Madaveli MP Hussain Firshan has submitted amendments to the Special Provisions Act on Decentralization of Administrative Divisions, designed to remedy obstacles to calling meetings of the Board of Local Government Authority (LGA).
Special Provisions Act on Decentralization of Administrative Divisions was enacted last June to declare procedures for local councils and the LGA following the extension to the term of local councils with the postponement of the local council elections amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Maldives.
While the President has reappointed members to LGA’s Board, the Act lacks in detailed provisions as to meetings of the Board and the person or persons who will chair over the meetings.
Firshan has proposed adding a clause to Article 7, to declare the chairperson and the deputy chairperson of the Board. The amendment declares that the chairperson will be a Cabinet Minister appointed by the President, while the deputy chairperson will be elected among the remaining Board members.
The amendment also declares that Board meetings will be chaired over by the chairperson, and that the deputy chairperson may chair over Board meetings if the chairperson is unavailable or unable to. And if both the chairperson and the deputy chairperson are indisposed of, the meetings may be chaired over by a member decided by the Board.
The amendment also declares situations where Board meetings may be held.
SITUATIONS WHERE BOARD MEETINGS MAY BE HELD:
Meanwhile, LGA will also be required to hold regular Board meetings at least once a week, and the day and time of the regular Board meetings must be declared on LGA’s standing orders.
Firshan told Sun that the role of LGA’s Board had been limited taking disciplinary action against local councilors during the former administration, but that he believes the role of the Board should be expanded to include the work of developing the capacity of local councils.
He said that his amendments are designed to enable it.
“The current Board is also not functioning. But we want to increase the frequency of LGA’s meetings. And for the Board to make its decisions and do what needs to be done as soon as possible,” said Firshan.
The first reading of the bill has been held at the Parliament.