LGA: Funds delayed due to council’s failure to update expense report

Local Government Authority (LGA)'s chief executive officer Dr. Mariyam Zulfa. (Photo/LGA)

Local Government Authority (LGA) states the disbursement of block grant by the government to local councils are delayed due to the councils’ failure to update the expense report required by the Finance Ministry. 

Vaavu Atoll Council President Ali Shujau, on Monday, expressed concern over the delays in the receipt of block grants to local councils

When questioned regarding the matter, an official from LGA said that the Finance Ministry disburses the funds under block grants on a monthly basis. The official further explained that councils are required to update the expense report via the council’s finance system after utilizing the funds disbursed to them under bloc grant each month. 

Noting that Finance Ministry will review these reports, the official said the Ministry is required to check whether funds disbursed to the council in the respective month is utilized by the council, or to what extent the funds have been utilized. According the official, the block grant will be withheld to the respective council if their expense report is not updated. 

“Sometimes, some councils fail to update the systems. If there are such issues as unupdated reports, sometimes, the block grant to the council will be withheld,” the official said. 

Henceforth, the official said funds issued to a council under block grant will be disbursed to them, once the expense report pertaining to the respective month is updated. 

The official cited this as the policy that has been in place prior to this as well. However, the official noted issues arising from the system showing funds disbursed as expenses for the specific month if it had been disbursed after the expense report was uploaded. 

The official also said there is not set date to disburse the funds. 

Shujau had expressed concern over the delays in the disbursement of the funds, citing it as an obstruction to council’s operations and expenses which is crucially reliant on it.