THE Local Government Ministry has announced that initiatives are being implemented to ensure the speedy processing of approvals, rezoning applications and information queries through the introduction of an integrated database.
Also in the pipeline is a proposed link between the Rural Local Authority (RLA) and the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP).
Speaking at the opening of the fourth quarter Local Government consultative forum in Lautoka on Wednesday, Minister for Local Government Colonel Samuela Saumatua emphasised the need for municipal websites to be compatible with the Department of Town and Country Planning's online platform.
"This will facilitate, shorten and speed-up approvals, rezoning applications and search for general development information," he said.
Col. Saumatua said municipal council databases and websites had to be linked to the Local Government Ministry's database and provide statistical information on housing, urban development, environment and local government.
"This, I feel, would really professionalise and modernise our operations and I expect municipalities to start working towards a database this year," he said.
Col. Saumatua also revealed that instructions were issued to hasten the work being done on the link between the RLA and the DTCP.
"The Rural Local Authority is under sourced and has often been stretched out to fulfil its obligations.
"As a result, we have often been blamed for their shortfalls. This needs to change," he said. Special administrators and chief executive officers from municipal councils across the country attended the local government consultative forum which ended at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka.