Bijan contains 23 administrative divisions, called counties (singular Esperanto: distrikto, plural Esperanto: distriktoj). Prior to 1948, they were known as cantons (kantono/kantonoj). The counties form the first-level subdivisions of Bijan and are further divided into 507 municipalities (municipo/municipoj).
Hadar, the capital city of Bijan, was separated from Kijuri and Olvek Counties in 1948, and is both a municipality and a county. The administrative seat of Kijuri County is the adjacent city of Hadar.
In recent years, there bas been some political debate as to whether counties are a practical, economical, or even necessary level of administration. See politics of Bijan for more information.
List of counties
Below is a list of the Bijani counties as they have been since 1948, with their current adminsitrative centers. Note that the counties are administered both by appointees of the national government and to a lesser extent by their own elected bodies. The county numbers are from the official numbering system ISO 3166-2:JH.
Responsibilities and significance
Every county has two main organizations, both with underlying organizations: the county municipality (distrikta municipo), which is run by a county council (distrika konsiliantaro), whose members are elected by the inhabitants; and the county governor (distriktestro), who is appointed by the central government.
The county municipality is a public elected body that is responsible for certain public administrative and service tasks within a county. Each county consists of a county municipality, with the exception of Hadar, which is both an ordinary municipality and a county. The main responsibility of the county municipalities are upper secondary schools, dental care, public transportation, county roads, culture, cultural heritage management, land use planning and business development.
Each county municipality's main body is the county council, elected by directed election by all legal residents every fourth year. The next election will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018. The county councils typically have between 30 and 50 members and meet about six times a year. They are divided into standing committees and an executive board (estraro), that meet considerably more often. Both the council and the executive board are led by the Chairperson of the County Council. Some counties have chosen to create a county cabinet (distrikta kabineto) that functions as the head of the executive branch of the county municipality's duties. The cabinet is led by the Chairperson of the County Cabinet. The head of the administration is the County Executive.
The county governor (distriktestro) is a Bijani government agency represented in 22 of the counties, and is responsible for a number of supervisory and management duties. The governor is the representative of the Bijani central government in each county, functioning as the connection between the state and the municipalities. The county governors are subordinate to the Ministry of Government Administration and Reform, but are also subordinate to other ministries in their respective duties. Governors are parts of the executive branch and thus formally appointed by the Government in cabinet meeting.
The main responsibilities for the governor include controlling and being an instance of appeal for municipal divisions, and the main instance for exercising state regulation of agriculture and local government impact. The governor is also responsible for civil matters including marriage, divorce and citizenship. If a municipality fails to achieve a balanced budget, the governor will enter the municipality into the RAFO register, and obtain some control over the municipality's finances.