JIS News

Financial Secretary, Colin Bullock, has urged civil servants to uphold the values and standards of good corporate governance.
“Fellow public servants, if we agree that good corporate governance is essential and that its absence threatens the achievement of our organizational mission and objectives, then, as outlined in Ministry Paper #56 on the 2002-2012 Public Sector Modernization Vision and Strategy, it is incumbent on us to uphold the values, obligations, standards and practices that are embodied in good governance,” he said.
Mr. Bullock, who was speaking at the Corporate Governance Symposium hosted by the Ministry of Finance and Planning’s Public Expenditure Policy Division (PXPC) on February 15 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, said that good corporate governance must encompass more than the development of structures such as audit committees or the relevant reporting or internal control processes.
“As you know, good behaviour can neither be legislated nor imposed by decision, and rules can never be substituted for character. A truly effective corporate governance framework for the public sector must, therefore, be people-oriented, based on a strong commitment on the part of all participants to adopt an approach that emphasizes integrity and other sound values, propriety and probity in the stewardship of public funds, quality service delivery and the protection of public rather than personal interest,” he said.
Mr. Bullock, said it was his belief “that although the underlying governance principles are universal, public sector governance should be of an even higher standard than that which is applied to private organizations.”
He further commented, “I would also like to suggest that corporate governance should not be viewed just as a goal to be attained or a benchmark to be met in public administration. Rather, it is a journey that requires vigilance, review and ongoing consideration, particularly in view of the fact that we in the public sector are under constant scrutiny from creditors, investors, taxpayers, other stakeholders and the Jamaican public, who have been demanding greater accountability and integrity in the way we carry out our responsibilities.”
To that end, Mr. Bullock challenged those in attendance to embrace the principles of good governance and determine how meaningful improvements in the existing governance arrangements could be effected in their various ministries, departments and agencies.
State Minister for Finance and Planning, Fitz Jackson, acknowledged that Jamaicans have become more demanding of the public sector not only in a quantitative way but more so in a qualitative way.”It is for that reason that I really welcome this occasion where we set out to focus on corporate governance and how we can make our organizations that serve the public, much better than we are accustomed to doing,” he said.