NASSAU, The Bahamas — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest said the Government’s recently launched Public Financial Management and Performance Monitoring Reform Project (PFM/PMR) has two key aspects that will revolutionize the manner in which government functions.
The PFM/PMR is a major transformational and change management project providing the infrastructure to effect sound fiscal management, transparency, accountability in government, the delivery of evidence-based results and the monitoring of performance the DPM explained during a meeting of Rotary Club of West Nassau at Poop Deck Sandyport, Thursday, July 27, 2017.
He was speaking on Fiscal Reform & Accountability in Government Finance.
DPM Turnquest said one of the key aspects is the work being undertaken to implement a new Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).
“As you would have heard from our frank discussions about the state of government operations, the current financial system used by government is out of tune with modern public financial management principles.
“This cash based accounting system currently being used does not provide adequate, reliable and timely information by which to manage government finances. It limits our ability to fully account for all liabilities and projected revenue streams. This is unacceptable!”
The DPM said the initiative being undertaken, will employ new business processes and technologies to modernise the accounting system in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting standards and improve the accuracy and efficiency of financial information, which will lead to better planning and stronger fiscal discipline and future economic growth for The Bahamas.
“What this means for businesses in The Bahamas is that we will have better tracking of the nature and timing of our obligations and be able to respond in a timely manner which will free up local cash flow and facilitate timely domestic payments and growth.”
He said the second but equally critical to achieving a resilient fiscal space, is ensuring that every dollar spent provides value — that projects we embark upon are in line with governments’ priorities, achieve results for the Bahamian people and are well planned, sequenced and are executed efficiently to reduce the potential for leakage and wastage.
“The introduction of a Centre of Government approach by my government under the PFM/PMF project will support Ministries and ensure that there is increased coordination and integration of public sector projects, so that policy challenges can be approached in a holistic manner and desired outcomes can be achieved.
“It will increase efficiency in the use of public resources and provide for ongoing tracking and reporting on the projects to facilitate early intervention to unblock any obstacles to performance. This will eliminate the spiraling of costs of government projects.”
The DPM said additionally, the Centre of Government approach will serve to provide increased transparency to the Bahamian people as its outcomes focus and encourage the use of performance indicator matrices, against which results can be assessed.