copy the linklink copied!Chapter 1. Open government and the regionalisation process

Morocco has made the choice of enshrining the principles of open government in its 2011 Constitution, also for subnational governments. Article 139 of the Constitution stipulates that “participatory mechanisms for dialogue and consultation are put in place by regional councils and the councils of other local authorities to promote the involvement of citizens and associations in the formulation and monitoring of development programmes.” This dynamic fits into the process of advanced regionalisation (régionalisation avancée) promoted in order to strengthen the competences of municipalities and regions (through the principle of self-government (libre administration), Article 136 of the Constitution) and to foster local policies that are more open, more transparent and more effective. The distribution of competences among local authorities (regions, provinces, prefectures and municipalities) is now based on the principle of subsidiarity, with their own competences, competences shared with the State and transferable competences (OECD, 2017[6]). According to this distribution of competences, municipalities have responsibility for the provision of local public services. As a result, they can be more closely attuned to citizens’ needs and are on the frontline when it comes to citizens’ demands for accountability (see Box ‎1.1).

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Box ‎1.1. Areas of competence of the municipality

According to Article 77 of organic law n° 113-14, the municipality has responsibility, within its territorial jurisdiction, for the provision of local public services to its citizens. Thus, on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity, the municipality exercises its own competences, competences shared with the State and competences that are transferable to its domain by this latter.

  1. a) Competences that belong to the municipality

First of all, the municipality, under the supervision of the president/mayor and its council, sets in place a Municipal Action Plan and works towards its follow-up, implementation and evaluation. This plan establishes, for a period of six years, the development activities that the municipality intends carrying out or participating in, within the municipal territory. In addition, the municipality sets up and manages the services and equipment required for the provision of local services to citizens in various sectors, such as the distribution of drinking water and electricity, public urban transport, public lighting, liquid and solid sanitation and wastewater treatment plants, municipal markets, etc.

Similarly, and subject to all applicable legal and regulatory requirements, the municipality exercises competence in the area of urban and land-use planning. With regard to international cooperation, the municipality can enter into agreements with international actors and receive funding as part of the same, after obtaining approval from the national authorities. However, no agreement may be signed between a municipality and a foreign state.

  1. b) Competences shared with the State

The municipality exercises competences shared with the State in the following areas:

  • Development of the local economy and promotion of employment;

  • preservation of the local heritage and its development;

  • handling the procedures required for the promotion and encouragement of private investment (supplying infrastructure and equipment, contributing to the establishment of economic activity zones and improving working conditions for businesses).

For this purpose, the municipality may contribute to various areas of activity, such as the setting up of youth centres, women's centres, charitable homes, retirement homes, social reception centres, cultural and sports centres, libraries, environmental protection, maintenance of schools and health clinics, building and maintenance of municipal roads and tracks, upgrading and touristic promotion of medinas, historic sites and monuments.

It should be noted that competences shared between the municipality and the State are exercised on a contractual basis, either at the initiative of the State or at the request of the municipality.

  1. c) Competences transferred by the State to the municipality

According to Article 90 of organic law n° 113-14, the areas of competence transferred by the State to the municipality are established on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity. These areas include, in particular:

  • the protection and restoration of historic monuments, the cultural heritage and the conservation of natural sites;

  • the supply and maintenance of small and medium-sized hydraulic structures and equipment.

In addition, and in accordance with Article 91 of the previously cited organic law, the transfer of competences by the State to the municipality will be conducted taking into account the principles of temporal progressivity and spatial differentiation between municipalities. The transferred competences will be transformed in proper competences of the municipality or the concerned municipalities according to a modification of the organic law related to municipalities. Similarly, the government will consult the municipal council on sectoral policies that affect the municipality, as well as on large-scale structures and projects planned by the State and to be implemented on municipal territory.

Therefore, the municipal council will decide on matters pertaining to the following sectors:

  • municipal finances, taxes and heritage;

  • local public services and amenities;

  • economic and social development;

  • urban and land-use planning and construction;

  • sanitary and health measures and environmental protection;

  • organisation of municipal administration;

  • cooperation and partnership.

Source: (OECD, 2017[7])

As a result of these competences being assigned to municipalities, a number of initiatives have been undertaken by regional and local governments in Morocco, such as participatory budgeting in the region of Tanger-Tétouan-Al Hoceima and the participatory restoration of the medina of Tiznit (OECD, 2017[6]). In recent years, the mayor and the municipal council of Salé have undertaken and supported several initiatives aimed at promoting transparency, stakeholder participation, integrity and accountability, with a view to forging closer links between the municipality and its citizens, and involving these latter in the development of the city. This dynamic is based on a bottom-up approach developed at district level, and on strong engagement with local civil society. Salé (see Box ‎1.2) is a city of significant economic and demographic stature, and is close to the Moroccan capital of Rabat. The experiences of Salé represent a pioneering approach in Morocco, which could inspire other cities and have an impact on open government initiatives at national level. It is for this reason that Morocco and the OECD chose to conduct the pilot project in Salé.

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Box ‎1.2. Key figures for the city of Salé

Salé is a city situated in the region of Rabat-Salé-Kenitra near the Moroccan capital, Rabat. It has a population of 890 403 inhabitants, the equivalent of about 3% of the total Moroccan population (33 848 242 inhabitants). More than 25% of its inhabitants are under 15 years of age. The city has five districts: Tabriquet, Bab Lamrissa, Hssaine, Laayayda and Bettana.

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Table ‎1.1. Key features


21.7% (29% of women and 13% of men)


19.2% (30% of women and 15% of men)

Level of participation in elections

37% in local elections in 2015 (54% national level)

36% of legislative elections in 2016 (42% national level)

Since the last municipal elections, on 4 September 2015, the city’s mayor has been Jamaâ El Moâtassim and the municipal council, comprising 81.4% male elected representatives, is made up as follows:

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Table ‎1.2. Municipal council members



Justice and Development Party (PJD)


Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM)


National Rally of Independents (RNI)


People's Movement (MP)


Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS)


Istiqlal Party


The industrial sector in Salé accounts for 34% of regional activity. Salé’s economy is based on chemical and parachemical, food, metallurgy and mechanical, textile and leather, electrical and electronics industries. Also present are the craft, retail, tourism, fisheries, banking and transport sectors.

Source: (High Commissioner for Planning, 2017[8]) and Ministry of the Interior (2017), Elections


[9] City of Edmonton (2017), Open City Initiative, (accessed on 28 May 2018).

[10] GIZ (2017), Le Cadre législatif et réglementaire de la gouvernance participative locale.

[8] High Commissioner for Planning (2017), General Population and Housing Census in Morocco 2014, (accessed on 28 May 2018).

[14] International Centre for Municipal Development (1999), Local Government Participatory Practices Manual, (accessed on 28 May 2018).

[18] l’OBS avec Rue89 (2014), “La carte de (presque) tous les accidents de la route en 2012”, (accessed on 28 May 2018).

[11] Mairie de Paris (2018), La Charte parisienne de la participation est adoptée –, (accessed on 30 January 2018).

[12] Mairie de Paris (2010), Charte Parisienne de la Participation, (accessed on 30 January 2018).

[22] Ministère de l’Intérieur, 2017 (n.d.), Élections,

[15] OECD (2019), Open Government in La Marsa, Sayada and Sfax, OECD,

[3] OECD (2017), Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity, (accessed on 30 January 2018).

[6] OECD (2017), Accompagner les réformes de la gouvernance locale au Maroc : Guide de Bonnes Pratiques.

[7] OECD (2017), Le rôle des élus au sein des collectivités territoriales du Maroc : vers une démocratie locale plus proche des citoyens.

[20] OECD (2017), Recommandation du Conseil sur le Gouvernement Ouvert, (accessed on 19 April 2018).

[1] OECD (2017), Recommendation of the Council on Open Government, (accessed on 19 April 2018).

[2] OECD (2016), Open Government: The Global Context and the Way Forward, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[4] OECD (2015), Open Government in Morocco, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[19] OECD (2013), Regulatory Consultation: A MENA-OECD Practitioners’ guide for engaging stakeholders in the rule-making process, (accessed on 21 March 2018).

[16] OECD (2011), Government at a Glance 2011, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[5] OGP (2017), OGP Local Program | Open Government Partnership, (accessed on 21 March 2018).

[17] Open Knowledge Foundation (2017), Qu’est-ce que l’Open Data?, Open Data Handbook, (accessed on 19 April 2018).

[21] Paris, O. (n.d.), Open Data Portal Paris,

[13] Ville de Dieppe (n.d.), Direction relation aux Citoyens, (accessed on 30 January 2018).

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Chapter 1. Open government and the regionalisation process