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Caretaker Government Act, RPPL No. 9-23 2014



To authorize state governments to establish a Caretaker Government system and for other related purposes.


Section 1. Short Title. This Act may be cited as the "Caretaker Government Act."

Section 2. Legislative Findings. The Olbiil Era Kelulau finds that there is a gap in the electoral process that necessitates standardization or procedure to regulate the management of government operations and funds during the period of time when a newly elected government is not installed after an election. The Olbiil Era Kelulau finds that state governments should have the opportunity and option to establish a caretaker government system for themselves in order to avoid a government standstill when a government is not able to conduct its ordinary course of business and current law does not provide any recourse. The Olbiil Era Kelulau further finds that Section 1 of Article XI of the Palau Constitution provides that "The structure and organization of state governments shall follow democratic principles, traditions of Palau, and shall not be inconsistent with this Constitution. The national government shall assist in the organization of state government." And Section 2 of the same article in the Constitution provides that "All governmental powers not expressly delegated by this Constitution to the states nor denied to the national government are powers of the national government. The national government may delegate powers by law to the state governments."

Section 3. Amendment. Title 5 of the Palau National Code is hereby amended to add a Chapter 6 to state as follows:

"Chapter 6

Caretaker Government

§ 601. Definitions.

For the purposes of this Chapter,

(a) "Election" means both general and special elections for government officials at the state level.

(b) "Government" means a state government.

§ 602. Applicability.

State governments are hereby authorized to establish a Caretaker Government system in accordance with relevant state laws and constitutional procedures in order to provide the state with a temporary government system that shall apply when an elected government fails to be installed on the designated day of installation for one of the following reasons:

(a) Because the election or traditional process failed to produce a functioning government; or

(b) Because it is clear who will form the next government, but they have not yet been installed into office, due to a delay in the day of installation that is the result of factors that are beyond the control of the state government.

§ 603. Caretaker Government Formation.

The Caretaker Government may be comprised of the incumbent elected officials and traditional leaders where applicable, of the government's Executive Branch and Legislative Branch.

§ 604. Caretaker Government's Limited Authority.

The Caretaker Government is authorized to take the necessary actions to allow for the continuing of the normal businesses of the government and the day-to-day administration of departments and other agencies, and only such actions. The Caretaker Government is prohibited from taking any action that will have an effect beyond the current term that the Caretaker Government has been temporarily installed for, and the Caretaker Government is prohibited from taking any of the following actions:

(a) Signing a contract that would obligate the government or citizens of the state, except when renewing a current non-citizen employment contract that has expired.

(b) Making a significant appointment, including but not limited to, board members, except renewing a current board membership that has expired.

(c) Adopting new government policies.

(d) Enacting laws, rules, or regulations; except when an annual budget or continuing budget authority has expired, in which case the Caretaker Government shall have the limited authority to enact only a continuing budget authority in accordance with relevant state laws.

§ 605. Exception to Limited Authority.

In the instance where the Caretaker Government finds that it would be detrimental to the government and citizens of the state to delay action in accordance with Section 6 of this Act, the Caretaker Government may take action, but only with consultation of the new incoming government."

Section 4. Effective Date. This Act shall take effect upon its approval by the President of the Republic of Palau or upon its becoming law without such approval, except as otherwise provided by law.

PASSED: April 22, 2014

Approved this __24th__ day of ___ April__________, 2014

Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr.
President of the Republic of Palau

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