A sum of $7.5 million has been allocated to the Institutional Strengthening of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) III project, as contained in the 2013/2014 Estimates of Expenditure.
The project seeks to ensure an effective utilization of the government of Jamaica/European Commission co-operation funds, enabling the work to be performed efficiently and effectively, as stipulated in the Cotonou Agreement.
This will be achieved through the continued development and improvement of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) capacity in fulfilling its role related to programming, identification, formulation, implementation, evaluation and audit of activities under successive National Indicative Programmes in a timely and efficient manner.
In terms of achievements up to February 2013: two experts were contracted to assist with the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement Capacity Building Project and the capacity of the European Union (EU) unit; training provided for personnel in the implementing institutions; assistance provided with the programming of the 11th European Development Fund from the EU; and purchased printer and software to support project database in External Co-operation Management Division.
It is expected that for the new financial year the project will commence procurement of specialized equipment for the Plant Protection and Bureau of Standard Laboratories.
The project which started on April 2012 is expected to be completed by March 2017.
The Cotonou Agreement is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU. Since 2000, it has been the framework for the EU’s relations with 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).
The 2013/2014 Estimates of Expenditure is now before the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives for its consideration.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter