Vanuatu Consolidated Legislation - 1988
Commencement: 8 December 1980
LAWS OF THE REPUBLIC OF VANUATU
REVISED EDITION 1988
Act5 of 1980
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
3. Municipal councils
4. Composition of councils
5. Municipal seal
6. Election of councillors
Term of Office and Election of Councillors
7. Term of office of councillors and elections
11. Filling of vacancies
Meetings of Councils and Committees
12. Standing orders
13. Meetings of the council
15. Proceedings of a council
16. Minutes of council and committee meetings
18. Finance committee
Officers and Staff
19. Municipal clerk
20. Other officers
21. Dismissal of clerk
Duties and Powers of Councils
25. General duties
26. General powers
28. Agent for Government
Land, Streets and Public Places
29. Interests in land
30. Acquisition of interests in land
32. Control or roads, streets, etc.
33. Closure of roads and open spaces
35. Provisions relating to traffic
36. Power to make bye-laws
37. Procedure relating to bye-laws
39. Publication of bye-laws
40. Penalty for contravention of bye-laws
41. Power to enforce making of bye-laws
Revenue and Expenditure
42. Financial year
44. Recurrent revenue
45. Extraordinary revenue
56. Inspection of accounts
57. Financial regulations and tender board orders
Inspection, Disallowance, Surcharge and Suspension
61. Inquiries and suspension
62. Reduction or refund of grants
63. Financial interest of councillors
65. Entry to premises
66. Power of officers to require persons to give name and address
67. Immunity from proceedings
69. General penalty
SCHEDULE-Powers of Municipal Councils
To provide for the establishment of municipalities, elections to municipal councils, the powers of municipalities and other matters related thereto.
1. In this Act -
"Electoral Commission" means the Electoral Commission established by Article 18 of the Constitution;
"Minister" means the Minister responsible for the Municipalities;
"Principal Electoral Officer" means the Principal Electoral Officer established by Article 19 of the Constitution and includes a deputy principal electoral officer.
DECLARATION OF MUNICIPALITIES
2. The Minister may by Order -
(a) declare any area to be a municipality;
(b) give a name to a municipality;
(c) define the boundaries of any municipality and alter such boundaries;
(d) declare that any area shall cease to be a municipality.
(2) Every council shall be a body corporate by the name of the municipal council with perpetual succession and power -
(a) to sue and be sued in its corporate name; and
(b) to purchase, acquire, hold, manage and dispose of movable and immovable property.
COMPOSITION OF COUNCILS
4. The Minister may from time to time by Order -
(a) prescribe the composition of a council and the number of councillors;
(b) divide a municipality into territorial wards and vary the boundaries of any such wards;
(c) prescribe the number of councillors to be elected in respect of each ward;
(d) provide for the election of a mayor who shall be chairman of the council;
(e) provide for the election of a deputy mayor or mayors from among the councillors;
(f) prescribe the terms and conditions of office of councillors including the mayor and the deputy mayor;
(g) provide for any other matter not hereinbefore specified which may be necessary for the proper establishment of a council.
ELECTION OF COUNCILLORS
(2) The election of any person as mayor, deputy mayor or as a councillor shall be notified in the Gazette:
Provided that an omission so to do shall not invalidate any such election.
TERM OF OFFICE AND ELECTION OF COUNCILLORS
TERMS OF OFFICE OF COUNCILLORS AND ELECTIONS
(2) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution and this Act the Minister may by Order provide for the regulation and conduct of elections to be held under the provisions of this Act and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may provide for -
(a) the date for election of councillors provided that if the Electoral Commission fails so to do the election shall take place on a date that is 1 calendar month before the end of the term of office of the councillors presently in office. If the date is a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday the election shall take place on the next preceding day that is not one of those days;
(b) the qualifications and disqualifications of electors;
(c) the registration of electors in any municipality or in any territorial ward of any municipality;
(d) the ascertainment of the qualification of election as councillors;
(e) the method of making and disposing of claims or objections in connection with the procedure for the nomination of candidates for election as councillors;
(f) the procedure for the nomination of candidates for election as councillors;
(g) the method of election in any municipality or in any territorial ward of any municipality;
(h) the determination of any question which may arise whether any person has been elected as a councillor;
(i) the nature of corrupt and illegal practices in connection with elections and penalties in relation thereto:
Provided that no penalty prescribed by any order made under this paragraph shall exceed imprisonment for a period of 5 years or a fine of VT100,000 or both;
(f) such forms as he may consider necessary to be used in connection with elections.
DISQUALIFICATION FOR ELECTION AS A MUNICIPAL COUNCILLOR
(d) members of the police force;
(e) members of the National Council of Chiefs;
(f) any member of district council of chiefs, island council of chiefs, and area council of chiefs, who holds the position of chairman, vice-chairman, secretary or treasurer, shall not be qualified for election as a member of a municipal council;
(g) members of the teaching service;
(h) members of local government councils;
(i) the legal adviser or auditor of the council or the partner or employee of such legal adviser or auditor;
(j) a person who is in the service of the council;
(k) a person who, being engaged in a profession, is disqualified or suspended from practising such profession;
(l) a person who is in default of payment of any rates, charges or other debts due to the council for a period exceeding 2 months after the same shall have become due;
(m) a person having a contract with the council to provide municipal services.
ACTS VALID DESPITE DEFECTS IN ELECTION OR APPOINTMENT
VACATION OF OFFICE
10. If any councillor -
(a) is found to have been unqualified or disqualified for election to a council;
(b) is by any circumstances arising so placed that if he were not a councillor would cause him to be disqualified from election as such;
(c) resigns from the council;
(d) retires from the council in accordance with any terms and conditions that may be prescribed under the provisions of section 4;
(e) fails to attend 3 consecutive meetings of the council or of any committee of the council of which he is a member, unless he has obtained the prior permission of the council to absent himself throughout such period, he shall cease to hold office as a councillor.
FILLING OF VACANCIES
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) if -
(a) a vacancy occurs in the office of a councillor within 6 months preceding the date on which such councillor would ordinarily retire; and
(b) the total of unfilled vacancies does not exceed a third of the total number of councillor; and
(c) if no ward will thereby be unrepresented,
an election to fill such vacancy shall not be held under the provisions of this section and such vacancy shall remain unfilled until the time of the next ordinary election.
(3) A person elected under the provisions of this section to fill a vacancy shall hold office until the date upon which the person in whose place he is elected would ordinarily have retired, and he shall then retire.
MEETINGS OF COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES
(b) the authentication of all documents required to be sealed with the seal of the council; and
(c) such other matters as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act or as may be directed by the Minister.
(2) The clerk shall cause a certified true copy of the standing orders of a council and of all amendments to such standing orders to be forwarded to the Minister.
(3) Standing orders of a council shall not have effect until approved by the Minister and all variations and revocations of such orders shall likewise be subject to his approval.
(4) If any council fails within a reasonable time to make standing orders which have been approved by the Minister under the provisions of this section the Minister may direct the council by letter addressed to the council to make standing orders.
(5) If within 60 days of receipt of such letter the council has not made such standing orders, the Minister may make standing orders for the council and such standing orders shall be the standing orders for the purposes of subsection (1).
MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL
13. (1) Every council shall hold not less than 6 meetings each year.
(2) Every meeting of a council shall be open to the public and to representatives of the press:
Provided that the chairman of any such meeting may -
(a) exclude or require to withdraw from such meeting any person who, in his opinion, is behaving in a disorderly manner; and
(b) call upon any police officer or any officers or servants of the council to eject any such person refusing to withdraw from such meeting.
(3) No meeting of any committee of a council shall be open to the public or to representatives of the press unless the council otherwise directs.
(4) The clerk or his representative shall attend every meeting of the council and its committees but shall not be entitled to vote thereat.
CHAIRMAN OF MEETINGS OF A COUNCIL
(2) In the absence of the mayor and of the deputy mayor the councillors present at any meeting of a council shall elect one of their number to act as chairman for the purpose of such meetings.
PROCEEDINGS OF A COUNCIL
15. (1) The quorum for any meeting of a council shall be -
(a) in the case of a council composed of twelve members or less, one third of the total membership; and
(b) in the case of a council composed of over twelve members, one half of the total membership:
Provided that vacancies in the membership of a council and the offices of councillors granted leave of absence by a council under section 10(a) shall for the purposes of paragraph (b) of this subsection, be excluded from the total membership.
(2) All acts of a council and all matters coming before a council for decision shall be done and decided by a majority of the councillors present and voting.
(3) The person presiding at any meeting of a council shall in addition to his ordinary vote have a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
MINUTES OF COUNCIL AND COMMITTEE MEETINGS
(2) Until the contrary is proved, a meeting of a council or of a committee of a council in respect of the proceeding wherefore a minute has been made and signed in accordance with the provisions of subsection (1) shall be deemed to have been duly convened and held, and all councillors present at such meeting shall be deemed to have been duly qualified, and, where such proceedings are proceedings of a committee it shall be deemed to have been duly constituted and to have had power to deal with the matters to which reference is made in such minute.
COMMITTEE OF COUNCILS
(a) the power to levy rates;
(b) the power to borrow money; or
(c) any other power which by this Act or any other law or an order made by the Minister may not be exercised by a committee of a council.
(2) In no case shall any act of any committee of a council be binding upon the council until submitted to and approved by the council except in any case where the council has, by resolution, authorised a committee to manage, regulate or conclude any matter.
(3) The numbers of a committee, the term of office of members and the area of the municipality if any within which such committee is required to exercise authority, shall be fixed by the council.
(4) The chairman of any committee shall be a councillor who shall be appointed either by the council or, in default of such appointment, by the members of the committee from among their number. The members of any committee may also appoint a deputy chairman from among their number.
(5) A committee, other than a finance committee, may include persons who are not councillors to a number not exceeding one third of the membership of such committee and any such persons shall be entitled to vote at meetings of such committee.
(6) Every member of a committee of council who at the time of his appointment to such committee is a councillor shall, upon ceasing to be a councillor, cease to be a member of such committee.
OFFICERS AND STAFF
(2) The clerk shall be the chief officer of the council and shall have the charge and custody of and be responsible for all books, records and other documents of the council.
(3) The clerk may, subject to the general directions of the council, exercise the powers of the council and all acts done by him in the exercise of such powers shall be considered to have been done by the council.
(4) The appointment of a person as clerk and the terms and conditions of such appointment shall in all respects be subject to the approval of the Minister.
(2) A council may appoint such other officers as it may consider necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the council upon such terms and conditions as it may determine and may define the powers and duties of such officers.
DISMISSAL OF CLERK
21. The clerk shall not be dismissed from office without the consent of the Minister.
POWER TO ENGAGE STAFF
(a) grades and salary scales;
(b) appointments, promotions, leaves, termination of appointments and dismissals;
(c) maintenance of discipline;
(d) disciplinary offences;
(e) interdiction and payment of salary or wages during any period of interdiction;
(f) punishments in respect of disciplinary offences including the withholding or deferment of increments, fines, reductions in rank or salary and deductions from salary in respect of damage to property of the council by reason of misconduct or breach of duty by an officer, servant or employee;
(h) payment of allowances and the making of advances; and
(i) terms and conditions of service generally, including matters relating to procedure and the duties and responsibilities of officers, servants and employees.
(2) Staff regulations made under the provisions of subsection (1) shall be subject to the prior approval of the Minister in writing.
24. (1) A council may -
(a) establish and maintain or join with other councils or authorities in establishing and maintaining a pension or superannuation scheme;
(b) contribute to a pension or superannuation scheme established and maintained by the Government; or
(c) make other arrangements,
for the payment of pensions or superannuation benefits to persons retiring from the service of the council, or to any dependent of any deceased person who at the time of his death was in or had retired from the service of the council.
(2) A scheme or arrangement established or made, or into the establishment and maintenance of which a council has joined, or to which a council contributes under the provisions of subsection (1) may make provision for a contribution by the council or by persons in the service of the council to whom such scheme or arrangement applies or by both the council and such persons to a fund controlled, by the council or by some other person approved by the Minister for such purpose.
(3) A council may establish and maintain or join with other councils or authorities in establishing and maintaining or otherwise arrange for a provident fund scheme for the benefit of persons retiring from the service of the council who are not entitled to or eligible for the payment of a pension or superannuation benefit under the provisions of subsection (1).
(4) A council may establish and maintain a scheme for the payment of gratuities, retiring allowances or other benefits to persons who retire from the service of the council or to any dependents of any deceased person who at the time of his death was in or had retired from the service of the council, and any such scheme may be in addition to or in lieu of any scheme or arrangement made under the provisions of subsection (1) or subsection (3).
(5) A scheme established under the provisions of subsection (4) may, in addition to any other provisions, provide for the payment of compensation for loss or abolition of office arising from reorganisation, redundancy or any other cause whatsoever.
(6) Every scheme or arrangement under the provisions of this section shall be subject to the prior approval in writing of the Minister.
(7) No pension, provident fund payment, gratuity or other allowance or benefit payable under the provision of this section shall be assignable or transferable or liable to be attached or levied upon for or in respect of any debt or claim except a debt due to or a claim made by the council.
DUTIES AND POWERS OF COUNCILS
(b) to safeguard public health;
(c) to develop, control and manage land taken on lease from any statutory and authority including any housing estates thereon; and
(d) to administer education, medical and health services as the Minister may after consultation with the responsible Minister by Order declare.
(2) If the Minister is satisfied that a council is incapable by reason of insufficiency of staff or facilities, of administering any of the services referred to In subsection (1)(d) he may, by order, direct such council to appoint the Government as its agent for the purpose of administering such service and such service shall thereafter be administered by the Government at the expense of such council.
(2) The Minister may, in relation to any particular council, by order, restrict the exercise of its scheduled powers.
(3) The Minister may, by Order, from time to time vary the Schedule.
(2) Except as may be permitted by its standing orders a council shall not enter into any contract -
(a) for the supply of any goods or materials; or
(b) for the execution of any works or provisions of any services, other than professional services, to or for the council, except after publicly calling for tenders for the same.
(3) A contract purporting to be made by a council which is -
(a) sealed with the seal of the council; or
(b) signed by an officer of the council duly authorised in that behalf by any resolution or standing order of the council,
shall not be invalid by reason only of any failure to observe any standing order made under the provisions of this Act.
AGENT FOR GOVERNMENT
28. At the request of the Minister, a council may -
(a) act as the agent of the Government for the collection of Government revenue upon such terms and conditions as to payment of commission or otherwise as may be agreed; or
(b) perform and do such other acts, matters and things on behalf of the Government as may be agreed.
LAND, STREETS AND PUBLIC PLACES
INTERESTS IN LAND
29. All interests in land acquired by a council shall be held in the name of the council.
ACQUISITION OF INTERESTS IN LAND
(2) The consent of the Minister shall not be required in respect of the acquisition of any interest, any lease of or easement over any land vested in a statutory land authority.
POWER OF SALE AND LEASE OF INTERESTS IN LAND
31. (1) A council may, with the consent of the Minister -
(a) sell any lease or interest in land of the council which is not required for the purpose for which it was acquired or is being used;
(b) exchange any lease or interest in land of the council for another lease or interest whether with or without paying or receiving any money for equality of exchange.
(2) Where any lease or interest in land of a council is sold or exchanged the proceeds of such sale or exchange shall be credited to the capital account of the council or otherwise applied in such manner as the Minister may approve.
(3) Subject to the provisions of the Land Reform Act, Cap. 123 a council may sublease or permit the use by any person of any land leased by the council.
CONTROL OF ROADS, STREETS, ETC.
(2) Subject to the Constitution and any law the Minister responsible for the administration of roads may from time to time by order declare that all of any of the roads, including any streets or bridges, maintained by the Government which lie within a municipality shall be under the general control and care of the council and thereupon such roads, streets or bridges shall be held by the council for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of the municipality.
(3) A council may -
(a) make, construct, alter, repair and, if necessary temporarily close all roads, streets, bridges, ferries, sewers, drains and culverts vested in the council or under its control;
(b) make new roads, streets, bridges, open spaces, ferries, dams, sewers, drains and culverts within the municipality; and
(c) if necessary, for any of the purposes mentioned in paragraph (b), carry sewers, drains and pipes through and across any land after giving notice to the owner or occupier of any such land.
(4) A council may erect and maintain on any land leased, held or occupied by the council building for public purposes and may set apart any such land for any purpose which the council may from time to time determine.
CLOSURE OF ROADS AND OPEN SPACES
(2) The following provisions shall apply to the exercise by the council of the powers contained in subsection (1) -
(a) no such power shall be exercised except in pursuance of a resolution of the council or on a motion of which not less than 14 days notice has been given to councillors;
(b) the council shall prepare a plan showing the nature of the closure, diversion or alteration proposed and shall give notice in the Gazette and in 1 or more newspapers if any, circulating in the municipality as well as by placing such number of placards as it deems necessary on or near the road, street, thorough fare, public open space, garden, park and other enclosed space which it is proposed to close, divert or alter -
(i) of its intention, after the expiration of 1 month from the date of publication of such notice in the Gazette to carry out such closure, diversions or alteration;
(ii) specifying the place and times during which such plan shall be open for inspection by the public;
(c) the council shall cause a copy of such notice to be served by post -
(i) upon all persons known to be custom owners or their acknowledged representatives and on all persons registered under the law as proprietors of an interest in any lands contiguous with such road, street, thorough- fare, public open space, garden, park or other enclosed space; and
(ii) upon the Minister;
(d) if -
(i) any person mentioned in paragraph (c); or
(ii) any other person aggrieved by such proposed closure, diversion or alteration;
at any time within the period mentioned in paragraph (b) serves notice in writing on the clerk of any objection to such closure, diversion or alteration, then unless such objection is withdrawn such closure, diversion or alteration shall not be carried out without the consent of the Minister;
(e) the Minister may, of his own motion, or on an application made by the council, appoint one or more persons to enquire into the proposed closure, diversion or alteration and to report thereon; and on receiving such report the Minister may make an order disallowing such closure, diversion or alteration or allowing the same with or without such modifications as he may deem necessary.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to confer upon a council -
(a) any power for the compulsory acquisition of any interest in land; or
(b) any power to undertake works in contravention of any scheme under any law providing for urban or rural planning.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) a council may, on such days, not exceeding 12 in any 1 year nor 4 consecutive days on any I occasion, as it may think fit -
(a) close to the public any public open space, garden, park or other enclosed space; and
(b) use, or permit the use, with or without payment by any other person of any such place for any agricultural, charitable, educational, horticultural or public purpose or for any trade exhibition; and
(c) limit or permit such other person to limit the right of admission to any such place to any person or class or persons; and
(d) charge for admission to any such place or authorise any such person permitting the se of such place so to charge.
COMPENSATION AND BETTERMENT
(2) Where by the execution of any works mentioned in subsection (1), any land affected by such works is increased in value, the council may, within 1 year of the date of completion of such works, recover from: the owner of such land the amount of such increase.
(3) A sum recoverable under the provisions of subsection (2) may be set off against a claim made under the provisions of subsection (1).
(4) The Minister may by Order provide for -
(a) the manner in which claims for compensation and betterment under this section shall be made;
(b) the determination and disposal of claims under this section;
(c) any other matter necessary to be prescribed for the purposes of this section.
PROVISIONS RELATING TO TRAFFIC
35. Subject to the provisions of any traffic laws a council may -
(a) erect, place and maintain upon any public road, street, or bridge, such refuges, shelters, islands, fences, posts, notices, signs or lights as may be necessary for the safety, guidance and direction of vehicular traffic or pedestrians;
(b) set aside, use, authorise for use or forbid as a parking or stopping place for vehicles or any class of vehicles, any street or part thereof or any open space.
POWER TO MAKE BYE-LAWS
(a) the safety of the inhabitants of the municipality; or
(b) the maintenance of the health, well-being and good order and government of the municipality; or
(c) the prevention and suppression of nuisances in the municipality.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) a council may make bye-laws necessary for carrying out the powers conferred upon the council by this or any other law and for such additional purposes as may be prescribed by the Minister.
(3) Bye-laws made under the provisions of this section may apply to the whole or any part of the municipality.
PROCEDURE RELATING TO BY-LAWS
(2) The council shall -
(a) publish in the Gazette a notice of its intention to make a bye-law and by such notice invite representations in writing from any person who objects to the making of such bye-law;
(b) cause a copy of such notice and of the proposed bye-law to be exhibited for a period of 1 month in a prominent place at or near the main entrance to the offices of the council.
(3) After the end of 1 month from the date on which the copy of a proposed bye-law was first exhibited in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) the council shall forward to the Minister -
(a) a copy of the proposed bye-law;
(b) a copy of any written representations from any person who objects to the making of the bye-law; or
(c) where no representations have been received a statement to that effect signed by the clerk.
(4) The Minister may approve, alter or reject any proposed bye-law.
(5) Where the Minister approves, whether with or without alteration, a proposed bye-law, the council shall make such bye-law only in accordance with the terms of such approval.
(6) Every bye-law, shall be made under the seal of the council which shall be affixed in the presence of the mayor or deputy mayor, the clerk and one other councillor all of whom shall sign the bye-law.
BYE-LAWS NOT TO CONFLICT WITH ACTS OR ORDERS
PUBLICATION OF BYE-LAWS
PENALTY FOR CONTRAVENTION OF BYE-LAWS
(2) In addition to the penalties for which provision is made by subsection (1) a bye-law may provide that any expenses incurred by the council because of any contravention of or failure to comply with any of the provisions thereof shall be recoverable by the council from the person convicted of such contravention or failure.
POWER TO ENFORCE MAKING OF BYE-LAWS
(2) If a council having received a direction under subsection (1) fails, within such time as the Minister considers in the circumstances to be reasonable, to obey such direction, the Minister may make bye-laws to the effect specified in such directions and for that purpose he may exercise all the powers conferred upon the council under the provisions of section 36.
REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE
DIVISION OF MUNICIPALITY BUDGET INTO RECURRENT AND EXTRAORDINARY PARTS
(a) all rates lawfully levied by the council;
(b) such part as the Minister may determine of any fees and charges payable in respect of licences and permits which have been lawfully issued or authorised for issue by the council, whether under this or any other law;
(c) all other fees, charges, rents and dues payable to or recoverable by the council or to which the council is entitled under the provisions of this or any other law;
(d) one half of all fines imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction within the municipality in respect of any contravention of or failure to comply with the provisions of any municipal bye-law;
(e) except as may be otherwise prescribed by the Minister, all charges or profits arising from any trade, service or undertaking carried on by the council in exercise of the powers vested in it;
(f) interest on moneys invested by the council except where other provision is made in respect thereof under the provisions of this or any other law;
(g) all recurrent grants paid by the Government;
(h) all rents from lands leased by the council;
(i) such other revenues as the Minister may declare in writing to be revenues for the purposes of this section.
(c) gifts and legacies;
(d) proceeds from sale of municipal property;
(e) any other unusual or temporary income.
CAPITAL AND RENEWAL ACCOUNT
POWER TO RAISE LOANS
(2) Any financial liability to the Government lawfully incurred by a council for the purpose of acquiring any interest in land or any works, schemes, undertakings or assets from the Government, and not discharged by immediate payment, shall be deemed to be a loan granted by the Government.
(a) pending the receipt of moneys in respect of revenue; or
(b) pending the raising of a loan under the provisions of section 48 to which the Minister has consented,
obtain advances of money by way of a temporary loan or overdraft for the purpose of defraying such expenditure, and any such advance and the interest thereon shall constitute a debt due by the council and be charged upon the assets and revenues thereof and until repaid shall rank as if it were a loan raised under section 48.
INVESTMENT OF FUNDS
50. Any of the moneys of a council may be -
(a) deposited in a bank approved in writing by the Minister responsible for finance;
(b) invested in Vanuatu Government securities as provided for in the Central Bank of Vanuatu Act, Cap 125; or
(c) in such other manner as the Minister responsible for finance may approve.
(2) The estimates of a council shall be submitted to the Minister who may subject to the provisions of subsection (3) and after consultation with the Minister responsible for finance -
(a) approve such estimates without amendment; or
(b) disallow or amend any item or part of any item therein which, in his opinion, is unlawful, excessive or unnecessary; or
(c) disapprove such estimates.
(3) The power of disallowance, amendment or disapproval conferred on the Minister by the provisions of subsection (2) shall not be exercised by the Minister until he has allowed the council an opportunity of making representations on any proposed disallowance, amendment or disapproval.
(4) As soon as is reasonable after the Minister has approved the estimates of the council, whether with or without amendment a copy of such estimates shall be deposited in the offices of the council and shall at reasonable hours be open to public inspection without payment.
(5) Where additional financial provision is required during the course of any year supplementary estimates shall be passed, submitted and otherwise dealt with in the same manner as estimates.
(6) A summary of the estimates and any supplementary estimates as approved by the Minister shall be recorded in the minutes of the council.
INCURRING EXPENDITURE NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH ESTIMATES
(2) Subject to the provisions of any regulations made under section 57 and notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) and section 51(5) a council may by resolution authorise the expenditure of not more than VT200,000 or 25 per cent, whichever is the less of funds appropriated for any one purpose in approved estimates, on any other purpose therein contained:
Provided that no expenditure on such authorisation shall take place without the consent of the Minister -
(a) for any purpose in respect of which provision has' not been made in the approved estimates; or
(b) for any purpose the proposed expenditure on which has been reduced by the Minister.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, a council may -
(a) prior to the approval of its estimates, authorise expenditure on recurrent items to an amount not exceeding half that provided in the approved estimates for the preceding year; and
(b) prior to the approval of its estimates or any supplementary estimates, grant to its officers increase of salary or wages in accordance with approved scales.
(b) any other ground which seems sufficient to the council;
to the extent and in the manner prescribed in the standing orders of the council.
(2) Subject to any directions of the Minister, such books and accounts shall be kept in such form and by such method as the council may approve.
(2) If the Auditor General so directs, the council shall reimburse to the Government such sum in respect of the Auditor General's expenses as the Minister may fix.
(3) The council shall -
(a) produce to the auditor within 3 months of conclusion of the year to which they relate all the books and accounts of the council together with all deeds, contracts, documents, receipts and vouchers relating thereto;
(b) permit the auditor to inspect all stores and other assets of the council as he may require; and
(c) give to the auditor such information, explanations and facilities as he may require to be given to enable him to perform the duties of an auditor.
(4) It shall be the duty of the auditor to report to the council not less than once in each year separately in respect of each of the following matters, that -
(a) he has obtained all such information, explanations and facilities as he may have required to be given to enable him to perform the duties of an auditor;
(b) the accounts of the council are in order and present a true view of the financial position of the council;
(c) separate accounts of all undertakings and other accounts required to be kept by the provisions of this Act have been kept;
(d) due provision has been made for redemption and repayment of all moneys borrowed by the council;
(e) such provision as may be required under the provisions of this Act has been made for depreciation or renewal of the assets of the council.
(5) In addition to the report required under subsection (4) the auditor shall report to the Minister and to the Minister responsible for finance and to the council any matter or thing which is discovered during the course of the audit and which appears to have been done or performed without due authority.
(6) The clerk shall -
(a) within 30 days of the receipt of the auditor's report on the accounts of the council for any year submit the accounts together with such report to the Minister; and
(b) lay the accounts of the council for each year together with the auditor's report thereon before the council within 30 days of the receipt of such report, or if the council is not sitting, at its next meeting;
and thereafter such extracts from such accounts and such reports as the Minister may approve shall be deposited in the offices of the council and shall at all reasonable hours be open to public inspection without payment. A notice of such deposit shall be published in the Gazette.
INSPECTION OF ACCOUNTS
FINANCIAL REGULATIONS AND TENDER BOARD ORDERS
(b) regulating the procedure and duties of the treasurers, and accounting staff of councils;
(c) providing for the receipt, safe-handling, recording, safe custody and disposal of cash or stores;
(d) empowering councils to surcharge members of their staff responsible for loss of money or loss of or damage to stores and providing for the manner in which surcharges shall be made;
(e) regulating the procedure for dealing with tenders;
(f) requiring contracts made by councils to be in accordance with such orders and in particular requiring, in the case of contracts for the supply of goods or materials or for the execution of works to the value of VT150,000 or more or such higher minimum value as the Minister may specify in respect of any council or councils to enter into, the contract shall be published in tenders invited and regulating the manner in which such notice shall be published and such tenders accepted; and
(g) generally for carrying the provisions of this part into effect.
(2) Regulations made under this section may be applied either generally or with respect to any particular council and shall be observed and obeyed by the council to which they apply.
(b) the method of levying such rates.
INSPECTIONS, DISALLOWANCE, SURCHARGE AND SUSPENSION
(2) An inspector may -
(a) attend any meeting of the council or any committee of the council;
(b) upon giving due notice to the clerk of his intention so to do, inspect any books, records, documents, contracts, stores or other assets and any undertaking of the council.
(3) An inspector shall report to the Minister the result of an inspection made by him.
DISALLOWANCE AND SURCHARGE
(2) If, on receipt of the report of an auditor or an inspector, the Minister is satisfied that -
(a) any failure to collect money due to the council; or
(b) any loss of money or property; or
(c) any damage to property;
has occurred by reason of any wilful or wrongful act or any negligence by any councillor or person in the service of the council, the Minister may, subject to the provisions of section 67 by order in writing surcharge such councillor or person for the whole or any part thereof.
(3) Any sum surcharged on any person under the provisions of this section shall be a debt to the council and shall be payable by such person within I month or such longer period as the Minister may approve of the date of service upon him of the order of the Minister.
(4) Any person aggrieved by an order of surcharge may appeal to the Supreme Court which may confirm, set aside or vary such order and the decision of which shall be final.
(5) The Chief Justice may make rules providing for the manner in which appeals under this section shall be made and the procedure on the hearing of any such appeals.
INQUIRIES AND SUSPENSION
61. (1) If the Minister -
(a) has cause to suspect that a council has failed to observe and perform any of the duties and powers conferred or imposed upon it by the provisions of this Act or any other law; or
(b) has cause to suspect that a council has done or performed any act, matter, or thing without due authority; or
(c) is otherwise of the opinion that an investigation should be made into the affairs of a council;
he may in his discretion, appoint a person or persons to inquire into such matter. (2) If upon an inquiry under this section the Minister is satisfied that the council has done or suffered any of the act, matter and thing contained in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1), he may by directive in writing require the council to remedy the same within such time as he may appoint.
(3) If a council fails to comply with the terms of a directive of the Minister made under subsection (2) or if the Minister, having appointed a person or persons to make an inquiry under subsection (1) considers it expedient so to do, the Minister may in addition to any other powers conferred upon him by the provisions of this Act -
(a) suspend the exercise by the council of any of the powers conferred upon it by this or any other act for such period as he may think fit; or
(b) dissolve the council and, in his discretion, appoint or direct the election of new councillors;
and during such period, or, as the case may be, pending the appointment or election of new councillors, confer upon any person the exercise of any powers so suspended or of the powers of the council so dissolved.
(4) The expenses incidental to -
(a) any inquiry under this section; or
(b) the exercise of any of the powers of the council under this section;
shall be a debt due by the council to the Government and shall be paid and discharged out of the funds or revenues of the council in such manner as the Minister shall direct. Any such direction may include a direction that the expenses shall be deducted from any grant payable by the Government to the council.
REDUCTION OR REFUND OF GRANTS
(2) In any case where the Minister has reduced or withheld a further grant or part of such grant under the provisions of subsection (1) it shall be in the Minister's discretion at the time he restores the grant whether he restores any part of the grant that was reduced or withheld.
(3) The Minister before reducing or withholding a grant under subsection (1) shall give the council an opportunity of making representations to him why such grant should not be reduced or withheld.
FINANCIAL INTEREST OF COUNCILLORS
63. (1) If any councillor -
(a) has any financial interest, direct or indirect, in any contract or proposed contract or any other matters; and
(b) is present at any meeting of the council or any committee of the council at which such contract or other matter is the subject of consideration;
he shall at such meeting disclose such interest and shall not take part in any consideration or discussion of or vote on any question relating to such contract or other matter, and if the chairman so directs he shall withdraw from such meeting during such consideration, discussion or voting:
Provided that the foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to a financial interest which a councillor may have as ratepayer or taxpayer only.
(2) Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding VT80,000 unless he establishes to the satisfaction of the court that he did not know -
(a) that he had a financial interest in the contract, proposed contract or other matter; and
(b) that the contract, proposed contract or other matter was the subject of consideration at the meeting.
(3) No prosecution for an offence under this section shall be commenced without the consent of the Public Prosecutor.
REPRESENTATION OF A COUNCIL IN COURTS
(2) Where a council is a party to any civil cause or matter the council may be represented by the clerk.
ENTRY TO PREMISES
(a) for the purpose of inspecting any premises licensed under the provisions of this Act; or
(b) generally for the purpose of carrying out any of the duties or powers imposed or conferred upon such council.
POWER OF OFFICERS TO REQUIRE PERSONS TO GIVE NAME AND ADDRESS
(2) The provisions of any law relating to criminal procedure shall apply in the case of a person arrested under the provisions of this section.
IMMUNITY FROM PROCEEDINGS
(a) any councillor;
(b) any officer or other person in the service of a council; or
(c) by any person acting under the directions of a council;
shall if such act, matter or thing was done in good faith in the execution of his duty, render any such councillor, officer or person personally liable to any action, liability, claim or demand whatever.
BYE-LAWS APPLICABLE TO SUBDIVIDED MUNICIPALITY
(a) failing to obtain a licence or permit; or
(b) contravening or failing to comply with any condition, subject to which a licence or permit has been issued to such person under the provisions of this Act or of any order made hereunder;
the court may, in addition to or in substitution for any other penalty which it may impose, cancel the licence or permit and may order that such person shall for a period not exceeding 12 months from the date of such conviction be disqualified from holding or obtaining any such licence or permit.
POWERS OF MUNICIPAL COUNCILS
(b) fire services;
(c) clinics, dispensaries, health and inoculation centres;
(d) cemeteries, crematoria and mortuaries and ancillary services and to provide for the burial of bodies of destitute persons and of unclaimed bodies;
(e) bus stations and related office accommodation, cafes, restaurants, refreshment rooms and other buildings;
(f) offices, stores, workshops, depots and other buildings for the purposes of the council;
(g) public halls, libraries, art galleries and museums;
(h) cold storage facilities and premises for the inspection or processing of milk, meat or bides and skins;
(i) markets and piers, jetties and landing places for the use of canoes and other vessels;
(j) botanical and zoological gardens;
(k) public baths and swimming pools;
(l) laundries and other places for the washing of clothes;
(m) canteens, social centres, clubs and hotels including such facilities for employees and staff;
(n) public lavatories and urinals;
(o) pounds for stray animals and clinics for the treatment of sick animals;
(p) camping and grazing grounds;
(q) disinfecting stations;
(r) public weighing machines;
(s) public monuments;
(t) sanitary services for the removal and disposal of night soil, rubbish, carcases of dead animals and all other kinds of refuse and effluent.
(a) establish, erect, maintain and control acquariums, aviaries, piers, pavilions, cafes, restaurants, refreshment rooms and such other buildings or erections whatsoever as the council may deem necessary;
(b) reserve any portion of such public park, garden or recreation ground for any particular game or recreation or for any other specific purpose; to exclude the public from such portion and provide for the renting and hiring thereof to the public, clubs or other organisations; and
(c) provide or permit any other person to provide any apparatus, equipment or other amenity.
4. To prohibit, restrict, regulate or licence -
(a) the holding of religious services, meetings, rallies, demonstrations or processions in any street or public place;
(b) the sale or hawking of wares or the erection of stalls on any street, or the use of any part of a street or public place for the purpose of carrying on any trade, business or profession;
(c) the depositing on any street, public place or unoccupied land of any refuse, rubbish, derelict vehicles or parts of vehicles, or any other material or thing whatsoever and to provide for the removal and disposal thereof;
(d) street decorations and the erection of shelters, temporary buildings, platforms, seats and other structures at any entertainment, procession, exhibition, ceremony or display whether in a public place or not;
(e) the placing of banners, wires, ropes or any other impediments over or across any street or public place;
(f) the collection of money or goods in any public place for any charitable or other purpose;
(g) the public exhibition of any monstrosity, freak of nature or abnormal person or animal;
(h) singing, dancing, drumming, the playing of musical instruments, the reproduction of music or the making of any noise whatsoever likely to disturb any person, or any performance for profit in any public place;
(i) the storage or stacking of firewood or other fuel;
(j) the washing or drying of clothes other than on private premises;
(k) the quarrying and transport and dumping of earth, coral, stone, lime, clay or other material;
(l) the keeping of dogs, animals and poultry, and to provide for the seizure and destruction of ownerless, unlicensed, diseased or dangerous dogs and the seizure and disposal of stray animals and poultry;
(m) billiard saloons, gaming machine parlours, dance halls and other places of public resort;
(n) lodging houses;
(o) the burning of rubbish and grassland.
(a) remove or lower any fence or wall;
(b) remove, lower or trim any tree, hedge or shrub overhanging any street or interfering with the passage of traffic or pedestrians;
(c) remove, lower or trim any tree, hedge or shrub which in the opinion of the council is a danger or nuisance to any traffic or pedestrians;
(d) remove or alter any wires or other works or perform such other removal or trimming which may be necessary for public safety;
(e) remove any tree, shrub or plant which may be declared in any by-law of the council to be a noxious tree, shrub or plant.
16. To undertake private works and services and to charge and recover costs thereon.
19. To promote publicity for the municipality.
21. To make provision for the return of destitute persons to their homes.
(a) lay out land and provide and maintain necessary public services;
(b) erect and maintain dwelling houses, flats and out-buildings appertaining thereto;
(c) convert buildings into dwelling houses or flats and to alter, enlarge, repair and improve the same;
(d) sell or lease any plots of land or any buildings thereon; and
(e) let on rent to tenants any dwelling houses, flats, rooms or other accommodation.
27. To provide -
(a) gowns, chains and badges of office for councillors and officers of the council;
(b) badges, medallions or scrolls for presentation to persons who have given meritorious service to the municipality.
31. To provide, control and manage the following services -
(a) sporting and recreational facilities and programmes of informal education for both adults and young people, including the provision and running of community centres;
(b) the development of social work among adults;
(c) remedial social welfare programmes aimed at the alleviation of social distress;
(d) the welfare of children.
32. To control, restrict, regulate or license public transport services.
MUNICIPALITIES (DELINEATION OF PORT VILA
Order 19 of 1980
To delineate the boundaries of the Port Vila Municipality.
DELINEATION OF BOUNDARIES OF PORT VILA MUNICIPALITY
The boundaries of the Port Vila Municipality shall be as delineated on the map annexed to this Declaration.
MUNICIPALITIES (COMPOSITION OF COUNCIL
AND WARDS) REGULATIONS
Order 21 of 1980
ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS
2. Wards of the Port Vila Municipality
3. Names of wards and number of councillors to represent each ward
MUNICIPALITIES (COMPOSITION OF COUNCIL
AND WARDS) REGULATIONS
To provide for the composition of the Port Vila Municipal Council and the wards of the Port Vila Municipality and matters connected therewith.
COMPOSITION OF PORT VILA MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
WARDS OF THE FORT VILA MUNICIPALITY
NAMES OF WARDS AND NUMBER OF COUNCILLORS TO REPRESENT EACH WARD
Name of Ward Number of Councillors
(a) Malapoa-Tagabe 3
(b) Anabrou-Melcofe-Tassiriki 4
(c) Centre 4
(d) South 3
MUNICIPAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS REGULATIONS
Order 60 of 1982
ARRANGEMENT OF RULES
Candidates for Election
2. Disqualification for election
3. Eligibility of candidates
4. Declaration of candidature
5. Declaration of invalidity of candidature by the Minister
7. Publication of lists of candidates
Election of Members of a Municipal Council
9. Returning officers
11. Persons not entitled to vote
12. Polls to be secret and electors to vote once for one candidate
13. Proxy vote
14. Suspension and stopping of poll
18. Report by the principal electoral officer
Election of Mayors and Deputy Mayors
19. Election of mayors and deputy mayors and method of election
21. Election procedure
22. Notice of election of mayor or deputy mayor
24. Challenge of elections
25. Resignation of mayor or deputy mayor
26. Eligibility to hold office of mayor or deputy mayor
27. Term of office of mayors and deputy mayors
31. Undue influence
32. Penalty for corrupt practices
33. Election disputes committee
37. Time for presenting of petitions
38. Election petitions to be in writing and copies to be served on affected persons
SCHEDULE 1 - Part 1-Declaration of candidature
SCHEDULE 2 - Part 1-Rules for voting by proxy
Part 2-Form A: Application to vote by proxy
Form B: Proxy form
SCHEDULE 3 - Election of candidates rules
MUNICIPAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS REGULATIONS
To prescribe regulations for municipal council elections.
"Act" means the Municipalities Act, Cap. 126;
"election" includes a by-election;
"electoral officer" means the Principal Electoral Officer and officers of the Electoral Office; a registration officer; an assistant registration officer; a returning officer or a polling clerk;
"polling day" means the day fixed for an election or the commencement of an election in accordance with section 7(2)(a) of the Act;
"ward" means an area council division of a municipality as declared under section 4 of the Act.
CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION
DISQUALIFICATION FOR ELECTION
(a) is a Minister;
(b) is disqualified from being a member of Parliament;
(c) is in the service of the council;
(d) is the legal advisor or auditor of the council or the partner or employee of such advisor or auditor;
(e) being a person engaged in a profession, is disqualified for or suspended from the practise of such profession;
(f) is in default of payment of any rates, charges or other debts due to the council for a period exceeding 2 months after the same shall become due;
(g) is a person having a contract with the council to provide municipal services.
ELIGIBILITY OF CANDIDATES
(a) is a citizen of Vanuatu;
(b) is registered as an elector in the municipality in which he is a candidate;
(c) is not disqualified from voting;
(d) has not received a sentence including a suspended sentence of a term or terms of imprisonment which has not ended;
(e) is not an undischarged bankrupt; and
(f) has attained 21 years of age.
DECLARATION OF CANDIDATURE
(a) a declaration of candidature signed by him in the form and containing the particulars provided for in Part 1 of Schedule 1 which shall include a declaration that the candidate is eligible as provided for in regulation 3;
(b) two full face photographs of himself;
(c) except for a candidate sponsored by a political party having a symbol approved by the Minister an illustration on paper of his personal electoral symbol.
(2) A declaration of candidature shall also contain the signatures of not less than five sponsors being persons registered to vote in the municipality of the candidate and not being related to the candidate.
(3) No person may lodge a declaration of his own candidature -
(a) for more than 1 ward; or
(b) in the case of a by-election if he is a member of the municipal council.
(4) The electoral officer who receives a declaration of candidature shall give a receipt to the candidate in the form contained in Part 2 of Schedule 1 and forward the declaration immediately to the electoral office.
(5) The Principal Electoral Officer shall within 24 hours of the day declared by the Minister under subregulation (1) make a list of the candidates named in declarations of candidature received by the Electoral Office and send copies to the Minister.
(6) The Principal Electoral Officer shall send with the list referred to in subregulation (5) such comments on the validity of the candidature of any person named in the list as he shall consider fit.
DECLARATION OF INVALIDITY OF CANDIDATURE BY THE MINISTER
(2) The Minister shall only declare a candidature invalid on the following grounds -
(a) the candidate or his sponsors do not have the necessary qualifications or are disqualified; or
(b) the declaration of candidature is not sponsored as provided in regulation 4(2).
(3) Where the Minister decides that a candidature is invalid he shall so endorse the declaration of candidature giving reasons for the decision.
RESUBMISSION OF DECLARATION OF CANDIDATURE BY CANDIDATES
(2) Where a declaration of candidature sponsored by a political party is declared invalid by the Minister or a candidate dies not less than 14 days before polling day another candidate sponsored by the same party may lodge a declaration of candidature provided that he does so within 72 hours of the declaration or death.
PUBLICATION OF LISTS OF CANDIDATES
7. A list of candidates shall be displayed at -
(a) the Town Hall;
(b) the Parliament building;
(c) the office of the Minister;
(d) the Electoral Office; and
(e) such other places in the municipality as the Minister may direct,
for not less than 14 days before polling day except in the case of new or resubmitted candidatures under regulation 6 where the period shall be not less than 9 days.
ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF A MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
DECLARATION OF ELECTION WITHOUT A POLL AND NOTICE OF NEW POLL
(2) If the number of candidates is less than the number of members to be elected the Minister shall when he declares the number of candidates elected declare the number of seats vacant.
(3) The Minister shall within 30 days after the declaration referred to in subregulation (2) and after consultation with the Principal Electoral Officer fix the date of an election for the seats declared vacant.
(4) If the number of candidates exceeds the number of members to be elected a poll shall be taken in accordance with this Part and without undue delay after the closing of the list of candidates the electoral officer shall publish a notice stating -
- (a) the names of the candidates;
(b) the hours of polling;
(c) the situation of each polling station;
(d) sufficient information to enable voters to know which polling station they are required to vote at;
(e) any other information that may be prescribed.
ELECTORAL ROLLS TO BE IN POLLING STATIONS AND VOTERS ONLY TO VOTE IF THEREIN AND HAVE ELECTORAL CARDS
(2) No person may vote unless his name is contained in the roll of electors of the polling station at which he presents himself for voting, and he produces a valid electoral card issued to him.
PERSONS NOT ENTITLED TO VOTE
POLLS TO BE SECRET AND ELECTORS TO VOTE ONCE FOR ONE CANDIDATE
12. (1) A poll shall be taken by secret ballot.
(2) Subject to regulation 13, no person shall have more than 1 vote nor vote for more than one candidate.
SUSPENSION AND STOPPING OF POLL
(2) Where there has been suspension and reopening in accordance with subregulation (1) polling shall continue after the time fixed for ending the poll for the period of the suspension unless the returning officer is satisfied that every elector on the roll has cast his vote.
(3) When circumstances arise which in the opinion of a returning officer make it impossible to continue with a poll within a reasonable time whether or not polling has already been suspended under subregulation (1) he shall declare the poll stopped and inform the Principal Electoral Officer of the declaration who shall immediately forward a report thereon with any comments he may have to the Minister.
(4) When a poll has been stopped under subregulation (3) all proceedings before the declaration shall be annulled by the Minister by Order either -
(a) in every polling station in the relevant ward if the result in the ward as a whole Could be affected by the addition of the votes of voters of the polling district where the poll has been stopped; or
(b) in the polling station where the poll has been stopped only if the results in the relevant ward as a whole could not be materially affected by the addition of the votes of voters of the polling district where the poll has been stopped,
and in either case the minister shall in the Order fix a new day and time for polling and a new poll shall be held.
(5) If in the opinion of the returning officer and not less than one polling clerk not later than half an hour before the time fixed for polling to close, the number of voters waiting will not be able to vote in that time he may extend the time to the close of the poll by 1 hour and shall record the extension in his report under rule 19 of the Election of Candidates Rules set out in Schedule 3.
(6) The returning officer may close the polling station when all the voters on the roll have voted but the counting of votes shall not start earlier than 1 hour before the time fixed for the end of polling.
DISPLAY AND LOCKING OF BALLOT BOXES
METHOD OF VOTING AND PROCEDURES
PUBLICATION OF RESULTS
REPORT BY THE PRINCIPAL ELECTORAL OFFICER
(a) a copy of each report received in accordance with rule 19 of the Election of Candidates Rules set out in Schedule 3; and
(b) his comments thereon.
ELECTION OF MAYORS AND DEPUTY MAYORS
ELECTION OF MAYORS AND DEPUTY MAYORS AND METHOD OF ELECTION
(2) The candidate who gains the votes of a majority of members of the council shall be elected.
(3) Where two or more candidates gain the same number of votes the older shall be considered elected.
(4) The Minister may at the request of or after consultation with a municipal council, authorise the creation of one or more additional offices of deputy mayor.
OFFICERS OF COUNCILS TO BE HONORARY
Provided that, with the approval of the Minister, duty allowances may be authorised by a municipal council and paid from the council budget. Mayors, deputy mayors and councillors shall be entitled when due occasion arises to reimbursement of any necessary expenditure incurred in the carrying out of special duties.
NOTICE OF ELECTION OF MAYOR OR DEPUTY MAYOR
NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS
CHALLENGE OF ELECTIONS
RESIGNATION OF MAYOR OR DEPUTY MAYOR
(2) A notice of resignation shall be delivered to the clerk of the council not later than 14 days before such resignation is to take effect.
(3) Two weeks after receipt of such notice of resignation of a mayor or deputy mayor, a meeting of the council shall be convened to elect a new mayor or deputy mayor.
ELIGIBILITY TO HOLD OFFICE OF MAYOR OR DEPUTY MAYOR
TERM OF OFFICE OF MAYORS AND DEPUTY MAYORS
(2) At the end of the term of office of a mayor and/or a deputy mayor a meeting of the council shall be convened to elect a new mayor and/or deputy mayor in accordance with regulations 19, 21 and 22.
(3) Mayors and deputy mayors who have completed a term of office shall be eligible for re-election to these offices.
28. A person commits the offence of personation if he -
(a) except when voting as a proxy, votes as some other person whether that other person is living or dead or is a fictitious person; or
(b) votes as proxy for a person whom he knows or has reasonable grounds for supposing to be dead or a fictitious person.
29. (1) A person commits the offence of bribery -
(a) if he directly or indirectly by himself or by other person -
(i) gives any money or procures any office to or for any voter or to or for any other person on behalf of any voter or to or for any other person in order to induce any voter to vote or refrain from voting;
(ii) corruptly does any such act on account of any voter having voted or refrained from voting; or
(iii) makes any such gift or procurement to or for any person in order to induce that person to procure, or endeavour to procure, the election of any candidate or the vote of any voter;
or if upon or in consequence of any such gift or procurement he procures or engages, promises or endeavours to procure the election of any candidate or the vote of any voter;
(b) if he advances or pays any money or causes any money to be paid to or to the use of any other person with the intent that such money or any part thereof shall be expended in bribery at any election or knowingly pays any money or causes any money to be paid to any person in discharge or repayment of any money wholly or in part expended in bribery at any election;
(c) if before or during an election he directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, receives, agrees or contracts for any money, gift, loan or valuable consideration or any office, place or employment for himself or for any other person for voting or agreeing to vote or from refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting;
(d) if after an election he directly or indirectly by himself or by any other person on his behalf receives any money or valuable consideration on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting or having induced any other person to vote or refrain from voting.
(2) For the purposes of subregulation (1) -
(a) references to giving money include references to giving, lending, agreeing to give or lend, offering, promising and promising to procure or to endeavour to procure any money or valuable consideration;
(b) references to procuring office include references to giving, procuring, agreeing to give or procure, offering, promising and promising to procure or to endeavour to procure any office, place or employment.
30. A person commits the offence of treating -
(a) if he corruptly by himself or by any other person either before, during or after an election directly or indirectly gives or provides or pays wholly or in part the expenses of giving or providing any food, drink or entertainment to or for any person -
(i) for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting; or
(ii) on account of that person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting or being about to vote or refrain from voting;
(b) if he corruptly accepts or takes food, drink or entertainment offered in the circumstances and for the purpose mentioned in paragraph (a) of this regulation.
31. A person commits the offence of undue influence if -
(a) he directly or indirectly by himself or by any other person on his behalf -
(i) makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence or restraint; or
(ii) inflicts or threatens to inflict by himself or by any other person any temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss upon or against any person,
in order to induce or compel that person to vote or refrain from voting, or on account of that person having voted or refrained from voting; or
(b) by abduction, duress or any fraudulent device or contrivance he impedes or prevents the free exercise of the franchise of a voter, or thereby compels, induces or prevails upon a voter either to vote or to refrain from voting.
PENALTY FOR CORRUPT PRACTICES
(2) A person convicted of a corrupt practice shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding VT100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.
ELECTION DISPUTES COMMITTEE
(2) The Minister may replace a member who is unable to carry out his duties or ceases to be qualified or fill any vacancy.
(3) When appointing the Election Disputes Committee the Minister may make such stipulations, not inconsistent with these regulations, as he may consider appropriate concerning the functions of the Committee.
(4) The names of the members of the Election Disputes Committee together with the address of the Committee for service of petitions shall be published in the Gazette.
ELECTIONS ONLY TO BE CHALLENGED UNDER THESE RULES
(2) Every election petition shall be heard by the Election Disputes Committee.
PERSONS WHO MAY PRESENT ELECTION PETITIONS
35. An election petition may be presented by I or more of the following -
(a) a person who is registered to vote at the election to which the petition relates;
(b) a person claiming himself to have been a candidate at such election.
PETITIONS ONLY VALID IF DEPOSIT MADE
(2) Subject to subregulation (3) a deposit made under subregulation (1) shall be returned to the petitioner after the petition has been heard.
(3) The Election Disputes Committee may deduct from a deposit made under subregulation (1), the amount of any costs ordered to be paid.
TIME FOR PRESENTATION OF PETITIONS
(2) If a petition alleges a specific payment of money or other reward after an election by of on the account of a person whose election is disputed, the petition may be presented within 21 days of the alleged payment.
(3) The time limit provided for in this regulation shall not be extended.
ELECTION PETITIONS TO BE IN WRITING AND COPIES TO BE SERVED ON AFFECTED PERSONS
(2) The Election Disputes Committee shall cause a copy of each election petition to be served on any person whose election may be affected by the petition and allow such person a reasonable time in which to make any submissions in writing on the hearing of the petition.
PROCEEDINGS OF ELECTION DISPUTES COMMITTEE
(2) The proceedings of the Committee shall be considered in English, French or Bislama according to the choice of the petitioner and interpreters shall be provided by the Committee.
(3) The proceedings of the Committee shall be recorded in writing.
(4) Persons may be represented before the committee by counsel.
(5) No person appearing before the committee shall be bound to incriminate himself and all such persons shall be entitled to the privileges accorded to a witness appearing before the Supreme Court.
DECISIONS OF ELECTION DISPUTES COMMITTEE
(a) declare the election to which the petition relates void;
(b) declare a candidate other than the person whose election is questioned duly elected; or
(c) dismiss the petition and declare the persons whose election is questioned duly elected.
(2) The Election Disputes Committee may make such orders as to the payment of costs by any person appearing before it as it may deem fit.
GROUNDS FOR DECLARING ELECTION VOID
(a) bribery, treating, undue influence or other misconduct or circumstances whether similar to those herein before enumerated or not, have so extensively prevailed that they may be reasonably supposed to have affected the result of the election;
(b) there has been such non-compliance with the provisions of these regulations, in the conduct of poling or in any other matter that such non-compliance affected the result of the election;
(c) the candidate was at the time of his election a person not qualified or disqualified for election; or
(d) there was such irregularity in the counting of the votes as may reasonably be supposed to have affected the result of the election.
(2) The election of a candidate shall be declared void if he is convicted by a competent court of committing a corrupt practice or of attempting or conspiring to commit a corrupt practice.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subregulation (1) -
(a) where upon the hearing of an election petition the Election Disputes Committee finds that any agent of a candidate has been guilty of a corrupt practice and the Election Disputes Committee further finds that the candidate has proved to the Election Disputes Committee that -
(i) no corrupt practice was committed by the candidate himself or with his knowledge or consent or approval;
(ii) the candidate took all reasonable means for preventing the commission of corrupt practices at such election; and
(iii) in all other respects the election was free from any corrupt practice on the part of the candidate;
(iv) such corrupt practices did not affect the result of the elections;
then, if the Election Disputes Committee so recommends, the election of such candidate shall not by reason of any such practice be void.
(b) Where upon the hearing of an election petition the Election Disputes Committee finds that there has been failure to comply with any provision of these regulations but the Election Disputes Committee further finds, that it is satisfied that the election was conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in these regulations and that such failure did not affect the result of the election, the election of the successful candidate shall not, by reason of such failure, be void.
EXAMINATION OF VOTES CAST
COMMUNICATION OF DECISION OF ELECTION DISPUTES COMMITTEE AND APPEALS
(2) Any person referred to in subregulation (1) may within 14 days of such decision or such further time as the Supreme Court may allow appeal to that Court in writing giving brief reasons for his appeal.
(3) After consideration of the written appeal and of the record of the proceedings before the Election Disputes Committee the Supreme Court may either dismiss the appeal summarily or give the other persons affected by the appeal an opportunity to lodge replies to it and fix a date to hear the appeal.
(4) Any decision of the Supreme Court on an appeal whether a summary dismissal or a decision after a hearing shall be final.
(5) The Supreme Court may make rules of procedure to be observed in relation to appeals to it under this regulation.
(6) The Election Disputes Committee forthwith after the end of a period of 14 days after its decision, or in the case of an appeal the Supreme Court forthwith after its decision, shall inform the Minister thereof who shall take all proper measures to effect it and shall inform the Council of Ministers of the decision.
REPORTS TO PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
NO PERSON REQUIRED TO REVEAL HIS VOTE
SAVINGS WHEN ELECTION DECLARED VOID
DISPOSAL OF REPORTS AND DOCUMENTS
(2) Documents relating to an election in respect of which an election petition or any legal proceedings have been commenced shall not be destroyed until the proceedings have ended.
(3) The Supreme Court when hearing an election petition or any court trying a person for any corrupt practice may make an order that any document retained by the Electoral Office shall be inspected, copied or produced at such time and place subject to such conditions as it thinks fit.
(4) No order shall be made under subregulation (3) unless the Court is satisfied that inspection, copying, or production is essential for the hearing of a charge of a corrupt practice or the hearing of an election petition.
(5) Except as provided by subregulation (3) no person may inspect or copy any document retained by the Electoral Office under these regulations.
DECLARATION OF CANDIDATURE
To the electoral officer for ........................................................... district
I. ...................................... (name) of ............................................... being a citizen of Vanuatu and aged 21 or more.
3. That I am not disqualified from voting;
5. That I am not an undischarged bankrupt;
DATE ........................................ SIGNATURE OF CANDIDATE .............................
2. Please attach to this form -
(a) Two passport sized photographs of yourself (not colour photos);
(b) An illustration on paper of your personal electoral symbol unless you are sponsored by a political party with an approved symbol.
SPONSORS OF CANDIDATE
1. NAME ................................. ADDRESS ....................................................
OCCUPATION ...................... ELECTORAL CARD No. ...................................
Sponsors must be registered as electors in the local government region of the candidate and must not be related to him.
Received from Mr/Mrs/Miss ...............................................................................................
this ......................... day of ................................... 19 ............... a declaration of candidature for the election of members of the municipal council of .................................................. to be held on the ......................... day of ................................... 19 ...............
Electoral Officer for ..................................... District
RULES FOR VOTING BY PROXY
ARRANGEMENT OF RULES
1. Application to vote by proxy
2. Decisions of registration officer and notification thereof
3. Revocation of proxies and further applications
4. Elector who has obtained issue of proxy may vote in person
5. Proxy nullified on death or cessation of eligibility of voter or his proxy
6. Limitations on voting by proxy
7. Manner of voting by proxy and casting of own vote
FORM A-Application to vote by proxy
FORM B-Proxy form
RULES FOR VOTING BY PROXY
APPLICATION TO VOTE BY PROXY
(b) health; or,
he is unable to vote at the polling station where he is registered to vote.
(2) A person referred to in subrule (1) shall apply to the electoral officer for the constituency in which he is entitled to vote by the completion and submission thereof of Form A in part 2 of this Schedule accompanied by his electoral card.
(3) A person who is prevented from voting by reason of his occupation shall accompany his application with a certificate signed by his head of department, superior officer, manager or other person to whom he is responsible certifying as to his inability to vote in person and the reason therefor.
(4) A person who is prevented from voting in person by reason of health shall company his application with a certificate by a recognised medical practitioner, nurse, dresser or on the unavailability of any such persons a person of standing certifying as to his inability to vote in person and the reason therefor.
(5) A person who professes to be prevented from voting in person by reason of religious obligations shall accompany his application by a certificate of a minister of his religion that confirms that he cannot vote for reasons of religion.
(6) Every application under subrule (2) hereof shall reach the electoral officer not less than 72 hours before polling.
DECISIONS OF ELECTORAL OFFICER AND NOTIFICATION THEREOF
(a) an applicant is entitled to vote by proxy; and
(b) the person named as proxy is registered on the same roll as the applicant;
he shall so inform the applicant using the detachable part of the application form and deliver by post or other means the completed proxy form in Form B in part 2 of this Schedule and the applicant's electoral card to the proxy named by the applicant.
(2) For the purposes of subrule (1) the electoral officer shall be deemed to have delivered a proxy form and electoral card if he makes known to a proxy that the cards are available for collection at the polling station on polling day.
(3) If an electoral officer who receives an application under rule 1(2) is not satisfied that the applicant is entitled to vote by proxy he shall so inform the applicant.
(4) If an electoral officer although being satisfied that an applicant under rule 1(2) is entitled to vote by proxy but that the person nominated as proxy is not eligible to be a proxy for the applicant he shall so inform the applicant and invite him to nominate another person provided that in his opinion the applicant will be able to make such nomination not less than 72 hours before polling.
REVOCATION OF PROXIES AND FURTHER APPLICATIONS
3. (1) A voter may revoke a proxy by notice in writing to a registration officer.
(2) A voter who has revoked a proxy may apply for the issue of another.
ELECTOR WHO HAS OBTAINED ISSUE OF PROXY MAY VOTE IN PERSON
PROXY NULLIFIED ON DEATH OR CESSATION OF ELIGIBILITY OF VOTER OR HIS PROXY
(2) The electoral officer shall recover the proxy form.
LIMITATIONS ON VOTING BY PROXY
6. (1) No voter may cast a proxy vote for more than two voters.
(2) If more than two proxies are made out in the name of the same voter the two earliest: in time shall be valid.
(3) If more than two proxies issued to a voter bear the same date the voter shall be required by the returning officer at his polling station to choose those two under which he will cast votes and surrender any others.
(4) The electoral officer will cause any voter whose proxy is invalid to be so informed without undue delay.
MANNER OF VOTING BY PROXY AND CASTING OF OWN VOTE
(2) If a proxy voter wishes to cast his own vote he must do it at the same time as he votes as proxy.
(3) When a person votes as proxy he must produce his own electoral card; the proxy form authorising him to vote as proxy; and the electoral card of the person for whom he is voting.
APPLICATION TO VOTE BY PROXY
To the electoral officer for the ward of ...............................................................................
2. I cannot attend at the polling station on polling day by reason of -
*(a) my occupation;
(c) my religion;
* (delete whichever is not applicable and give particulars and details stating how your attendance is prevented.)
3. I enclose a certificate from my -
*(a) head of Department;
(b) superior officer;
(c) manager, etc.;
(d) medical officer;
(e) dresser or nurse;
(f) minister of religion, sister;
(g) other responsible person.
* (delete whichever is not applicable).
DATED this ......................... day of ................................... 19 ...............
SIGNATURE OF APPLICANT
NOTE: THIS APPLICATION MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY THE APPLICANT'S ELECTORAL CARD.
NOTIFICATION TO APPLICANT TO VOTE BY PROXY
(to be detached from application form and delivered to proxy)
*1. Your application to vote by proxy has been rejected because
*2. Your application to vote by proxy has been accepted but the person is not named on the roll for .................................................. and you are requested to nominate another person who is on that roll.
*3. Your application to vote by proxy has been approved and the proxy form and your electoral card have been delivered to, or made available for collection by .............................................................................................................
DATE: ........................................ SIGNED: ....................................
*Delete whichever is not applicable.
Registration area no. ...........................................................................................................
Polling station letter ............................................................................................................
Polling station name ..........................................................................................................
Valid only for the ....................................................... election ..........................................
Official stamp and date of voting
First name ...........................................................................................................................
Date of birth or age .............................................................................................................
*Registered as a voter at .....................................................................................................
Electoral card no. ................................................................................................................
is hereby authorised to vote as proxy on behalf of -
First name ...........................................................................................................................
Date of birth .......................................................................................................................
Registered as a voter at .......................................................................................................
Electoral card no. ................................................................................................................
Given at ............................................................ Date ........................................................
By ................................................................... Signature of .............................................
Electoral officer for ............................................................................................................
*The proxy must be qualified as a voter and registered on the same electoral roll as the voter giving the proxy.
ELECTION OF CANDIDATES RULES
ARRANGEMENT OF RULES
2. Polling clerks
3. Authorised representatives of candidates
4. Equipment at polling stations
6. Opening of polling station
7. Resolution of difficulties and statement of objections and decisions
19. Declaration of votes and report on voting
20. Notification of votes cast for each candidate
24. Example of proportional representation
25. Declaration by Minister of election of eldest candidate
ANNEX-Example of a system of proportional representation
ELECTION OF CANDIDATES RULES
ONE POLLING STATION IN EACH POLLING DISTRICT
(2) The Electoral Office shall be responsible for its installation.
(2) The oldest polling clerk shall act as returning officer during the absence or incapacity of the returning officer.
AUTHORISED REPRESENTATIVES OF CANDIDATES
(2) Subject to subrule (3) the Electoral Office shall issue each authorised representative nominated under subrule (1) with a letter of authority and an identification badge or identification card.
(3) No candidate shall have more than one authorised representative at one polling station but one representative may be authorised for more than one candidate and more than one polling station.
(4) A returning officer shall not permit to remain in a polling station any person who claims to be an authorised representative of a candidate but who cannot produce a letter of authority.
(5) A list of all authorised representatives of candidates shall be displayed at all polling stations.
EQUIPMENT AT POLLING STATIONS
(2) Each ballot box shall have 2 padlocks with dissimilar keys and shall be so constructed that when locked ballot papers can be put therein but cannot be withdrawn.
(3) The Electoral Office shall also provide each electoral officer with -
(a) lists of authorised representatives provided for in rule 3(5) for each polling station;
(b) 2 copies of the electoral roll for each polling station in which the station is established;
(c) sufficient copies of the electoral laws;
(d) enough polling booths to enable voters to vote in secrecy;
(e) sufficient tally sheets for recording the votes cast for each candidate; and
sufficient numbers of any notices required by law to be displayed in polling stations.
NOTICES FOR GUIDANCE OF VOTERS
OPENING OF POLLING STATION
RESOLUTION OF DIFFICULTIES AND STATEMENT OF OBJECTIONS AND DECISIONS
(2) A written statement of all authorised representatives' objections and decisions thereon together with any relevant document initialled by the returning officer and a polling clerk shall be included in the report made by the returning officer under rule 19(2).
REGULATION OF ADMISSION TO POLLING STATION
(a) the polling clerks;
(b) officials of the Electoral Office;
(c) candidates and their authorised representatives nominated in accordance with rule 3;
(d) police officers on duty;
(e) companions of disabled voters;
(f) press representatives and other persons authorised by the Electoral Office.
(2) All persons authorised to be in a polling station shall wear an identification badge or carry an identification badge or carry an identification card.
KEEPING OF ORDER IN POLLING STATION
(2) If a person misconducts himself at a polling station or fails to obey the lawful orders of the returning officer he may by order of the returning officer be removed.
(3) A person removed in accordance with subrule (2) shall not without the permission of the returning officer re-enter the polling station.
(4) The power conferred by this rule shall not be exercised so as to prevent a voter who is otherwise entitled to vote at a polling station from having the opportunity of voting at that polling station.
(b) has not already voted; and
(c) place his signature or initials opposite the name of the voter in the margin of one of the electoral rolls; and
(d) deliver to the voter one ballot paper for each candidate and one envelope.
(2) Immediately on receipt of the ballot papers and envelope a voter shall -
(a) enter a polling booth;
(b) record his vote by placing the ballot paper bearing the name and symbol of his chosen candidate in the envelope;
(c) leave all other ballot papers in the booth;
(d) present himself to the presiding officer or polling clerk who without touching it shall verify that the voter tenders one envelope;
(e) place the envelope in the ballot box; and
leave the polling station without undue delay after the completion of the formalities referred to in rule 11.
POLLING CLERK'S DUTIES IN RESPECT OF PERSON WHO HAS VOTED
11. After each voter has voted a polling clerk shall -
(a) in those polling districts where it is required, place an indelible mark on the thumb nail of the voter which shall so far as possible be indelible for the period of the poll;
(b) stamp and endorse on the electoral card of the voter the date of election;
(c) place his signature or initials opposite the name of the elector in the margin of the second electoral roll; and
(d) return the card to the elector.
REPLACEMENT OF SPOILT BALLOT PAPERS
REPORT ON PERSONS SUSPECTED OF PERSONATION
ASSISTANCE TO DISABLED VOTERS
(2) The granting of permission under this rule shall be recorded in the report made by the returning officer under rule 19(2).
MEMBERS OF PUBLIC TO BE ADMITTED TO OBSERVE COUNT
COUNTING OF VOTES
(a) opening the ballot box or boxes;
(b) the returning officer removing all envelopes from each box;
(c) the returning officer taking the ballot papers from the envelopes;
(d) the returning officer reading out the name on each ballot paper;
(e) the polling clerks recording the number of votes cast for each candidate on 2 tally sheets provided for that purpose.
(2) If the number of envelopes is found to be more or less than the marginal signatures or initials made in the roll in accordance with rule 11(c) the discrepancy shall be stated in the report provided for in rule 19(2).
VOID BALLOT PAPERS
17. Any ballot paper which -
(a) by any writing or mark thereon identifies the voter;
(b) is not in an envelope or is in a non-official envelope; or
(c) is in an envelope containing more than one ballot paper; shall be void and not counted.
DECLARATION OF VOTES AND REPORT ON VOTING
(d) the number of valid votes cast for each candidate;
(e) such other matters as these rules provide shall be included; and
(f) such other matters as the Principal Electoral Officer shall direct may be included.
(3) The report shall be made in duplicate in French, English or Bislama.
(4) It shall be signed by the returning officer and the polling clerks. It shall be countersigned by such of the candidates as may be present at the count.
(5) After it has been signed the report shall be placed in a sealed envelope.
(6) The returning officer shall also seal in separate packets the counted and void ballot papers and endorse on each packet -
(a) a description of its contents;
(b) the date of polling; and
(c) the name and number of the polling station.
(7) The packets referred to in subrule (6) shall, immediately they have been sealed and endorsed, be signed on the outside by the persons referred to in subrule (4).
(8) The report and the sealed packets referred to in subrule (6) shall be delivered to the electoral officer responsible for the ward in which the poll was taken by the returning officer or by a person instructed by him.
NOTIFICATION OF VOTES CAST FOR EACH CANDIDATE
DECLARATION BY MINISTER OF CANDIDATES ELECTED
(a) the number of votes cast for each candidate; and
(b) the name of each candidate elected in accordance with rules 22, 23 and 24.
DETERMINATION OF SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES
METHOD OF CALCULATION
23. The following calculations shall be carried out separately for each ward -
(a) the total number of votes cast shall be divided by the number of seats contested. The result, calculated to 2 decimal places, will indicate the number of votes required to secure one seat and shall be known as the "electoral quotient";
(b) the total number of votes cast for each party (and for this purpose a party shall mean one or more candidates using the same electoral symbol) shall be divided by the electoral quotient;
(c) the result of the division at paragraph (b) shall be expressed as a whole number (which will be zero if the total number of votes cast for the party is less than the electoral quotient) and a remainder;
(d) the whole number obtained at paragraph (c) shall indicate the number of seats won outright by the party concerned and these shall be awarded successively to the candidate with the highest number of votes;
(e) any remaining seat not allocated as a result of the operation at paragraph (d) shall be awarded to the party which, after the operation at paragraph (c) had the largest remainder.
EXAMPLE OF PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
DECLARATION BY MINISTER OF ELECTION OF ELDEST CANDIDATE
Election of Candidates Rules
Example of a system of proportional representation
Total No. of votes cast 1.412
Number of seats 4
Electoral quotient 1412 + 4 = 353.00
Divide total party votes by the electoral quotient -
Party A 772 = 2.20 2 remainder 72
Party B 413 = 1.17 1 remainder 60
Party C 119 = 0.34 0 remainder 119
Party D 102 = 0.29 0 remainder 102
Party A wins 2 seats clear
Party B wins 1 seat clear
Remaining seat goes to Party C with a remainder of .34 (or 119 votes) although No. 3 candidate of Party A has 1 more vote than the one candidate of Party C.
Further example (with a tied vote)
NO. OF VOTES OBTAINED
Electoral quotient 1412 + 4 = 353.00
Party A 772 = 2.19 2 remainder 66
Party B 403 = 1.14 1 remainder 50
Party C 119 = 0.34 0 remainder 119
Party D 119 = 0.34 0 remainder 119
Party A wins 2 seats
Party B wins 1 seat
Remaining seat must go to the elder of the candidates of C or D.
MUNICIPAL COUNCILS FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
Order 66 of 1983
ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS
Financial Responsibilities of Officers
3. Duties of council officers
General Rules Relating to Finance
4. Receipts and payments cash book
7. Trial balance
8. Final accounts
Preparation of Estimates
12. Supplementary estimates
13. Delay in approval of estimate
14. Standard form of estimate
15. Ordinary revenue and expenditure
17. Financial statement
18. Reallocation from one subhead to another
19. Issue of receipt and licence books
20. Safe custody of receipt and licence books
21. Issue of receipts
22. Cancelled receipts and licences
23. Issue of licences
24. Revenue collector's cash book
25. Appointment of revenue collectors
26. Payments of revenue to treasury
32. Payments to be made by treasurer
33. Payments to be made within year commitment was incurred
34. Payment vouchers
36. Receipt from supplier
37. Recoveries from payments
38. Vouchers to be signed
44. Salaries of officer on interdiction
45. Balance of salary due to officer convicted of misappropriation
46. Form of cash book
47. Entries in cash book
51. Balancing of cash book
52. Balance and cash on hand
54. Certification as to balance of cash book
55. Authority for opening bank accounts
56. Signing of cheques
57. Cheques to be accompanied by payment voucher
61. Reconciliation of cash book
62. Acceptance of deposits
63. Deposit accounts
64. Details of deposits
65. Payment on deposit
66. Details of deposit account to be entered in ledger
67. Balances on deposit accounts
69. Details of advances
70. Receipt for repayments
71. Advance account
72. Recovery of advances
74. Types of imprests
75. Register of imprests
76. Records of imprests
78. Receipts for imprests
79. Separate account in ledger
80. Form of ledger
81. Provisions of ledger
82. Details to be included in ledger
84. Entries in ledger
85. Details to be included in voucher
86. Vouchers covering remittance
87. Adjustments between accounts
89. Copy to ministry
90. Trial balance
92. Errors in trial balance
93. Final accounts
94. Form of statement of actual revenue
95. Form of statement of actual expenditure
98. Final accounts
99. Final accounts and other documents to be forwarded to auditor
100. Secretary to lay auditor's report before council
Custody of Council Money
104. Handing over cash, stamps, keys etc.
105. Register of money received through the post
Losses of Council Funds
107. Minor losses
108. Action by treasurer
109. Report not to be withheld
114. Ex-gratia payments
115. Minister's powers of write-off
Payment of Works and Services
117. Extraordinary expenditure
118. Formal contract with supplier
119. Authorised signature
122 Restriction on use of green ink
123. Alterations in cash books or vouchers
124. Forms to be made available
125. Council to retain originals and copies of financial transactions
MUNICIPAL COUNCILS FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
To provide regulations for the control and management of the financial business of municipal councils, for the procedures relating to such control and management, for the duties of the treasurers and accounting staff of councils, and for matters connected therewith.
"Act" means the Municipalities Act, Cap. 126;
"auditor" means an auditor appointed in accordance with section 55 of the Act;
"accountable officer" means any officer appointed by the council and charged with duties involving the handling of council funds;
"council" means a municipal council established under the Act;
"council officer" means any person appointed to the service of a council, and includes a town clerk, treasurer and accountable officer;
"town clerk" means the officer appointed to the position of chief executive officer of the council with the overall responsibility for the operation of the council;
"treasurer" means the officer appointed to the position of head of the accounting Organisation of the council answerable directly to the town clerk.
FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICERS
DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE TREASURER
(2) It is the duty of the treasurer -
(a) to see that the proper system of accounts or accounting is established and carried out within the council Organisation;
(b) to supervise the receipt of council revenue and as far as possible to secure its punctual collection;
(c) to bring promptly to account, under the proper heads and subheads all money paid to or by the council or any of its officers;
(d) to ensure the safe-keeping of all monies, stamps, securities and valuable documents;
(e) to supervise all the officers of the council entrusted with the receipt or expenditure of public money, including accountable officers and to take precautions by the maintenance of efficient checks, including surprise inspections, against the occurrence of fraud, embezzlement or carelessness;
(f) to supervise expenditure and other payments of the council, and to take care that no payment is made which is not covered by proper authority;
(g) to call to the attention of the town clerk in writing any expenditures not covered by proper provision;
(h) to prepare the accounts for audit and to prepare the financial statements returns required by these regulations;
(i) to report to the town clerk any irregularity connected with the accounts which may require disciplinary action, or which for any other reason he considers he should report;
(j) to report to the town clerk any failure on the part of any council officer to receive and duly account for any money received by him;
(k) to report to the town clerk any case in which he considers that the revenue is failing into arrears;
(l) to prepare such reports, analysis or forecasts as may be required by the council, the executive committee, town clerk or as he considers necessary for the proper management of council affairs;
(m) to produce when required by the Auditor General or his staff or by an officer authorised by the Minister, all account books, records or vouchers in his charge, and to grant every facility for such surveys of case and stores as these officers may require;
(n) to refer to the town clerk any matter affecting the accounts of the council which is not covered by these regulations.
DUTIES OF COUNCIL OFFICERS
(2) If an accountable officer fails to account for or to produce any part of cash, stamps or other items of value entrusted to him or is responsible for wasteful or unauthorised expenditure, he may be liable to disciplinary action in accordance with staff regulations and may be required to make good any loss.
(3) The responsibility of the Auditor General for examining and reporting any shortcomings in connection with the council accounts or finances does not release any officer from his responsibility for complying with instructions within his own authority.
GENERAL RULES RELATING TO FINANCE
RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS CASH BOOK
CONTROL OF REVENUE
PREPARATION OF ESTIMATES
APPROVAL OF ESTIMATE BY MINISTER
DELAY IN APPROVAL OF ESTIMATE
13. In the event of a delay in the approval of estimates, the council may -
(a) authorise expenditure on recurrent items to an amount not exceeding half that provided in the approved estimates of the preceding year; and
(b) grant to its officers, servants and employees any normal increase of salary or wages in accordance with approved scales.
STANDARD FORM OF ESTIMATE
14. Estimates will be prepared in the prescribed form.
ORDINARY REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE
(2) Ordinary items of expenditure will be divided into the following -
(a) Personal Emoluments to provide for the payment of all salaried council staff;
(b) Other Charges. These will include the following heads -
Travelling and subsistence
Office running costs
Labour and rations
Maintenance of roads
Maintenance of street lights
Allocation to capital expenditure.
Expenditure on recurrent heads will normally cease at the end of the year provided by the estimates.
EXTRAORDINARY REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE
16. (a) Extraordinary, items of revenue will include -
Central Government development grants
Gifts and donations from other sources
Sale of council property
Allocation of council investment funds.
(b) Extraordinary items of expenditure will be based on priorities as decided by the council, in conjunction with Central Government departments and will include -
Construction of dispensaries, clinics and hospitals
Construction of wharves, markets, other services
Construction of council offices.
(c) Expenditure on capital projects will in some cases continue through several financial years, in which case, estimates will include provisions for capital expenditure to be carried over in respect of those projects.
REALLOCATION FROM ONE SUBHEAD TO ANOTHER
Provided that -
(a) the proposed expenditure subhead is an existing one in the approved estimates;
(b) the subhead has not already been reduced by Ministerial directive.
ISSUE OF RECEIPT AND LICENCE BOOKS
SAFE CUSTODY OF RECEIPT AND LICENCE BOOKS
ISSUE OF RECEIPTS
(b) The 3 copies of the receipt will be disposed of as follows- Original will be given to the payee as evidence of payment;
Duplicate will be included in the monthly accounts sent to Local Government Department, Port Vila;
Triplicate will remain in the book.
CANCELLED RECEIPTS AND LICENCES
ISSUE OF LICENCES
REVENUE COLLECTOR'S CASH BOOK
APPOINTMENT OF REVENUE COLLECTORS
PAYMENTS OF REVENUE TO TREASURY
FAILURE TO PAY IN REVENUE
(a) report such failure to the town clerk; and
(b) arrange for a cash survey and inspection of the records to be carried out as soon as possible.
NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC
REGISTER OF THOSE LIABLE TO PAY FEES AND LICENCES
LOSS OF REVENUE THROUGH NEGLECT ETC.
PAYMENTS TO BE MADE BY TREASURER
PAYMENTS TO BE MADE WITHIN YEAR COMMITMENT WAS INCURRED
34. (a) Payments will only be made on the approved form.
(b) Payment vouchers will be numbered serially from 1 upwards each month in order of payment.
(c) The 3 copies of the payment voucher will be disposed of as follows -
Original will be included in the monthly accounts sent to Local Government Department, Port Vila;
Duplicate will be given to the payee as evidence of payment;
Triplicate will be filed in the council's records.
(d) All payment vouchers will contain full particulars of the payment such as a description of the goods or services, dates, numbers, quantities, distances and rates to enable them to be checked without reference to any other document; and where necessary, they will be supported by the originals of any relevant documents.
(e) The box on the payment voucher must be completed to indicate that an entry has been taken in charge where this is applicable.
(f) Payment vouchers for the supply of stores and for works and services falling under Chapter 19 of these regulations, must be supported by the originals of documents such as invoices, local purchase orders, or supplier's statements of accounts where a running account is maintained.
CERTIFICATE AS TO ACCURACY OF DETAILS ON PAYMENT VOUCHER
(a) the payment has not already been made;
(b) he has authority to sign against the head and subheads to which the voucher is allocated;
(c) sufficient funds are available to cover the payment;
(d) the goods have been received or the services have been carried out and that the rates charged are what has been agreed or are fair and reasonable.
RECEIPT FROM SUPPLIER
RECOVERIES FROM PAYMENTS
VOUCHERS TO BE SIGNED
SALARIES CHARGED TO PERSONAL EMOLUMENTS SUBHEAD
SALARIES PAYABLE MONTHLY
ADVANCES OF SALARIES
SALARIES RECORD CARD
SALARIES TO BE PAID UNTIL DISMISSED
SALARIES OF OFFICER ON INTERDICTION
BALANCE OF SALARY DUE TO OFFICER CONVICTED OF MISAPPROPRIATION
FORM OF CASH BOOK
46. The cash book will be written in ballpoint pen in duplicate.
ENTRIES IN CASH BOOK
DETAILS OF RECEIPTS IN CASH BOOKS
DETAILS OF PAYMENTS IN CASH BOOK
REMITTANCES OF CASH
BALANCING OF CASH BOOK
BALANCE AND CASH ON HAND
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CASH BOOK AND CASH ON HAND, FURTHER ACTION
(a) if the total cash is more than the balance figure a receipt voucher will be made out for the difference and entered in the cash book; the allocation will be "Deposits Surplus Cash";
(b) if the total cash is less than the balance figure a payment voucher will be made out for the difference and entered in the cash book; the allocation will be "Advances" in the name of the treasurer; if the deficit is more than VT2,000 it will be reported to the local government headquarters as soon as possible;
(c) once either the provisions of paragraphs (a) or (b) have been complied with, the balance figure should then agree with the cash held.
CERTIFICATION AS TO BALANCE OF CASH BOOK
(a) the cash book will be balanced off;
(b) the cash book will then be ruled off and an entry made at the foot of the receipts side as follows -
Total receipts for the month
Total payments for the month
Cash book balance
"I certify that I have counted the cash and it amounts to
which agreed with the cash book balance".
Town Clerk/Acting Town Clerk
this figure is then carried forward to a new page in the cash book and will be the opening balance for the next month;
(c) originals of all payment vouchers and duplicates of all receipts will be attached to the top copies of the cash book and forwarded to local government headquarters as soon as possible together with any explanatory notes and supporting documents necessary to give full explanation of the months transactions; these accounts will be inspected and returned to the treasurer together with any recommendations, amendments, or corrections to be implemented.
AUTHORITY FOR OPENING BANK ACCOUNTS
SIGNING OF CHEQUES
CHEQUES TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY PAYMENT VOUCHER
ENTRIES IN CASH BOOK FOR CHEQUES RECEIVED
PAYMENT INTO COUNCIL BANK ACCOUNT
RECONCILIATION OF CASH BOOK
ACCEPTANCE OF DEPOSITS
63. Deposit accounts may be opened to account for -
(a) any funds which do not belong to the council, for example, rates on behalf of other councils;
(b) unclaimed wages, or deductions from salary to be paid to a third party;
(c) surplus amounts on the weekly cash book balance;
(d) any monies which for some reason cannot be dealt with immediately for example, money received in the mail without supporting information;
(e) funds collected or received on behalf of the central Government.
DETAILS OF DEPOSITS
PAYMENT ON DEPOSIT
DETAILS OF DEPOSIT ACCOUNT TO BE ENTERED IN LEDGER
BALANCES ON DEPOSIT ACCOUNTS
68. The town clerk may authorise the treasurer to make advances -
(a) to council officers (but not public officers posted or seconded to councils) for such purposes and under such terms and conditions as may be provided for from time to time in council staff instructions;
(b) to meet expenditure for which finance has definitely been obtained, in anticipation of it becoming available;
(c) on behalf of, and recoverable from, other councils or central Government.
DETAILS OF ADVANCES
RECEIPT FOR REPAYMENTS
70. A normal receipt will be issued for any repayment of advances to the council.
RECOVERY OF ADVANCES
TYPES OF IMPRESTS
74. There are 2 types of imprest -
(a) standing imprests which are normally issued for the duration of a financial year and may be given to an officer or an individual;
(b) special imprests which are issued to individual officers for a particular purpose, such as the payment of salaries by a touring officer.
REGISTER OF IMPRESTS
RECORDS OF IMPRESTS
IMPRESTS FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSE(S)
RECEIPTS FOR IMPRESTS
SEPARATE ACCOUNT IN LEDGER
LEDGER FORM OF LEDGER
PROVISIONS OF LEDGER
Each subhead of revenue
Each subhead of expenditure
Each advance account including imprests
Each deposit account Remittances
DETAILS TO BE INCLUDED IN LEDGER
SEPARATE LEDGERS FOR REVENUES AND EXPENDITURES
ENTRIES IN LEDGER
(a) in the left-hand columns -
any balance figures remaining on any of the previous year's advance accounts;
(b) in the right-hand columns -
the balance figure remaining in the previous year's surplus account;
any balance figures remaining on any of the previous year's deposit accounts.
DETAILS TO BE INCLUDED IN VOUCHER
85. The treasurer will enter details of the vouchers for every month as follows -
(a) receipt vouchers' amounts and details will be written on the right-hand column according to head and subhead;
(b) payment vouchers' net amounts payable and the details of payments for goods or services will be written on the left-hand column, according to head and subhead.
VOUCHERS COVERING REMITTANCE
ADJUSTMENTS BETWEEN ACCOUNTS
INFORMATION ON ADJUSTMENT VOUCHERS
(b) a reference to or a copy of, any special authority or other supporting correspondence.
COPY TO MINISTRY
TRIAL BALANCE HOW MADE
ERRORS IN TRIAL BALANCE
93. The June trial balance will be used in the preparation of the final accounts.
FORM OF STATEMENT OF ACTUAL REVENUE
FORM OF STATEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENDITURE
TOTAL AMOUNTS OF EXPENDITURE AND REVENUE
STATEMENT OF LEDGER BALANCES
Statement of actual revenue collected;
Statement of actual expenditure incurred;
Statement of ledger balances.
FINAL ACCOUNTS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS TO BE FORWARDED TO AUDITOR
99. The town clerk shall -
(a) produce to the auditor within 3 months of the conclusion of the year to which they relate the final accounts of the council, together with all books of accounts and other documents as required by section 55 of the Act; and
(b) make available to the auditor all necessary facilities for the auditing of the council's accounts.
SECRETARY TO LAY AUDITOR'S REPORT BEFORE COUNCIL
100. The town clerk shall -
(a) within 30 days of the receipt of the auditor's report on the accounts of the council for any year submit the accounts together with such reports to the Minister; and
(b) lay the accounts together with the auditor's report thereon before the council in accordance with section 55(6) of the Act.
CUSTODY OF COUNCIL MONEY
SECURITY OF CASH ETC.
(2) Except when on tour when a cash box is used for convenience, it must be deposited in a strong room or safe outside working hours or during the treasurer's absence from the office.
SAFE CUSTODY OF KEYS
LOSS OF KEYS
(2) Maximum security precautions must be put into effect until the safe or cash box has been opened and the contents removed. The duplicate key will be obtained only to open the safe or cash box for removal and verification of the contents, and may not therefore be used until the lock has been altered and new keys provided. The work will be carried out by the Public Works Department and in no circumstances may any other agency undertake the cutting of safe keys or the altering of locks.
(3) The officer responsible for losing the key of a council safe or cash box will usually be called upon to meet the cost of altering the lock or the provision of new keys at the discretion of the Minister.
(4) If a key holder suspects that the keys or locks of a safe or cash box have been interfered with, he must take action as if the key had been lost.
HANDING OVER CASH, STAMPS, KEYS ETC.
(2) When handing over to another officer cash and stamps will be checked in full, and receipt and security books will be checked against the receipt book register.
(3) The balances on hand will be recorded in the handing over statements and the cash book and register will be signed by both officers handing and taking over. Any discrepancies must be reported to the town clerk.
(4) All keys of strong rooms, safes and cash boxes handed over should also be recorded in the handing over statement.
REGISTER OF MONEY RECEIVED THROUGH THE POST
LOSSES OF COUNCIL FUNDS
ACTION BY TREASURER
(a) if the matter has been reported by a revenue collector, he will take immediate steps to ascertain the details of the loss;
(b) he will immediately report to the town clerk;
(c) he will immediately report to the Police if there is any possibility of fraud or theft;
(d) he will as soon as possible send a detailed written report to the Minister.
REPORT NOT TO BE WITHHELD
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE EVIDENCE
ACTION BY MINISTER
(a) decide whether or not the loss should be written off and all or part of it recovered from the officers responsible; and
(b) inform the town clerk and the Auditor General of his decision; or
(c) convene a board of enquiry to conduct appropriate investigation into the matter before he gives his decision.
BOARD OF ENQUIRY
(a) the amount of the loss;
(b) an opinion as to whether the system was at fault, with suggestions as to any possible remedy;
(c) a recommendation as to the degree of responsibility of an officer involved.
ACTION ON REPORT
(a) compensation payments made to claimants who allege that damage or injury has been caused to them by the council or its servants;
(b) extra contractual and ex-gratia payments to contractors;
(c) other ex-gratia payments as approved by the council.
(2) Before payment is made of any claim, which is being settled on an ex-gratia basis, an acknowledgement will be detained from the claimant that the sum approved for payment is in full and formal settlement of the claim.
(3) All ex-gratia payments will be recorded in the councils accounts in the annual statement of losses.
MINISTER'S POWERS OF WRITE-OFF
115. (1) The Minister has power to write-off losses of cash in each case as follows-
(a) in the case of all abandoned claims VT50,000;
(b) in the case of council money, stores or other movable property VT50,000.
(2) Losses in excess of the amounts laid down in subregulation (1) will be reported by the Minister to the Council of Ministers, with his recommendations.
PAYMENT OF WORKS AND SERVICES
USE OF LOCAL PURCHASE ORDER
116. (1) A local purchase order will be used -
(a) where the cost of a specific work or service is less than VT20,000; or
(b) for all sea/air passages and freight charges within Vanuatu; or
(c) for the hire of all land transport; or
(d) for the payment of hotel costs for officers on tour;
except that in circumstances where a cash payment is more practical than the issue of a local purchase order, these requirements may be waived.
(2) The local purchase order shall be in the prescribed form.
FORMAL CONTRACT WITH SUPPLIER
PURCHASE ORDER LISTED AS COMMITMENT
COPY WITH MONTHLY ACCOUNTS
RESTRICTION ON USE OF GREEN INK
ALTERATIONS IN CASH BOOKS OR VOUCHERS
FORMS TO BE MADE AVAILABLE
COUNCIL TO RETAIN ORIGINALS AND COPIES OF FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS