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Cabinet has given approval for the issuing of instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC) to effect amendments to the Financial Administration and Audit (FAA) Act, to include monetary penalties in the procurement regulations.
Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing held yesterday (Nov. 12) at Jamaica House, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Faith Innerarity explained that, “this particular Act is currently being amended to include the handbook of procurement procedures and Cabinet had previously approved the issuing of drafting instructions to the CPC. However, the amendments that were being done did not take into account the issue of penalties.”
Currently, she noted, the Act only makes provision for penalties up to a maximum of $5,000 and these are not related to procurement. “The amendment being proposed is to ensure that there are monetary penalties included in respect of breaches of the procurement procedures and generally to affect amendments to Section 19B (of the Act) in respect of the responsibility of the Minister to regulate the full length of the procurement process,” she stated.
On another matter, Parliamentary Secretary in the Information Ministry, Senator Warren Newby, informed that the Ministry was undertaking to capitalise the Youth Business Trust.
He disclosed that a commitment has been made for $20 million to be made from the Information Ministry over four years, the first tranche of which has already been paid out.
“A further commitment has been made by the Ministry of Commerce to provide a secondary loan facility of $30 million to youth business. We are now working out a Memorandum of Understanding to have the Trust relocated to the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), where it can become more intertwined with the operations there (so) that we can provide the necessary training and other support facilities to engender growth of the youth business sector,” he told journalists.
In addition, he said the draft of a youth entrepreneurship policy has been prepared and is now ready. “Our intention is to have it presented to Cabinet by the latest January,” he informed.