The devolution of the department of archaeology and museums from the federal to the provincial level of government is unconstitutional, according to officials working in the department.
The department, previously working under the federal ministry of culture, was devolved to the provinces as part of the implementation process of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, passed in April last year. As part of the devolution process, the archaeology department would also be moved to the process as well.
However, officials working at the department say that museums, libraries, laboratories, ancient and historical monuments and antiquities all come under the direct jurisdiction of the federal government.
These officials did not specify the logic or justify their allegations. Item 37 of the concurrent list was “ancient and historical monuments, archaeological sites and remains,” and with the abolition of that list, the governance of matters pertaining to these would automatically be transferred to the provinces.
The Constitution does include an item saying that the federal government has the power to regulate “libraries, museums, and similar institutions” but it also specifies that it can regulate only those “controlled or financed by the federation.”
The federal government appears to have transferred control of museums to the provinces and thus no longer controls their finances.
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