Restructuring of Ministry of Finance to be presented to Cabinet
A complete restructuring of the Ministry of Finance will be presented to Cabinet, aimed at moving the ministry beyond being administrational and operational to one that is more strategic and analytical, according to Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson.
Johnson said this “retooling” of the ministry will allow it to do the kind of empirical work needed to support good policy.
“Very shortly the deputy prime minister will be putting forward to Cabinet a revised organization structure and looking to creating more opportunities for growth for existing staff, as well as to recruit additional talent into the Ministry of Finance,” Johnson said in an interview with Guardian Business.
“The restructuring isn’t really contingent or really to invite any kind of policy. The impetus for the organization is recognizing the ministry is thinking to move past being an administrational and operational entity, to one that is strategic and analytical in order to be able to do the kind of empirical work to support good policy. We recognize the need to modernize the Ministry of Finance and how it does business.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest earlier this month said along with the restructuring of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the ministry was also establishing an Economics Unit that would be particularly aggressive in the research of the Bahamian economy, so as to provide options to the government as and when they may be required.
These changes come as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its most recent Article IV Concluding Staff Statement noted a need for stronger public sector financial management.
“Not that we’re going to do less financial controls. What we want to do is modernize how we go about managing public sector finance. Which means that the controls need to be appropriate, we need the analytical tools to assess trends, we need to be able to ensure that the hardware and software are providing the right kind of information and flagging the things that need to be flagged,” Johnson said.
“So, there is certainly a need to throughout not only the Ministry of Finance, but also the treasury and across the government to ensure that we improve the financial controls as we move forward. But more so than that we want to take the information that is generated on a daily basis to be able to do more analysis of it and gain more insight, to help guide public policy making going forward. That is the key aim of the reform effort.”
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