The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service on Wednesday (November 4) launched the Jamaica InvestmentMap, a digital platform that will facilitate interactive public access to information on investment projects being implemented by the Government.
These include the construction of roads, bridges and schools, government reform, and climate resilient projects, the progress of which individuals and entities will be able to track and provide feedback, through the posting of comments and photos, among other inputs.
The facility, which is being implemented under the Strategic Public Sector Transformation Project in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, is intended to support Government steps to strengthen the management of public investments in Jamaica
Its establishment resulted from dialogue to this end between the Administration and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which financed the undertaking via a regional technical cooperation grant provided through its Transparency Fund.
A total of 70 projects funded by the Government, as also multilateral institutions, have already been uploaded on the site, which is the seventh such facility established in Latin America and the Caribbean.
InvestmentMap platforms have already been launched in Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, and Peru.
Jamaica also has the distinction of being the first English-speaking country to establish the facility.
Speaking during the digital launch, Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said the platform represents a continuation of the Government’s implementation of public financial management reforms over recent years.
These, he said, include a Public Investment Management System (PIMS) and a Public Investment Management Secretariat, noting that these have greatly streamlined the public investment process.
The Minister posited that public investment is the route by which the Government improves the quality of life of the Jamaican people.
“When you spend on public investment, the benefits accrue over the natural life of that particular [engagement]. When you build a bridge or a road, it’s not just for today, it’s for the next month, the next year, the next decade. When you invest in technology through public investment, the benefit lasts over time; and that’s why public investment is so important and such a crucial component to the Budget,” he added.
In her remarks, IDB Caribbean Country Department General Manager, Therese Turner Jones, said the InvestmentMap platform aims to make information on public investment projects available in a most user-friendly, easily accessible navigable format to the broadest possible audience.
“I’m really hoping that every citizen of Jamaica, at some point, logs on to the Map and uses this information to increase their awareness of what their government is doing on the public investment side,” she added.
Meanwhile, Financial Secretary, Darlene Morrison, said the InvestmentMap creation comes at an opportune time, adding that it will provide “valuable support to our project analysts in the Ministry of Finance in their monitoring and reporting on the financial and physical status of the public investment projects under implementation”.
“We have great expectations that the Jamaica InvestmentMap will be accepted and extensively utilised by the public at large, and that it will contribute significantly to the general efforts being made to improve transparency and accountability in the use of public resources,” she added.
The platform may be accessed at https://publicinvestmentmap.gov.jm.