Vanuatu is a democratic republic with two spheres of government: national and local. Both local government and decentralisation are enshrined in the constitution and the main governing legislation is the Decentralisation and Local Government Regions Act 1994. The Department of Local Authorities within the Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for overseeing local government, which comprises six provincial councils and three municipal councils. While local government can alter the fees charged for various services, it has no authority over the level of taxes. Approximately 70% of central grants to local government go towards administrative expenses while the remaining 30% are earmarked for small capital projects. Local government is responsible for various services ranging from education to regional planning.
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