestinian Government is committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of all its institutions. The Government will develop and modernize its organizational structures, upgrade the capacity of human resources, update legislation and regulations, and install state-of-the-art ICT equipment in order to upgrade performance. To ensure an institutional performance that meets the highest international standards, the Government will bring and maintain its working methods in line with the basic principles of transparency, accountability, and separation of powers.

Civil and criminal justice: The Government will develop and consolidate civil and criminal justice system bolstering the principle of the separation of powers, building capacities of human resources within the judiciary, police, and civil defence, enacting modern legislation, and providing appropriate infrastructure to ensure enhanced performance.

Security services: To safeguard citizens’ security and protect their property, the Government will promote the professional and effective performance of the security establishment. The Government will finalise the restructuring of security agencies based on professional grounds. It will also provide suitable training, equipment, and infrastructure to help the security sector improve its performance. In order to attain the highest professional standards, the Government will hold security agencies accountable by promoting the separation of powers and by developing oversight bodies and mechanisms.

Local government: The Government affirms the significant role which local government units play in delivering services to citizens. The Government is committed to developing the capacities of local government units, promote their participation in the development process, and help them attain financial and administrative independence. The Government will also promote accountability of local government units by developing oversight systems within relevant central institutions.

Fiscal stability: The Government will seek to secure the future fiscal stability of Palestine to enable it to fulfil the fundamental responsibilities of a self-sufficient state. The Government will continue to develop the financial system on transparent grounds. It will control expenditure, minimize the budget deficit, and promote economy in service delivery. On the revenue side, the Government will promote growth of the private sector so as to provide job opportunities and expand the tax base.

Objectives and activities of sector institutions

All PNA institutions, including ministries and governmental agencies, have a role in implementing programs to meet governance sector objectives. Below is a summary of the key objectives and related activities of the main governmental bodies in the sector.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has the following objectives:

Enhance capacities of the Palestinian diplomatic corps through:
• Building a professional, politically committed diplomatic corps at MoFA and at embassies as well as pump new blood in this sector.
• Finalising construction of the new MoFA building, regulating the Diplomatic Training Institute, and purchasing the largest number possible of embassies.

Contribute to promoting the international position of Palestine through:
• Developing Palestine’s international relations with various states and international organizations and broadening scope of cooperation with them on all levels, particularly in the fields of politics, culture and economy. • Communicating with Palestinian communities overseas, empowering them to support the Palestinian cause and the perseverance of citizens in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Enhance effective service delivery to citizens through:
• Developing communication mechanisms between embassies and MoFA to facilitate service delivery to citizens outside the homeland.
• Deliver certification services to citizens in cooperation with other governmental bodies operating in the Palestinian governorates.

Ministry of Interior

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has the following objectives:
Impose public order, establish the rule of law and preserve public safety, thereby consolidating security and safety as well as safeguarding rights and freedoms through:
• Developing the capacity of, restructuring and reorganising the security establishment, and regulating each security agency in accordance with the law and relevant regulations.
• Continuing to train security staff, building security offices and headquarters, and providing modern equipment to help the security agencies perform their assigned tasks.
• Completing development of laws regulating the functions of security agencies and preparing a code of conduct in order to protect citizens and safeguard public freedoms.

Deliver effective and efficient services to citizens, expatriates and visitors to the PNA-controlled territory in line with the law through:
• Developing the organizational structures, systems and process of the MoI.
• Building directorate offices and public service centers that offer high quality services.
• Automating service delivery and establishing connectivity with other institutions (e.g., the Civil Registry).
• Developing the Law on Nationality and Passports.

Ensure transparent and accountable administrative and financial performance through:
• Implementing administrative and financial reforms in all branches of the security sector, including centralization of financial management and clarifying the jurisdiction of each branch to ensure effective integrated operations.
• Ensuring integrated and cooperative systems and working methods throughout the MoI in a manner that unifies and centralizes its administrative and financial management.
• Developing a policy framework and strategic plan for implementing security sector development programs and projects.

Develop the MoI’s relations with the local, regional and international communities through:
• Guiding activities to represent Palestine as a full member on the Interpol.
• Developing MoI’s operation on committees established by the Arab Council of the Ministers of Interior as well as rejuvenating MoI’s role in the Mediterranean Civil Protection Program.
• Develop a code of conduct for the Palestinian civil society activity.
• Building media capacities of MoI so that it can effectively communicate with the Palestinian civil society.

Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has the following objectives:

Reduce reliance on international aid through:
• Controlling and rationalising expenditure, particularly recurrent expenses.
• Increasing domestic revenues and unifying the tax system.
• Increasing property tax collection by local government units.
• Amending the Income Tax Law, thereby broadening the tax base and keeping pace with developments in the national economy. Enhance competent management of the public finances through:
• Developing financial policies and public finance management methods.
• Establishing a department for research and studies in the area of public financial management. Increase efficiency of public service delivery through:
• Promoting capacities of MoF staff and providing them with modern tools, including legislation, regulations, and functional procedures.
• Finalize current work on computerising tax assessment and collection, enabling better management of taxpayer accounts.

Promote concepts of transparency and accountability in the management of public finance through:
• Enhancing the effectiveness of financial auditing throughout PNA institutions by adopting a decentralized auditing system.
• Developing the Public Procurement Agency as an independent body that reports to the Council of Ministers.
• Developing financial legislation and regulations and completing the implementation of an integrated accounting system.

Promote full Palestinian participation in international trade as a sovereign entity:
• Becoming a full member on the World Customs Organization.
• Developing qualified staff to operate customs departments at international ports (including land, sea, and airports).

Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development

The Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development (MoPAD) has the following objectives:

Promote efficient and effective allocation of limited national resources through:
• Providing necessary technical support to develop capacity of governmental bodies in policy making and planning.
• Monitoring and evaluation of governmental bodies’ performance against agreed targets.
• Preparing national development plans, in coordination with all governmental bodies, the private sector and civil society, to clearly define national and sectoral policies, priorities and programs
• Working with the donor community to enhance aid effectiveness.
• Leading and coordinating the development of national spatial plans.

Promote citizens’ trust and confidence in the PNA through:
• Managing the process of developing human resource capacities throughout the PNA.
• Providing technical support for governmental institutions to develop their organizational structures and ensure efficient and transparent working methods documented in formal procedures manuals.
• Coordinating efforts to automate governmental functions.
• Supporting the Ministry of Finance’s efforts to develop financial management and control systems in all governmental bodies.

Ministry of Local Government

The Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) has the following objectives:

Empower local government units and build their institutional capacities through:
• Developing consolidated administrative structures, administrative manuals and financial policies, and a computerized, integrated accounting system.
• Finalizing the modernization of spatial planning, developing policies and guidance for land use, and upgrading the capacity of the Higher Zoning Council.
• Developing strategic and developmental planning capacity at the local level.
• Establishing staff training centers at local government units.
• Merging local government units, where necessary, in order to facilitate better service delivery.
• Developing laws, regulations, and procedural manuals on local government.

Build the MoLG’s capability to oversee the local government sector through:
• Developing a strategic plan for MoLG capacity development.
• Developing a new organizational structure, administrative manuals and computerized systems to enhance the performance of staff.
• Developing a training plan for staff and developing monitoring and performance evaluation methods.

Promote democracy, transparency and civil society participation in the local government sector through:
• Conduct elections at local government units in a regular fashion.
• Monitor and evaluate the performance of local government units.
• Raise public awareness of the concept of local government and promoting partnership between MoLG, local government units and citizens.

Promote the concept of partnership between local government units and public and private sectors to promote local development and fiscal independence through:
• Promoting participation of local government units in local and national development.
• Generating opportunities to increase the financial resources of local government units.
• Encouraging adjacent municipalities to work jointly in launching and implementing development projects.
• Encouraging the private sector and civil society organizations to cooperate with local government units to implement development projects.
• Promoting partnership with the private sector to help deliver and manage services cost effectively.

Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has the following objectives:
Protect citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms through:
• Developing, in cooperation with all relevant public institutions, an integrated civil and criminal legal framework which safeguards separation of powers and ensures the integrated operation of all sector institutions.
• Developing the forensic medicine capacity.
• Following up on the execution of court judgements.
• Monitoring administrative performance in prisons to safeguard human rights.
• Developing and implementing a legal aid programs for citizens who are incapable of defending themselves for financial reasons.
• Contributing to developing and rejuvenating the Bureau of the Legal Counsel and Legislation. Enhance justice sector performance through:
• Supporting the development of professional capacities, including members of the public prosecution service and judges.
• Supporting the development of specialization in the justice sector, developing specialist courts and specialized staff in fields of commercial disputes, labour, etc.
• Supporting the continuing education through the Palestinian Judicial Institute.
• Constructing justice facilities, including courthouses and public prosecution offices, throughout governorates.
• Supporting computerization in the justice sector, including the police, public prosecution and courts.

Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs

The Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs (MoWRA) has the following objectives:

Promote awareness and understanding of the Islamic religion and culture and disseminate the concept of tolerance in the religion through:

• Developing and implementing programs of Shari’a education as derived from the science of the Holy Qur’an and Prophet’s heritage.
• Empowering mosques as a center of guidance, through improving their infrastructure and services. Promote service delivery to citizens through:
• Developing buildings and services, and maintaining mosques.
• Supporting the activities of the Hajj and ‘Umrah.
• Supervising Shari’a education, including at the College of Preaching and Shari’a Science as well as the Islamic Orphanage.
Protect and promote effective and efficient management of Zakat funds and Waqf properties through:
• Improving the management of the Zakat funds and ensuring equitable distribution.
• Following up on the survey of the Waqf properties.
• Creating a computerized database to keep all information on Waqf properties.
• Developing policies on the best utilization of Waqf properties.

Financial Administration Control Bureau

The Financial Administration Control Bureau (FACB) has the following objectives:

Contribute to protecting the public funds and properties through:
• Auditing governmental and non-governmental bodies to ensure that functions are carried out in line with applicable laws and regulations.
• Developing performance of FACB staff by training, exchanging international through training and developing necessary systems and tools to enhance performance.

Promote the concept of oversight and accountability in PNA institutions and civil society organizations through:
• Cooperating and communicating with bodies subject to FACB control.
• Publishing a monthly bulletin on the FACB activities and programs.

General Personnel Council

The General Personnel Council (GPC) has the following objectives:

Promote transparency and accountability in public sector recruitment and promotions through:
• Developing appropriate regulations, mechanisms and standards in recruitment and promotion processes.
• Ensuring that the Law of Civil Service and relevant bylaws are duly enforced and updated.
• Establishing interconnectivity between GPC and the General Directorates of Salaries at the Ministry of Finance.
• Developing staffing tables and job descriptions for all governmental institutions.

Contribute to enhance public administration through:
• Taking part in developing modern policies and mechanisms in administration.
• Recruiting qualified human resources and providing staff training programs.

Department of the Chief Justice of the Family Courts

The Department of the Chief Justice of the Family Courts has the following objectives:

Enhance the performance of the religious (Shari’a) judicial system through:
• Building capacities and increasing the number of Shari’a court judges, as well as providing necessary equipment.
• Constructing Shari’a courthouses, throughout the Palestinian countryside.
• Automating operations at Shari’a courts. Safeguard citizens’ rights through:
• Developing and approving laws that regulate functions of the Shari’a courts.
• Adopting a system to archive documents, both manually and electronically, in order to curb fraud, particularly in relation to inheritance, Waqf properties, marriage, divorce, etc.

Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) has the following objectives:

Develop essential ICT infrastructure to support governmental policies and programs through:
• Building central and administrative registers.
•Carrying out various censuses, including the agricultural census.
• Establishing a system for monitoring social, economic, environmental, and governance conditions.
• Publish statistical data in a manner that serves users’ needs and promotes scientific research.

Contribute to building statistical capacities throughout governmental bodies through:
• Developing capacities of relevant staff within ministries and governmental agencies.
• Assisting all governmental bodies and local government units in developing working methods and databases.

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