The CFG is the constitutionally established mechanism charged with providing funding to municipal and state governing bodies and is composed of members of the executive branch with the open participation of governors and mayors throughout the country.
According to Venezuelan Vice President and head of the CFG, Elias Jaua, every elected official from the nation’s local governments has a voice within the plenary.
“Every governor in the country has a right to take part in the plenary session and here all the governors, including those who are in opposition to the revolutionary project [of the Chavez government], have been present”, he said.
Likewise, Jaua said, “There is a representative for each mayorship. Everyone is present”.
Although Venezuela’s political system has been decentralized over the years, national revenues, derived mainly from the country’s petroleum industry, are administered at the federal level and subsequently directed towards local governments.
The law has established that funds need to be focused on approved projects that serve the interests of the country and work in consonance with the nation’s overall productive development strategy, Development Plan “Simon Bolivar”. According to Jaua, funding priorities will be given to projects that address the necessities of underserved populations throughout the country’s different regions.
“[Priorities] can be seen from the territorial point of view, but also from the point of view of social indicators, where the majority of the population live in conditions of poverty, as is the case in the most populated shantytowns in Caracas and other cities in country as well as in regions where there hasn’t been any kind of investment throughout the history of the country”, he explained.
Jaua emphasized that the project proposals of local mayors and governors for 2011 need to be submitted in the next two weeks to be considered.
“In the next 15 days, they should present their annual investment plan to the Secretary General of the government so that they can be considered and approved. From this approval, then, the disbursement of resources can begin for the 2011 fiscal year”, he affirmed.
Once the proposals have been approved and disbursed, the Vice President explained, the carrying out of projects is obligatory.
“Over the course of the year, regional offices and inspectors will be verifying the fulfillment of all projects and making sure that resources provided are being used for the projects approved in the annual investment plan. This way there will be a guarantee that resources are being directed within the framework of the Development Plan ‘Simon Bolivar’”, he said.
Jaua also mentioned the creation of sanctions for non-compliant officials.
“We have also created a mechanism of penalization for those governors, mayors or members of community groups that don’t carry out projects that have been presented, approved and financed”, he declared, assuring that those who misuse funds will be sanctioned.