Department of Community Government

"The aim of community government is a second level of government that is truly Bougainville, one that helps people advocate, coordinate and carry out government activities in their own community."

Department of Community Government


Headed by Secretary Belinda Lanbong under the ministerial leadership of Honorable THEONILA MATBOB, Member for Ioro Constituency, ABG Minister for Community Government. Its mandate is focused on:

  • Community Government (support and coordination)
  • District Coordination and administration
  • Traditional Authority and custom
  • Disaster and Emergency management and coordination


Community Government

What is Community Government?

Community Government is Bougainville’s new second level of government. The Bougainville Community Government Act (CG Act) replaces the Council of Elders Act 1996. The new Act gives Community Governments more powers to support community decision-making and to perform the functions of community development (social and economic).


  • Respects local customary authority: Community Government empowers the voice of traditional leaders to promote peace, security, law and order. It can provide support for traditional authority and village court, land mediators and Community Auxiliary Police in the ward area.
  • Equal voice: one woman, one man: Each Ward elects one woman and one man to represent them at the Community Government.
  • Empowers development interests of communities: Responsible for designing and planning community development and government service delivery.
  • Encourage participation of people and local groups: Works closely with social groups/local organisations and liaises with district managers.
  • Better coordination between ABG and community government: Services and facilities identified and monitored by community to meet their current and future needs.

Bougainville’s Second Level of Government

 Bougainville is divided into Community Government areas. A Ward is the further break down of a Community Government area. A Community Government can have between 3 and 15 Wards. People in each Ward elect one woman and one man to serve as their Ward Representatives. The Community Government term is five years, following the ABG election.


  • Maintain community data: births, deaths, total population etc
  • Identify and prioritise present and future needs of people
  • Contribute to district planning, and implement or assist projects resulting from planning
  • Work with ABG to coordinate and monitor government services/staff in its area
  • Encourage initiatives for improving quality of life of its people
  • Represent interests of its people to the wider community
  • Carry out or provide assistance for projects funded from other sources
  • Establish community mining license reserves and relating community licenses and tenements
  • Special Functions under the Bougainville Constitution
  • Urban Community Government also responsible for rubbish collection


No hierarchical relationship: Community Government works cooperatively with district officers, the ward steering committee, traditional chiefs and leaders of the wards.



People in each Ward elect one woman and one man to serve as their Ward Representatives. The role of Ward Representatives are:

  • Participate in the deliberation and civic activities of the Community Government
  • Assess Community Government resource allocation, expenditures and activities, and the effectiveness of its service delivery.
  • Represent the interests of the people of the Ward
  • Participate in the Ward Steering Committee


A Ward Steering Committee is not a formal level of government but brings the Ward   Representatives together with other people chosen by the community in whatever means appropriate. The role of the Committee is to provide administrative and operational support to traditional chiefs, other traditional leaders and village courts. Committees also identify development needs, for example: impact of natural disasters, requirement for conflict resolution, issues relating to health, land and environment of the Ward.


Sources of funds for Community Government is money appropriated by the House of Representatives or National Parliament, taxes and rates, imposition of administrative fees, commercial activities, and borrowing or investing, among others.


Elections are held every five years within twelve months of the ABG election. Elections are conducted by the Bougainville Electoral Commission.