Provinces act

The Provinces Act contains rules about the governing bodies of provinces: the provincial council, the provincial executive and the King’s Commissioner.

The provincial council, which is directly elected by the population of the province, represents the population of the province for a term of four years and is the highest power of the province.

The King’s Commissioner and the members of the provincial executive together constitute the provincial executive. The provincial council appoints the members of the provincial executive for a term of four years. The provincial executive and each of its members is accountable to the council for their management of provincial affairs.

The King’s Commissioner chairs the provincial executive and the council. He is appointed for a term of six years by royal decree on the recommendation of the council. He is accountable to the council for his management of provincial affairs.

The power to regulate and administer the internal affairs of the province is vested in the provincial authority. Provinces may also be required by the national government to cooperate in the execution of laws.

Provincial ordinances are adopted by the provincial council in so far as the power of adoption has not been granted to the provincial executive or the King’s Commissioner by Act of Parliament or by the council pursuant to Act of Parliament. Provincial ordinances may not contravene Acts of Parliament.

The power to regulate and administer the internal affairs of the province is executed by the provincial council. The provincial council shows through the budget each year the amounts which it makes available for all tasks and activities and the financial resources it expects to be able to use for this purpose. In that way, the council has the lead in the province.

The provincial executive has to prepare and perform all the decisions of the provincial council. In that way the provincial executive is the management of the province.

The King’s Commissioner is charged by Act of Parliament with the execution of official instructions to be given by the Government; for example in cases of emergency or concerning mayors. In that way he is a body of the Government and accountable to the Government, not to the council.

Provinces receive income from the national government by the Provincial Fund. Above this income, provinces are allowed to collect taxes, limitative described by the Provinces Act.

The national government is in charge of supervision of the provincial authority. A decision of the provincial authority can be annulled or suspended by the Government when decisions are contrary with the law or public interests.

Where the provincial council, provincial executive or the King’s Commissioner fails to make a decision or fails to do so properly the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations must take a decision to intervene and take whatever action is required in the name of the provincial council, provincial executive or King’s Commissioner at the expense of the province.