Whilst the Local Government level is the third of the levels of governance systems in Sri Lanka, it is sometimes referred to by names such as ‘regional government’ or ‘locations specific’ government body.
In any case this tier is comprised of three further sub divisions namely Municipal Councils, Pradeshiya Sabhas, and Urban Councils.
The main objective of this booklet is to discuss Pradeshiya Sabhas which are the closest representative body to the public. Whilst the Pradeshiya Sabha is the smallest representative body this has been given legal powers through the ACT 1987 No 15 of PRADESHIYA SABHA. The scope and responsibilities of the PS are elaborated through this ACT.
The main purpose of a Pradeshiya Sabha is, to draft relevant by Laws, within the area of their jurisdiction, as well as to carry out their responsibilities with due accountability and transparency. Out of the main responsibilities is to create the ‘Annual Development plan’ relevant to their area. It is important that this plan be created though a participatory process. Whilst this should be based on common needs, there should be a plan for generating the required income and approval of expenditure, as well as a plan for implementation.
In the main it is the public representatives who should be responsible for this process.
There is a broad specific responsibility for the Chairman and other public representatives in this process. Accordingly the role of the Chairman of the PS is important for the effective running of the Council as well as to the taxpayers, of the relevant areas, who benefit from services of the Council.