The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has praised the Government for introducing measures to improve public investment management within Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and public expenditure efficiency.
In a country summary contained in its final 2020 quarterly bulletin, the IDB said the establishment of the Public Investment Management Secretariat (PIMS) has been an “important step” in the thrust to improve the MDAs’ public investment management capabilities.
This is part of the effort to aid in Jamaica’s economic recovery and accelerate long-term growth, it noted.
Additionally, the Bank said strengthening of the Secretariat, which is based in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, will be essential in furthering this process.
The IDB cited the creation of the public investment map, to assist in enhancing efficiency by tracking the use of resources through geo-referencing, as a key area of improvement.
It emphasised that public investment efficiency will be particularly relevant in the post-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic period, as this can have a potentially significant multiplier effect on the economy.
Regarding public expenditure efficiency, the IDB noted that while some progress has been made in efforts containing the public sector wage bill, programme expenditure has risen significantly in recent years.
Consequently, the Bank said the introduction of measures to evaluate and improve the targeting of social programmes is an important policy focus area, in order to increase spending efficiency.
Additionally, the IDB indicated that the development of a Public Expenditure Review would help in identifying the main spending categories where further efficiency measures should be implemented.