JIS News

Cabinet has approved the principle that Permanent Secretaries are to be designated as Principal Accounting Officers, while Chief Executive Officers of Public Bodies, Executive Agencies and other heads of Departments may be designated as Accounting Officers.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said that drafting instructions have been given to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for the appropriate amendments to be made to the Financial Administration and Audit Act and the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act, to give effect to the designation of the senior executive officers; and disallowing Permanent Secretaries from sitting on advisory and management boards that fall within their portfolio responsibility.
The Minister was speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing, held at Jamaica House on December 1.
“Cabinet previously approved an Accountability Framework for Senior Executive Officers of the Government, which provided that Chief Executive Officers of specified public bodies be, designated Accounting Officers. However, the current definition of Accounting Officer in the Financial Administration and Audit Act is not applicable to Public Bodies, especially those that are self financing, given that the definition speaks to the central government or entities in receipt of allocations from the Consolidated Fund,” Mr. Vaz said.
The new definition will be applicable to heads of departments, agencies and public bodies and therefore designation of Accounting Officer will not be restricted to Chief Executive Officers of agencies and public bodies, which are in receipt of appropriations from the Consolidated Fund.