Constitution – Title IV: Public power (Art. 136-185)

Chapter I: Fundamental Provisions

Section One: General Provisions

Article 136: Public Power is distributed among Municipal Power, that of the States Power and National Power. National Public Power is divided into Legislative, Executive, Judicial, Citizen and Electoral.

Each of the branches of Public Power has its own functions, but the organs charged with exercising the same shall cooperate with one another in attaining the ends of the State.

Article 137: The Constitution and the law shall define the authorities of the organs, which exercise Public Power, and the activities carried on by such organs shall be subject to the same.

Article 138: An usurped authority is of no effect, and its acts are null and void.

Article 139: The exercise of Public Power gives rise to individual liability for abuse or misapplication of power, or for violation of this Constitution or the law.

Article 140: The State shall be financially liable for any damages suffered by private individuals to any of their property or rights, provided the harm is imputable to the functioning of Public Administration.

Section Two: Public Administration

Article 141: Public Administration is at the service of the citizen and is based on the principles of honesty, participation, expeditiousness, efficacy, efficiency, transparency, accountability and responsibility in the performance of public functions, being fully subject to the law and to the right.

Article 142: Autonomous institutions can be created only by law. Such institutions, as well as public interests in foundations or organs of any nature, shall be subject to State Control in such form as may be established by law.

Article 143: Citizens have the right to be informed by Public Administration, in a timely and truthful manner, of the status of proceedings in which they have a direct interest, and to be apprised of any final decisions adopted in the matter. Likewise, they have access to administrative files and records, without prejudice to the limits acceptable in a democratic society in matters relating to internal and external security, criminal, investigation and the intimacy of private life, in accordance with law regulating the matter of classification of documents with contents which are confidential or secret. No censorship of public officials reporting on matters for which they are responsible shall be permitted.

Section Three: Public Functions

Article 144: Statutes governing public functions shall be enacted by law, with rules concerning entering, promotion, transfers, suspension and removal of employees of Public Administration, and will provide for their incorporation into Social Security.

The duties and requirements that are to be met by public employees in the exercise of their official functions shall be determined by law.

Article 145: Public officials or employees serve the state, and not any partisan interest. Their appointment and removal shall not be determined based on political affiliation or orientation. A person who is in the service of the Municipalities, the States, the Republic, or any other State public or private juridical persons, shall not be permitted to enter into a contract of any kind with them, either directly or through any interposed person, or as representative of another, with such exceptions as may be established by law.

Article 146: Positions in the organs of Public Administration are to be filled by career personnel. Exceptions are those elected by popular vote, those whose holders may be appointed and removed freely, those contracted for, laborers in the service of Public Administration and any others determined by law.

Engagement of public officials to fill career positions shall be by public competition, based on principles of honesty, capability and efficiency. Promotion shall be governed by scientific methods based on the merit system, and transfer, suspension and removal shall depend on performance.

Article 147: In order for paid public positions to be filled, it is necessary that the pertinent compensation be provided for in the pertinent budget.

Public Administration salary scales shall be established by regulation, in accordance with law.

The pertinent organic law may establish reasonable limits on the compensation earned by national, state and municipal public officials.

The national law shall establish the pension or retirement system for national, state and municipal public officials.

Article 148: No one shall be permitted to hold more than one paid public position, except in the case of academic, temporary, care giving or teaching positions, as determined by law. Acceptance of a second position not included among the exceptions stated in this article shall imply resignation from the first, except in the case of substitutes, as long as they do not permanently replace the regular holder of the position concerned.

No one shall be permitted to enjoy more than one set of pension or retirement benefits, except in the cases expressly determined by law.

Article 149: Public officials shall not be permitted to accept employment, honors or rewards from foreign governments without authorization from the National Assembly.

Section Four: Contracts in the Public Interest

Article 150: Entering into contracts in the national public interest shall require the approval of the National Assembly in those cases in which such requirement is determined by law.

No contract in the municipal, state or national public interest s determined shall be entered into with foreign States or official entities, or with companies not domiciled in Venezuela, or transferred to any of the same, without the approval of the National Assembly.

In contracts in the public interest, the law may demand certain conditions as to nationality, domicile or other matters, or require special guarantees.

Article 151: In the public interest contracts, unless inapplicable by reason of the nature of such contracts, a clause shall be deemed included even if not expressed, whereby any doubts and controversies which may raise concerning such contracts and which cannot be resolved amicably by the contracting parties, shall be decided by the competent courts of the Republic, in accordance with its laws and shall not on any grounds or for any reason give rise to foreign claims.

Section Five: International Relations

Article 152: The international relations of the Republic serve the ends of the State as a function of the exercise of sovereignty and the interests of the people; they are governed by the principles of independence, equality between States, free self-determination and nonintervention in their internal affairs, the peaceful resolution of international conflicts, cooperation, respect of human rights and solidarity among peoples in the struggle for their liberation and the welfare of humanity. The Republic shall maintain the finest and most resolute defense of these principles and democratic practices in all international organs and institutions.

Article 153: The Republic shall promote, and encourage Latin American and Caribbean integration, in the interest of advancing toward the creation of a community of nations, defending the region’s economic, social, cultural, political and environmental interests. The Republic shall have the power to sign international treaties that implement and coordinate efforts to promote the common development of our nations, and to ensure the welfare of their peoples and the collective security of their inhabitants. To these ends, the Republic may transfer to supranational organizations, through treaties, the exercise of the necessary authorities to carry out these integration processes. In its policies of integration and union with Latin America and the Caribbean, the Republic shall give privileged status to relations with Bier American countries, striving to make this a common policy throughout our Latin America. Provisions adopted within the framework of integration agreements shall be regarded as an integral part of the legal order in force, and shall be applicable directly and with priority over internal legislation.

Article 154: Treaties agreed to by the Republic must be approved by the National Assembly prior to their ratification by the President of the Republic, with the exception of those which seek to perform or perfect pre-existing obligations of the Republic, apply principles expressly recognized by the Republic, perform ordinary acts in international relations or exercise powers expressly vested by law in the National Executive.

Article 155: In the international agreements, treaties and conventions entered into by the Republic, a clause shall be inserted whereby the parties agree to resolve by peaceful means recognized under international law or agreed upon in advance between them, where this is the case, any controversies that may arise between them in connection with its interpretation or implementation, if not inappropriate and if it is permitted by the procedure to be followed in entering into the treaty, agreement or convention.

Chapter II: Competence of National Public Power

Article 156: Is of the competence of the National Public Power:

(1) The international policy and actions of the Republic.

(2) Defense and supreme vigilance of the general interests of the Republic, public peace keeping and the proper enforcement of the laws throughout the national territory.

(3) The flag, coat of arms, national anthem, holidays, decorations and honors of a national nature.

(4) Naturalization, admission, extradition and expulsion of foreign nationals.

(5) Identification services.

(6) The national police.

(7) National security, defense and development.

(8) The organization and governance of the National Armed Forces.

(9) The governance of risk and emergency management.

(10) The organization and governance of the Capital District and the federal dependencies.

(11) Regulation of central banking, the monetary system, foreign currency, the financial and capital market system and the issuance and mintage of currency.

(12) The creation, organization, collection, administration and control of taxes on income, inheritances, donations and other related areas, capital, production, value added, hydrocarbons and mines; duties on the importing and exporting of products and services; taxes on the consumption of liquor, alcohol and other products containing alcohol, cigarettes and other tobacco products; and any other taxes, assessments and revenues not expressly assigned by this Constitution and the law to the States and Municipalities.

(13) Legislation to guarantee the coordination and harmony of the various different taxing powers and define principles, parameters and limitations, especially for purposes of determining the tax rates and aliquot parts for state and municipal taxes, and to create specific funds that ensure inter territorial solidarity.

(14) The creation and organization of land taxes or taxes on rural properties and on real estate transactions, the collection and oversight of which is the responsibility of the Municipalities, in accordance with this Constitution.

(15) The governance of foreign trade and the organization and governance of customs.

(16) The governance and management of mines and hydrocarbons, the governance of vacant lands and the conservation, development and exploitation of forests, soil, water and other elements of the country’s natural wealth.

The National Executive shall not grant mining concessions for an indefinite period. The law shall establish an economic system of special financial assignments for the benefit of States within whose territory the assets mentioned in this section are located, without prejudice to the possibility of also establishing special appropriations for the benefit of other States.

(17) The system of legal weights and measures and quality control.

(18) National censuses and statistics.

(19) The establishing, coordination and unification of technical standards and procedures for engineering, architectural and city planning projects, and city planning/zoning legislation.

(20) Public works in the national interest.

(21) The macroeconomic, financial and fiscal policies of the Republic.

(22) The governance and organization of the Social Security System.

(23) National policy and legislation in the fields of health, housing, food safety, the environment, waters, tourism, zoning and shipping.

(24) National education and health policies and services.

(25) National policies for agricultural, livestock, fisheries and forest production.

(26) The national transportation and shipping system and air, overland, ocean, river and lake transportation of a national nature; ports, airports and their infrastructure.

(27) The national highway and railway systems.

(28) Governance of postal and telecommunications services, as well as governance and management of the electromagnetic spectrum.

(29) General governance of residential public utility services, including in particular electricity, drinking water and gas.

(30) Management of border policy with an overall vision of the country, such as to permit a Venezuelan presence and the maintenance of territory and sovereignty in these areas.

(31) The organization and administration of justice at the national level, as well as the Office of General Prosecutor and the People Defender.

(32) Legislation in the fields of constitutional guarantees, rights and duties; civil, mercantile, criminal, penological, procedural and private international law; election law; expropriation in the public interest or in the interest of society; public credit; intellectual, artistic and industrial property; cultural and archaeological heritage; agriculture; immigration and population; native people and the territories they occupy; labor, Welfare and Social Security; animal and vegetable hygiene; Notarial and public record offices; banks and insurance; lotteries, racetracks and betting in general; organization and functioning of the organs of National Public Power and other organs and institutions at the national level; and all matters of national competence in general.

(33) Any other matters which the present Constitution may assign to National Public Power, or which by their nature or type come under its competence.

Article 157: The National Assembly, by a majority vote of its members, shall have the power to delegate to the States or Municipalities certain matters under national competence, in order to promote decentralization.

Article 158: Decentralization, as a national policy, must add depth to democracy, bring power closer to the people and creating optimum conditions both for the exercise of democracy and for the effective and efficient Fulfillment of government commitments.

Chapter III: State Public Power

Article 159: The States are politically equal and autonomous organs with full juridical personality, and are obligated to maintain the independence, sovereignty and integrity of the nation and to comply with and enforce the Constitution and the laws of the Republic.

Article 160: A Governor is in charge of the government and administration of each State. A Governor must be a Venezuelan over the age of 25 who is not a member of the clergy. The Governor shall be elected for a term of four years by a majority vote. The Governor can be re-elected to an additional term only immediately and only once.

Article 161: Governors shall give a yearly public accounting to the State Comptroller for their office, and shall submit a report on the same to the Legislative Council and the Public Policy Planning and Coordination Council.

Article 162: Legislative Authority shall be exercised in each State by a Legislative Council-consisting of no more than fifteen and at least seven members, who shall proportionally represent the population of the State and the Municipalities. The Legislative Council shall have the following powers:

(1) To legislate matters within state competence.

(2) Pass the state’s Budget Law.

(3) Any others vested in it by this Constitution or by the law.

The requirements for being a member of the Legislative Council, the obligation to give a yearly accounting and immunity within the territorial jurisdiction, shall be governed by the rules established by this Constitution for deputies of the National Assembly, insofar as applicable. State legislators shall be elected for a four-year term, being eligible for reelection for only two terms. The organization and functioning of the Legislative Council shall be regulated by the national law.

Article 163: Each State shall have a Comptroller’s Office which shall enjoy structural and operating autonomy. The State Comptroller’s Office shall exercise, in accordance with this Constitution and in accordance with law, control, vigilance and auditing authority over state revenues, expenses and assets, without prejudice to the scope of the functions of the Office of the General Comptroller of the Republic. This body shall act under the direction and responsibility of a Comptroller, whose qualifications to serve in this position shall be determined by law, guaranteeing his capability and independence, as well as the neutrality of his appointment, which shall be by public competition.

Article 164: Is of the States exclusive competence:

(1) Promulgating their Constitution to organize public authority, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(2) Organization of their Municipalities and other local organs and the territorial and political divisions between them, in accordance with this Constitution and in accordance with law.

(3) Management of their assets and investment and management of their resources, including those deriving from transfers, subsidies or special assuagements from National Power, and those assigned to them as a share of national tax revenues.

(4) Organization, collection, control and administration of their own taxes, in accordance with provisions of national and state law.

(5) The governance and exploitation of non-metallic minerals that are not reserved to National Power, as well as salt deposits and oyster beds, and the management of vacant lands within their jurisdiction, in accordance with law.

(6) Organization of the police and determination of the branches of this service to be assigned to municipal jurisdiction, in accordance with applicable national legislation.

(7) Creation, organization, collection, control and management in the fields of sealed paper and tax documentary stamps.

(8) Creation, governance and organization of state public services.

(9) Construction, preservation, management and exploitation of overland travel routes within the states.

(10) Conservation, management and exploitation of national expressways and highways, as well as ports and airports in commercial use, in coordination with the National Executive.

(11) Any matters not placed, in accordance with this Constitution, under national or municipal jurisdiction.

Article 165: Matters involving concurrent competence shall be regulated by laws enacted by National Power and implementation laws passed by the States. This legislation shall be guided by the principles of interdependence, coordination, cooperation, shared responsibility and subordination.

The States shall decentralize and transfer to the Municipalities the state services and powers which the Municipalities are capable of exercising, as well as management of the associated resources, in the areas in which concurrent jurisdiction exist as between these two levels of Public Power. The transfer mechanisms shall be regulated by the legal system of the State concerned.

Article 166: In each state, a Public Policy Planning and Coordination Council shall be created, chaired by the Governor and having as members the Mayors, the state directors of the various ministries and representative s of the legislators elected by the State to the National Assembly, as well as representatives from the Legislative Council, the municipal councils and organized communities, including native communities where they exist. This Council shall function and be organized as determined by law.

Article 167: Are revenues of the States:

(1) Those deriving from their property and the management of their assets.

(2) Charges for the use of their goods and services, fines and penalties, and any charges allocated to them.

(3) Proceeds from the sale of State-owned commodities.

(4) The resources to which they are entitled by virtue of constitutional revenue share (situado constitutional). The revenue share is equivalent to up to 20% of total ordinary revenues as estimated annually by the National Treasure, which is to be distributed among the States and the Capital District as follows: 30% of the aforementioned percentage in equal shares, and the remaining 70% in proportion to the population of each of such entities. During each fiscal year, the States must invest at least 50% of the amount to which they are entitled by way of revenue share. During each fiscal year, the Municipalities of each State shall be entitled to at least 20% of the revenue share and of all other ordinary revenues of the State corresponding.

(1) In the event of changes in the revenues of the National Treasury that require an adjustment to the National Budget, the constitutional revenue share shall be adjusted in the same proportion.

(2) Principles, rules and procedures with a view to ensure the proper and efficient use of the resources deriving from the constitutional revenue share and the share of the Municipalities therein shall be established by law.

(3) Any other taxes, charges and special contributions that may be allocated to them by national law for the purpose of helping to develop the state treasuries. Laws creating or transferring tax revenues to the States may offset these allocations by means of changes in the other revenue categories indicated in this article, in order to preserve interterritorial fairness. The percentage of estimated ordinary national revenues allocated to the constitutional revenue share shall be no less than 15% of estimated ordinary revenues, taking into account the financial position and sustainability of the National Public Treasury, without neglecting the ability of the state administrative authorities to provide adequately for the services for which they are responsible.

(4) Resources deriving from the Interterritorial Compensation Fund and from any other transfer, subsidy or special appropriation, as well as those allocated to them as a share of national tax revenues, in accordance with the pertinent law.

Chapter IV: Municipal Public Power

Article 168: Municipalities constitute the primary political unit in the organization of the nation, and enjoy artificial personality and autonomy within the limits prescribed by the Constitution and the law. Municipal autonomy includes:

(1) Election of municipal authorities.

(2) Management of affairs within the scope of its competence.

(3) Creation, collection and investment of its revenues.

The actions of a Municipality within the scope of its competence shall be carried out by incorporating citizen participation into the process of defining and managing public affairs and monitoring and evaluating the results achieved, in an effective, sufficient and timely manner, in accordance with law.

The actions of Municipalities may be contested only before the courts of competent jurisdiction, in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

Article 169: The organization of Municipalities and other local entities shall be governed by this Constitution, by the rules established by national organic laws to implement constitutional principles, and by such provisions of law as may be enacted by the States in accordance with the aforementioned.

Legislation enacted to implement constitutional principles relating to Municipalities and other local entities shall establish various structures for the organization, governance and administration of the same, including as regards the determination of their powers and resources, taking into account conditions relating to population, economic development, ability to generate their own tax revenues, geographical location, historical and cultural elements and other relevant factors. In particular, such legislation shall establish the options for organizing the system of local administration and government that shall be adopted by Municipalities with native populations. In all cases, the municipal structure shall be democratic and consistent with the inherent nature of local government.

Article 170: Municipalities shall be permitted to associate in commonwealths, or to agree among themselves or with other territorial political divisions on the creation of types of intergovernmental associations for purposes in the public interest relating to matters within their competence. The rules concerning the grouping of two or more Municipalities into districts shall be determined by law.

Article 171: When two or more Municipalities belonging to the same federal organ have economic, social and physical relations that give the group the characteristics of a metropolitan area, they may organize themselves as metropolitan districts. The organic law enacted for the purpose shall guarantee the democratic and participatory character of the metropolitan government and shall establish its functional competence, as well as its tax, financial and control regime. It shall also ensure that the Municipalities have adequate participation in the entities of the metropolitan government, and shall indicate the manner in which the public consultations that are to decide upon affiliation of the Municipalities with the metropolitan district.

Various regimes may be established by law for the organization, governance and administration of the metropolitan district, taking into account population conditions, economic and social development, geographical location and other factors of importance. In all cases, the delegation of competence for each metropolitan district shall take into account these conditions.

Article 172: The state Legislative Council, after a favorable decision by public consultation of the affected population, shall define the boundaries of the metropolitan district and shall organize the same in accordance with the provisions of the national organic law, determining which metropolitan powers are to be assumed by the governmental organs of the pertinent metropolitan district.

When the Municipalities wishing to form a metropolitan district belong to different federal entities, the creation and organization of the same shall be the responsibility of the National Assembly.

Article 173: A Municipality shall have the power to create parishes on such terms as may be determined by law. The legislation enacted to implement constitutional principles relating to the organization of Municipalities shall establish the premises and conditions for the creation of other local entities within the territory of the Municipality, as well as the resources that shall be available to them, depending on the functions assigned to them, including their share in the Municipality’s own revenues. Their creation shall take into account neighborhood or community initiative, in order to provide for the decentralization of the administration of the Municipality, citizen participation and the providing of better public services. In no event shall parishes be assumed to be the only possible divisions, or to be required divisions, of the territory of a Municipality.

Article 174: The Mayor shall be in charge of the government and administration of a municipality, and shall also be the head of civil government. A Mayor must be Venezuelan, over the age of 25 and not a member of the clergy. The Mayor shall be elected for a term of four years by majority vote, and may be re-elected immediately and once only, to an additional term.

Article 175: The legislative function in a Municipality is vested in the Council, made up of council members elected in the manner established in this Constitution, in such number and on such terms of eligibility as may be determined by law.

Article 176: The Office of the Municipal Comptroller shall be in charge of control, vigilance and auditing of municipal revenues, expenses and property, as well as transactions relating to the same, without prejudice to the scope of the attributions of the Office of the General Comptroller, and the official in charge of the office shall be the Municipal Comptroller, designated by the Council through a public competition to guarantee the capability and ability of the person designated* to hold this office, on the terms established by law.

Article 177: Principles, residence requirements and conditions, prohibitions, grounds for disqualification and conflicts of interest for the candidacy and exercise of the functions of mayors and councilmen members may be established by national law.

Article 178: A Municipality has competence to govern and administrate its interests, as well as over the management of those matters which are assigned to it by this Constitution and national laws as regards local life, in particular the ordering and promotion of economic and social development, the equipping and providing of household public utility services, the application of policy with respect to these matters on a basis of fairness, justice and social interest content, according with delegation established on law related to this matter, the promotion of participation and improvement, in general, of living conditions in the community, in the following areas:

(1) Territorial zoning and city planning matters; historic heritage; housing in the interest of society; local tourism; parks and gardens; plazas; bathing and other recreational areas; civil architecture, nomenclature and public ornament.

(2) Urban roadways; circulation and ordering of vehicular and pedestrian traffic on municipal thoroughfares; urban public passenger transportation services.

(3) Public spectacles and commercial advertising, to the extent pertinent to specific municipal interests and purposes.

(4) Protection of the environment and cooperation with environmental sanitation efforts; urban and household sanitation, including cleaning, waste collection and treatment and civil protection.

(5) Healthiness and primary health care; services for the protection of infants and children, adolescents and senior citizens; preschool education; family services to integrate the disabled into the development of the community; cultural and sports activities and facilities. Prevention and protective services; surveillance and control of property and activities relating to matters within municipal competency.

(6) Drinking water services, electricity and gas for household use, sewers. channeling and disposal of wastewater; cemeteries and funeral services.

(7) Small claims courts, neighborhood prevention and protection and municipal police services, in accordance with applicable national legislation.

(8) Any others with which Municipalities may be charged under the Constitution and by law. The actions that Municipalities have the power to take within the scope of their competence are without prejudice to national and state competence as defined by law in accordance with the Constitution.

Article 179: Municipalities shall have the following revenues:

(1) Those deriving from their capital assets, including the proceeds from their common lands and other property.

(2) Charges for the use of their goods or services; administrative charges for licenses or authorizations; taxes on economic activities in the areas of industry, business and services, or those of similar kind, with the limitations established in this Constitution; taxes on urban real property, vehicles, public shows, games and lawful wagering; advertising and commercial publicity; and, the special tax on increased property values generated by changes in use or intensity of exploitation from which they benefit because of zoning plans.

(3) The rural territorial tax or tax on rural estates; sharing in the tax on improvements and other national and state taxes, in accordance with the laws creating such taxes.

(4) Those deriving from the constitutional revenue share and other national or state transfers or subsidies.

(5) The proceeds from fines and penalties imposed within the scope of their competence, or delegated to them.

(6) Such others as may be determined by law.

Article 180: The taxing power that is vested in Municipalities is different from and independent of the regulatory powers over certain fields or activities conferred by this Constitution or laws on National or State Authority.

Immunities from the taxing power of Municipalities in favor of other territorial political entities extend only to public sector juridical persons created by such organs, and not to concession holders or other parties entering into contracts with the administrative arm of National or State government.

Article 181: Municipal common lands are inalienable and not subject to the law of limitations. Title to them can be conveyed only subject to compliance with the formalities provided for under municipal ordinances and under the circumstances provided for thereunder, in accordance with this Constitution and such laws as may be promulgated to develop the principles container herein.

Ownerless land located within the urban area of towns in a municipality is municipal common land, without prejudice to legitimate and validly constituted rights of third parties. Vacant land located within the urban area also becomes common land. However, this does not include land which is part of native communities. The mechanism for converting other public land into common land shall be established by law.

Article 182: The Local Public Planning Council is hereby created, presided over by the Mayor and consisting of municipal Council members, Chairpersons* of Parish Boards and representatives of neighborhood organizations and other organized social groups, in accordance with such provisions as may be established by law.

Article 183: States and Municipalities shall not have the power to:

(1) Create customs authorities or import, export or transit duties on domestic or foreign goods, or on other revenue sources under national competence.

(2) Tax consumer goods before the same are marketed within their territory.

(3) Prohibit the consumption of goods produced outside their territory, nor tax the same differently from those produced within their territory.

States and Municipalities have the power to tax agriculture, livestock, fishing and forest activities only at the times, in the manner and to the extent permitted by national laws.

Article 184: Open and flexible mechanisms shall be created by law to cause the States and Municipalities to decentralize and transfer to communities and organized neighborhood groups services the latter manage and demonstrate the ability to provide, promoting:

(1) The transfer of services in the areas of health, education, housing, sports, culture, social programs, the environment, maintenance of industrial areas, maintenance and upkeep of urban areas, neighborhood prevention and protective services, construction of works projects and providing of public services. To this end, they shall have the power to enter into agreements, whose content shall be guided by the principles of interdependence, coordination, cooperation and shared responsibility.

(2) Participation by communities and citizens, through neighborhood associations and nongovernmental organizations, in the formulation of investment proposals for presentation before the state and municipal authorities in charge of preparing the pertinent investment plans, as well as participation in the execution, evaluation and control of works projects, social programs and public services within their jurisdiction.

(3) Participation in economic processes, stimulating manifestations of the social economy, such as cooperatives, saving funds, mutual funds and other forms of association.

(4) Participation by workers and communities in the running of public sector business enterprises, through self-management and joint management methods.

(5) Creation of community service enterprises, organizations and cooperatives as mechanisms to generate employment and social Welfare, providing for their permanent existence through the design of policies whereby these groups are given means of participating.

(6) Creation of new decentralized organs at the parish, community, ward and neighborhood levels, with a view to guaranteeing the principle of shared responsibility in the public administration of local and state governments, and developing process of self-management and joint management in the administration and control of state and municipal public services.

(7) Participation by communities in activities to establish closer ties with penal institutions and ties between the latter and the general population.

Chapter V: The Federal Council on Government

Article 185: The Federal Council on Government is the organ charged with planning and coordination of policies and actions to develop the process of decentralization and transfer of powers from National Authority to the States and Municipalities. It shall be presided over by the Executive Vice-President and shall consist of the Cabinet ministers, the Governors, one Mayor from each State and representative s of organized society, in accordance, with law.

The Federal Council on Government shall have a Secretariat made up of the Executive Vice-President, two Ministers, three Governors and three Mayors. The Federal Council on Government shall have a dependency known as the Interterritorial Compensation Fund, intended for the purpose of financing public investments with a view to promoting the balanced development of regions, cooperation and complement among the development policies and initiatives of the various public territorial entities, and in particular supporting the providing of works projects and services in regions and communities with relatively low levels of development. The Federal Council on Government, based on regional unbalances, shall discuss and approve annually the resources to be allocated to the Interterritorial Compensation Fund and the priority investment areas to which these resources are to be applied.