The Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour, and Local Government is established by the direction given in writing to the Minister by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister. Through notice published in the Gazette, the Portfolio for Local Government authorizes the Minister to have oversight powers in the following areas:
- Town and City Councils
- Village Councils
- Liquor Licensing
- Trade Licensing
The respective legislations for the exercise of oversight authority for the respective portfolio areas provide the Ministry with the necessary framework to carry out its mandate.
Through these mechanisms the Ministry of Local Government provides oversight, guidance, support and capacity building initiatives to these various entities whilst monitoring their strategic and operational activities on a day to day basis.
Currently, the Rural Transformation portfolio has been tasked to manage and oversee all affairs relating to Village Councils and the Alcalde jurisdictions.
The Local Government portfolio is headed by a Director who reports to the Chief Executive Officer; the office of the Director is supported by Local Government Officers, a Secretary and the clerical and financial staff of the wider Ministry.
- To formulate and implement a National Local Government Policy;
- To facilitate changes in legislation relating to municipal and village development;
- To assist with planning and advise for proper management of local authorities;
- To assist with education and training of Councils and Administrative Staff;
- To encourage sound fiscal management of the Councils’ business;
- To promote proper administrative procedures and practices;
- To monitor and evaluate the progress of work and performance of City, Town and Village Councils;
- To encourage and strengthen coordination among relevant agencies involved in City, Town and Village development.
- Day to day management of the Department of Local Government activities;
- Develop policies and planning advice to the Ministry and to Municipalities/Villages and to supervise and coordinate Local Government activities in Belize;
- Coordinate legislative changes to facilitate the greater autonomy of Municipal Councils;
- Coordinate strategic planning for the Ministry and Municipalities/Villages;
- Advise on physical planning and projects development for municipalities;
- Assist in identification of resources and in procuring adequate resources (financial, human and materials) for the development of municipalities/villages;
- Issuance of “Free Liquor License” upon approval of the Minister;
- Certify monthly subvention for the municipal councils;
- Monitor the performance of each City/Town/Village Council and provide guidance where necessary;
- Administrate the Liquor Licensing Fees for Village Councils;
- Ensure the minutes of Town Council meetings are submitted on time;
- Ensure that monthly and annual financial reports are submitted on time;
- Appoint Liquor Licensing Boards;
- Appoint Property Evaluation Appeal Boards;
- Appoint the RECONDEV Board;
- Declare Property Evaluation Rates;
- Declare Garbage (Refuse) Collection Rates;
- Organize and conduct training sessions for Local Government practitioners and members of Liquor Licenses and Trade Licenses Boards;
- Promote interaction between Central and Local Government for development and good governance;
- Advise on training needs and organize and facilitate workshops.