Government To Assist Bankrupt Port Vila Municipal Council

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Vanuatu PM says council must also help itself, as necessary

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 28, 2014) – The Port Vila Municipal Council is bankrupt, but Vanuatu’s Government will assist the council, says Prime Minister Moana Carcasses.

Prime Minister Carcasses did not mince words when he addressed the new Lord Mayor, Deputy Lady Mayor and the new Port Vila Municipal councilors last Friday afternoon in front of the Government Minister MPs and officials, Private Sector representatives, and political supporters and the public.

"Political election is like a soccer game, one must win and the other must lose but in this case, all winners in this election are part of the present national government coalition composition," PM Carcasses pointed out.

He appealed to the councilors to work together for the good of the Council and the services to the population of Port Vila city.

"The Port Vila Municipal Council is bankrupt, due to inherited problems including political interference in the past administrations; legal interferences by lawyers, no proper planning and definite roles of the administrators and councilors. All these must be stopped.

"The Council must look for a way forward. There is money out there not being collected that must be collected to benefit the community of Port Vila city.

"There are challenges ahead and I appeal to the new councilors to support the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayor to strive and work together to rebuild the Port Vila Municipal Council to the status and standard expected of the Council to provide an effective service to the population of Port Vila."

Prime Minister Carcasses assured the new Lord Mayor, the deputy Lady Mayor and the new Council that the government he is heading will assist the new Council to ensure it is functional.

At the same time he warned that the Council itself must carry out restructuring of its administration if necessary and do everything to turn the situation around from being bankrupt to a profitable state with its own strong financial base to provide the services to the public of Port Vila and Vanuatu as a whole.

He said to his knowledge there are staff who should go into retirement but could not due to lack of funds and added that there is also the need to review the administrative staffs.

"The Council needs staff recruited on merit and with qualifications to provide effective administrative service in working together with the Council to the public in Port Vila," the Prime Minister advised the new Port Vila Municipal Council last Friday afternoon after the election of Mayor Sumptoh and the deputy lady Mayor.

"The national government will not only assist the new Council with funding but also ensure that each and every new councilor receives appropriate training of their roles are as Municipal councilors.

"It will assist the councilors to be more effective in policy decision making processes of the Council. A proper system is also needed to be in place that will direct the Council in its focus and new roadmap," he said.

The Prime Minister strongly recommended a professional Financial System in place for the collection of property tax and other taxes to be properly managed and address needs of the population of Port Vila rubbish collection and much more.

"The national government I lead will assist with funding to the new council, but the council must start by looking at its own restructuring while at the same time I as Prime Minister also expect the council to review its existing contracts with other agencies.

"The council’s committees that will be form to carry out all these tasks must take careful and cautious approach and need to liaise closely with the government in doing so," said Prime minister Carcasses.

He called on the new council to liaise closely with the Minister and the Ministry of Lands when it comes to property and other related taxes so that revenues are collected and staff wages and services deliveries are carried out in a much more professional manner than where it is now.

"So much is needed to be address and redress that needs the new roadmap by this new council that become more effective in its services deliveries as expected by the population of Port Vila city," the Prime Minister said in his speech to the new Port Vila Municipal Council.

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