JIS News

Senator the Honourable Don Wehby, today, announced that Cabinet, at its sitting on Monday, May 18, 2009, approved the implementation of a Central Treasury Management System (CTMS) geared towards improving the Central Government financial management and budget process by creating greater efficiencies.
It has long been voiced that the current system of managing public funds has proven to be inefficient resulting in Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as other public entities having to bear the high costs of financing.
In some instances, there are para-statal entities holding large pools of funds under their management on an ongoing basis while in other circumstances the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service is forced to borrow at huge costs to the Government, to fund working capital needs and requirements for other agencies.
With respect to Central Government operations, CTMS will be used to manage the overall management of public funds, which includes, inter alia, cash management, management of Government’s bank accounts, financial planning and forecasting of cash flows, and public debt management.
“The timely implementation of the CTMS constitutes an integral part of one of the Government’s comprehensive 6-point reform programme to increase fiscal responsibility and reduce debt,” said the Minister.
Senator Wehby explained that the establishment of the CTMS in which resources are pooled or are under central management, would serve to reduce the cost of operation of a number of Public Bodies and for the Government in general.
While the Government moves along with its plans to implement the system, it wants to preserve the autonomy and accountability structure of the Public Entities by upholding the distinction between the modus operandi of budget-funded and the commercial Public Bodies. To achieve this, the relationship between the Central Treasurer and Commercial Public Bodies will be clearly outlined and demarcated.
“As such commercial Public Bodies would be entreated to provide resources to the treasury for returns that are no less than they would obtain on the market,” said Senator Wehby. “These funds would provide a pool of resources that would present entities that are less liquid, with an alternative to borrowing at higher interest rates.”
Based on Cabinet’s decision, the responsibility for treasury management and functions currently being shared between the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service (Cash Management, Debt Management and Fiscal Policy Units) would reside in a single agency. Existing legislation already provides for AGD to perform required functions. The AGD would be comprehensively reorganised to ensure it has the technological infrastructure, financial and other expertise required to establish a fully functioning and effective CTMS.
Additionally a consultant/team leader would be appointed by MOFPS to guide the implementation of the new system
The Jamaican CTMS will be based on the Irish Model which operates and functions effectively in an environment that is closest to the culture and structure of the Jamaican Public Sector. Minister Wehby and a team visited Ireland in September 2008 to learn more about the National Treasury Management Agency.

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