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  • The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, and The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) have partnered to establish the annual Public Sector Corporate Governance Awards.
  • The initiative seeks to recognise and reward public bodies that have established high standards of corporate governance disclosure and practices.
  • The awards are scheduled to be presented in November 2017 and will be applicable to public bodies that are governed by the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act and the Corporate Governance Framework for Public Bodies.

The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, and The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) have partnered to establish the annual Public Sector Corporate Governance Awards.

The initiative seeks to recognise and reward public bodies that have established high standards of corporate governance disclosure and practices.

It aims to promote awareness of and adherence to the principles of good corporate governance and encourage improvements in the standard of disclosure.

The awards were officially launched by Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, during a ceremony held yesterday (November 16) at the Banquet Hall, Jamaica House.

In his remarks, Mr. Shaw said it is anticipated that the awards will promote effective governance in order to increase public bodies’ performance and improve public trust.

He noted that there was previously no formal established common approach or guidance in the public sector regarding matters such as governance standards and regular reporting on performance.

“This was a glaring deficiency in effective governance. Some public bodies had come into question for breaches, including those of procurement guidelines and incidents of fraud or negligence on the part of their fiduciaries,” Mr. Shaw said.

He contended that good corporate governance is just as important in public enterprises as it is in the private sector.

“I posit that effective corporate governance is even more critical in the public sector, since public funds are being utilised for the common good. Public-sector entities make a vital contribution to our social and economic circumstance by providing a range of essential public services in areas such as infrastructure development, public utilities, employment creation, social welfare and economic growth,” Mr. Shaw stated.

He further said that the effectiveness with which these services are provided and the efficiency with which state entities utilise the public resources at their disposal “are matters of deep public interest”.

Mr. Shaw said that as the Administration pursues a comprehensive programme of public-sector transformation and modernisation, the broad goal is to achieve greater efficiency, and address perennial concerns of poor performance and management, financial irresponsibility, and weak mechanisms for monitoring accountability in Government.

Meanwhile, Chair of the PSOJ Corporate Governance Committee, Greta Bogues, underscored the importance of recognising those public bodies that have established high standards of corporate governance disclosure and practices.

She explained that the awards will cover four categories and one overall winner. The four category awards include Board Composition, Functions and Structure; Corporate Governance Policies,

Procedures and Practices; Compliance and Disclosure of Information; and Risk Measurement and Internal Controls.

The awards are scheduled to be presented in November 2017 and will be applicable to public bodies that are governed by the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act and the Corporate Governance Framework for Public Bodies.

The entities will be assessed based on their performance in the Financial Year 2016/17.