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    Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, has announced that Government will establish a Central Treasury Management System (CTMS), during this financial year.
    “This new aspect of financial management involves a holistic approach to the management of public funds and will provide real short and long term fiscal benefits for the country,” Mr. Shaw said, during the opening of the 2009/10 Budget Debate, in the House of Representatives, on April 23.
    He informed that Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry, Senator Don Wehby, along with a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, had visited Ireland earlier this year to study their model of the Central Treasury Management System.
    “We now have a draft submission that is being examined to go into the Cabinet, to take the step further, in terms of getting a proper system of managing our treasury,” Mr. Shaw said.
    He noted that the need to set up a proper system of managing the public funds, was due to the current system being “dysfunctional.” He said this resulted in Ministries, departments, and agencies, including para-statal entities, holding large pools of funds on one hand, while on the other hand, the Ministry of Finance was borrowing at much cost to the Government. “It makes no sense,” he said, noting that Government agencies have close to $200 million in foreign exchange accounts.
    Turning to Government’s efforts to stem corruption within public sector entities, the Minister informed that the Revenue Protection Division (RPD), has been re-established in order to “plug revenue leakage at the Customs Department, at the Inland Revenue Department and other departments of Government.”
    “It pains my heart to know that certain elements within the Inland Revenue Department connive and collude with elements outside of the Department, including persons at Customs, including members of the security forces.and all of them combine and collude to break the law,” he said.
    The Minister further advised that another measure in place to tackle corruption was the re-establishment of a Public Accountability Inspectorate (PAI), in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.
    The Inspectorate is charged with the responsibility to review critical reports of the Auditor General, the Public Accounts Committee, the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, the Audit Commissions, the Internal Audit, and the Contractor General.
    “They will also be dealing with issues that come to their attention, that might be referred to them by the Minister or the Financial Secretary or just based on anecdotal information that they get, in terms of things that need to be investigated,” Mr. Shaw informed.
    He noted too that the PAI would not only investigate activities within the purview of the Ministry, but would investigate issues within the entire Government service.

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