SAN JUAN – Jamaica’s House of Representatives is debating a bill that would allow local authorities to operate with greater scope and autonomy, the government said in a statement on Friday.
The Local Governance Act 2015 was introduced by Local Government and Community Development Minister Noel Arscott with a view to creating accountability and transparency mechanisms for local authorities and promoting greater civic participation.
“We recognize the growing disconnect between the community, especially with our young people, and the governance structures. This new paradigm shift will enhance the scope and powers of the elected officials and local authorities to govern their respective jurisdictions,” Arscott said.
The bill would expand local authorities’ mandate to include sustainable development and the maintenance of civic order, as well as empower civil society and communities to contribute to the governance process.
The debate is expected to resume on Nov. 3 when the lower house reconvenes.