Government will amend the Local Government Act for timely, free and fair municipal elections- PS for Local Government

Government will amend the Local Government Act for timely, free and fair municipal elections- PS for Local Government

By Karishma Kumari
Sunday 24/09/2023

The Local Government plans to look at ways to amend certain sections of the Local Government Act to make sure that the municipal elections are held in a timely, free and fair manner.

When questioned on fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan on the plans for the review of the Local Government Act, Permanent Secretary for Local Government and Local Government Election Working Group Chairperson Seema Sharma says the whole idea is to look at specific provisions within the Act that look at elections, mainly with part 2 and part 3 of the Act.

She says in terms of moving forward and reviewing the entire Act which is due for a very long time, dated in 1972, they propose to bring in place amendments and work with the elected councillors to put in place all the other amendments.

Sharma says they are currently in the process of looking at amendments concerning the elections.

The Permanent Secretary further says in 2008 there were special administrators and almost 15 years since the councils had to work with councillors and the team to provide policy and direction to the councils.

Sharma says they will work towards developing a series of policies, guidelines, documentation and will work in terms of code and conduct for councillors on financial guidelines development, HR development and basic operating procedures as to how they conduct themselves.

She says there will be interesting transitions because councillors are like the policy arm of the council while the CEO is the operational arm.

The Permanent Secretary says they are already working with development partners like the Commonwealth Local Government Forum to come up with a training plan and induction plan for the staff.

She says therefore, public participation is also very important as the setup of the local government is about the councils within the town boundaries as they can put more input in the operations of the councils on a national level.

Sharma says ever since they've been appointed around February this year the working groups have made sure that the voices of the people are heard from the beginning.

She says to make the process more inclusive they are also having people to fill questionnaires and on the basic amendments needed and give their views and opinions.

She says the proposed amendments should be available on their website as well.

Consultations on the review of the Local Government Act start tomorrow.

You can watch the full Straight Talk interview on our facebook page and YouTube channel fijivillage.

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