Ministries to be Audited


Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw has said that some Government ministries will be subjected to management audits.
Addressing the annual Accounting Conference at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, today (March 6), the Minister said that for now, “it’s not about firing public sector workers, it’s about saying, let us all be more efficient.”
“After 18 years, we have to have a management audit, because some bad habits and practices have set in,” Mr. Shaw added.
Speaking in the context of raising the efficiency level of public sector workers to facilitate increased investments in the country, the Minister assured that there was no motive behind his suggestion. In fact, he said what he wanted was to preside over an economy that was growing so aggressively, that the government would be seeking workers.
The Minister informed that the government had just received an official response from the World Bank, that US$300,000 had been allocated to commence a diagnostic study on corruption, which he had requested in October last year.
However, he pointed out that the Government was going further than the diagnostic study, because the presumption is that not everybody is corrupt.
“By far the larger issue,” he stressed “is a management audit to ensure that we maximize the efficiencies of every tax dollar that is spent in every ministry, in every agency, in every department of government and nobody should find that policy objectionable,” he said.
The Minister cautioned participants at the conference, comprising mostly young accountants, not to compromise their professionalism for anyone, not even their boss.
In a wide ranging presentation, Mr. Shaw said he was against bureaucracy which impedes investment and national development. He emphasized that the more efficient the public sector is, the greater the benefits that would accrue to the private sector, citizens, and the country.
He implored public sector workers that, “if a decision can take a day or one hour, for God’s sake, don’t let it take two months”. As for workers in the approvals system, the Minister urged: “Don’t let things just stay on your desk, and make people wait.”
“If we can ramp up the approval for buildings and subdivisions and cut the window to three months from three years, can you imagine what that will do for the construction sector. It’s growing at four per cent now; if we do that, it can grow at 10 per cent. Can you imagine what that does for jobs and for the economy,” Mr. Shaw said.

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