Statutory boards in Barbados will be a major target of Government’s efforts to control its spending.
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler, said yesterday that while the changes would be done without causing “undue dislocation”, agencies such as the Transport Board, Barbados Water Authority, Sanitation Service Authority and National Conservation Commission would subjected to “structural reforms”.
“Many years ago the concept of creating statutory entities was expected to bring a level of efficiency in terms of performance in the delivery of certain government services and over the years we have had many, many statutory entities created, perhaps more than we would have liked, but this has happened through successive administrations,” he said during a media conference at Government Headquarters.
“When you look at what you have now some of these entities have actually themselves been having fiscal issues in relation to their performance, revenue and expenditures.
“And what we have said is that we have to go into these agencies in a responsible way and restructure them to the extent where they can be far more efficient in the delivery of the services which they give to the public and that they can get a better return, for those who get a return, or be able to reduce the cost level associated with it, and that is how we are going to be approaching it,” he added.
Plethora of agencies
Sinckler said while he was hearing “a lot of comments about size of government and all of these things”, he recalled that under the last Barbados Labour Party administration “a plethora of statutory agencies were created”.
“Invest Barbados, … KOMI that runs the Kensington Oval, Needhams that is responsible for Hilton (Hotel), Rural Development Commission, Urban Development Commission, (Commission for) Pan African Affairs, a whole plethora of them each having their own civil establishment, each having their own boards, each having their own director, … each requiring a transfer from the Government,” he stated.
“So when we hear … all of this criticism about size of Government one has to really wonder about it. Now what we are going to be proposing to do is to relook that entire structure and to see where levels of efficiency can be obtained and where we can do it in a responsible manner that does not cause undue dislocation we will do so, but we will have to… do an examination of all of the agencies.” (SC)