THE Council of Elders (COE) in Bougainville was not running properly due to lack of support from the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG).
Tsitalato COE chairman and chairman of Buka district COE’s, Joseph Gatana disclosed this yesterday as he urged the ABG to look into their plight.
Mr Gatana said the annual budget allocation of K40, 500 is insufficient for the COE to effectively manage their affairs.
“The COEs are part of ABG’s bottom up approach to bringing a more direct form of governance and service to the people of Bougainville,” Mr Gatana said.
“The powers of the COE were well stipulated in the ABG’s Constitution,” he added.
He said these powers become useless when they were not put into practise.
He said there was an urgent need for support from the ABG in terms of vehicles and trained staff.
Mr Gatana also added that there was also an urgent need for capacity building of the COE around Bougainville.
In the areas of self sustainability, COE had to wait for the Bougainville executive council to approve for head tax to be collected from people in the village areas.
Mr Gatana said the slow enactment of the policy has led to the lateness and ineffective tax collection for this year.
He also made a call for the early release of the COE review.
The review was made intentionally to look into areas to strengthen the COE system and the way of governance which is more traditionally and customarily oriented.
He said the release of the review would greatly help the COE to improve their service provision capabilities to the people of Bougainville.