Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, yesterday (December 1) tabled legislation in the House of Representatives that will establish the Independent Fiscal Commission.
Dr. Clarke said the tabling of the Independent Fiscal Commission Act, 2020 is consistent with the Government of Jamaica’s policy commitments to institutionalise fiscal transparency and strengthen Jamaica’s fiscal responsibility framework.
“The Fiscal Commission will be the guardian and interpreter of Jamaica’s fiscal rules, monitoring compliance with these fiscal rules, reporting on fiscal outcomes and keeping the public informed by providing independent analysis on fiscal policy developments,” he informed.
Dr. Clarke noted that the Fiscal Commission will be full-time and dedicated to these tasks, adding that the Commission will have access to relevant data from anywhere in government to allow it to perform its functions.
“It has been the Jamaican experience that we have benefited from the process of an informed independent assessment of Jamaica’s fiscal path, with regular independent communication to the Jamaican people. While the Fiscal Commission is no panacea and at its best represents only an informed second opinion, it is a necessary institution,” he argued.
Dr. Clarke noted that with the Fiscal Commission, the Government seeks to institutionalise around the principles of enhancing accountability of the policymaking process, deepening the transparency of the government finances, strengthening the credibility of government’s fiscal path, promoting inclusiveness in the policy discussion space, and taking greater societal ownership of Jamaica’s economic direction.
He added that a Fiscal Commission is an institutional necessity in the pursuit of economic independence.
Dr. Clarke said the Government proposed this independent fiscal institution, is committed to it, and is delivering on this commitment.