Friday, April 19, 2024

Public Service decline a concern

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Former Central Bank governor Dr DeLisle Worrell says the quality of Barbados’ Public Service has “declined alarmingly” and the problem needs to be fixed.

In his May economic letter, the veteran economist said the island first needed to “institute a functioning system of reporting by every Government agency, department, ministry or state corporation”.

He said regular reporting would not only “have an immediate effect on transparency and public appreciation of Government’s budgetary limitations”, but could also “kickstart a more comprehensive programme of public sector renewal”.

“The reporting should be done at two levels: annually, published reports to inform the Parliament and the people of Barbados on their stewardship; and monthly, to the Treasury, for every entity that receives financial support from the Government budget,” Worrell recommended.

“The annual reports of all entities should be released to the public within three months of the end of their financial year, without fail.”

He added: “Timely publication of the annual report should be a key performance indicator for permanent secretaries, heads of departments and agencies, and CEOs of state-funded corporations. This straightforward measure would have an immediate effect on transparency and public appreciation of Government’s budgetary limitations.”

He also advised the authorities to implement an internal layer of reporting to the Accountant General, who headed the Treasury.

“Every quarter the Accountant General authorises expenditure for that quarter only, for all spending approved by Parliament. The quarterly allocations are made with a view to ensuring that spending is kept within the budgetary limit,” Worrell noted. (SC)

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