Government commissions businesses in Zambia

Statutory bodies with legislative and executive authority in a board of commissioners

Government commissions

Statutory bodies with legislative and executive authority in a board of commissioners

Municipal councils are examples of government commissions in Zambia responsible for the administration of works such as public safety, public works and finance. Find details of government commissions here in Zambia. A commission of enquiry is a major ad-hoc formal public inquiry into a defined issue and has considerable powers, generally greater even than those of a judge but restricted to the terms of reference of the commission. The commission is created by the president. There also permanent regulatory bodies set up as commissions to oversee defined functions of the government.

A government commission is a form of municipal government that vests all legislative and executive authority in a small board of commissioners. Elected at large, each commissioner is responsible for the administration of one branch of municipal business, such as public safety, public works, and finance.

Advantages and disadvantages

Below are some often-cited advantages and disadvantages of this form of local government.


  • Those who favour this structure of government contend that, because power is concentrated in one set of individuals, decisions can be made quicker without all the “checks and balances” that typically delay action in the other structures;
  • This form of government has worked well in emergency situations;
  • A city commission is a simple organisational structure; and
  • This form of government provides swift direct implementation of policy.


  • Unfortunately, time has proven this form of government does not live up to its anticipated benefits. Rather than allowing a city to make quicker decisions, there is often deadlock and inaction with department heads acting in the narrow interests of their own department, rather than the city government as a whole;
  • The city commission often lacks effective leadership because leadership is shared at a departmental level;
  • Along the same lines, the city commission is sometimes bereft strong, effective political leadership; and
  • This form of government encourages departmental parochialism, making general administrative reorganisation difficult to achieve.

To provide for a principled and value-based decentralised human resource management system for the public service; provide for the composition, additional functions, operations and financial management of the

  • Judicial Service Commission,
  • Civil Service Commission,
  • Teaching Service Commission,
  • Zambia Correctional Service Commission,
  • Zambia Police Service Commission
  • Local Government Service Commission

pursuant to the Constitution; provide for the establishment of human resource management committees in Government institutions.