JIS News

Prime Minister and Chairman of the Caribbean Community, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has emphasised that CARICOM is taking steps to ensure that initiatives are not undertaken without proper advice on how they can be funded.
He told members of the regional press that currently, there is not sufficient alignment of available funds and commitments made by regional Heads.
The Chairman was speaking at the wrap-up press conference for the 31st Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Governmentof the Caribbean Community, held at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa, in Montego Bay, St. James, on July 7.
“CARICOM Heads cannot continue to operate in isolation of their Ministries of Finance. We can’t simply go to Heads’ Meetings, make wonderful decisions and not stop to even estimate what it is going to cost to implement those decisions, and then go back to our respective Ministries of Finance and to our respective Parliaments and say to them, ‘by the way, we have committed ourselves to the following things, therefore find the money’,” Mr. Golding said.
The Prime Minister said there has to be a mechanism through which the respective Ministries of Finance can be involved in the process, so that “reckless” decisions are not made on issues for which individual governments will have to allocate resources.
As such, he said CARICOM Heads have decided to set up a clearing house to ensure proper evaluation and costing of proposed initiatives before a final decision is taken on implementation. He said this would allow for consultation to identify what portion of the cost can be funded by the Members and for what portion they will have to seek external financing.
The issue of funding for CARICOM initiatives formed a large part of the talks at the Conference, as it was felt by the Caribbean leaders that this matter and shortcomings in the governance structure of CARICOM, were big factors slowing implementation of decisions.