JIS News

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  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, has commended the Government’s establishment of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC).
  • Madame Lagarde said monitoring of the economic reform programme reform by an “outside group…is something that I have never heard of, (and) that none of my staff at the IMF had heard of.”
  • Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, and Sagicor President and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Byles, Co-Chair the EPOC

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, has commended the Government’s establishment of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC). The Committee monitors the implementation of Jamaica’s economic reform measures.

Describing it as a display of “real innovation” by the administration, Madame Lagarde said the concept is indicative of multi-sectoral ownership of, and support for the programme.

She made these remarks during a special lecture delivered at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus, on Friday, June 27, on the theme: ‘The Caribbean and the IMF’.

Madame Lagarde said monitoring of the economic reform programme reform by an “outside group…is something that I have never heard of, (and) that none of my staff at the IMF had heard of.”

She, however, welcomed the concept, pointing out that “when those reforms are conducted… you want complete ownership and support to be given (to the Finance Minister).”

“I met with them (EPOC members),…and I came away extremely impressed with their commitment and dedication to improve the situation of the Jamaican economy. This is clearly a…model, going forward, And it is one that will, from my point of view, be duplicated and encouraged in many other programmes going forward,” the Managing Director stated.

The EPOC comprises 11 representatives from the private and public sectors, civil society, and trade unions, who review Government reports on the progress of implementing the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) over the life of the IMF’s US$958 million four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF), which supports the country’s Economic Reform Programme (ERP).

Its role also includes assisting in ensuring that the agreed targets are achieved, as well as advising the public, through the media, of any concerns or developments.

Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, and Sagicor President and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Byles, Co-Chair the EPOC.

The lecture formed part of the itinerary for Madame Lagarde’s three-day visit to Jamaica, from June 26 to 28. She is slated to depart the island today.