Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Bahamas

Key facts:

POPULATION (2010 Census): 353,658
AREA: 13,943 sq km
CAPITAL: Nassau
CURRENCY: Bahamian dollar (BSD)
HEAD OF STATE: HM Queen Elizabeth II
GOVERNOR-GENERAL: Dame Marguerite Pindling
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Prime Minister Perry Christie
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: constitutional monarchy
PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM: bicameral
STATE STRUCTURE: unitary
LANGUAGES: English (official)
NATIONAL ELECTIONS: last: 2012 turnout: na next: 2017
LOCAL ELECTIONS: last: June 2014 turnout: na next: 2017
WOMEN CHIEF COUNCILLORS: 6.3% (2014)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE (as a percentage of total government
expenditure 2013/14): na

Summary

The Bahamas is a constitutional monarchy with two spheres of government: central and local. There is no constitutional provision for local government and the main empowering
legislation is the Local Government Act 1996. Local government policy is overseen by the Ministry of Local Government. There are a total of 32 local government districts: 13 two schedule districts, which are further sub-divided into town areas, and 19 unitary districts.

Local government is not empowered to raise revenue itself and funding for all local government expenditure is provided through transfers from central government. Town committees are responsible for general health and sanitation
while district councils are responsible for hospitals and clinics, supply of public potable
water by standpipes and the upkeep of public school buildings and other government-owned buildings, parks, grounds, beaches, settlement roads and bridges.

The Bahamas Association of Local Government Authorities (BALGA) is a national, voluntary organisation representing local government in the Bahamas. 

Read the profile of the local government system in the Bahamas.

CLGF activities in the Bahamas

CLGF will continue to work with the Ministry of Marine Resources and Local Government

and the Bahamas Association of Local Government Authorities (BALGA) as it takes forward the EC funded project “Strengthening local government’s role as a partner in development” focused on strengthening the role for local government and other local and national actors in localising and implementing the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

CLGF members in the Bahamas

Knowledge hub

Knowledge hub

Search the Americas section of the knowledge hub.

 

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Americas regional office

Regional office

Contact CLGF's regional office in the Caribbean.

 

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Board Members

Board Members

Mayor Darrell Bradley; Mayor Scean Barnswell; Cllr Michael Thompson

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News from CLGF Americas

Latest news

Latest CLGF local government news and information from the Americas and Caribbean

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