Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler is reporting steady progress in the implementation of Government’s economic stabilization and sustainability programmes.
Sinckler said there was evidence to suggest that the rate of implementation of the revised Medium Term Development Strategy 2013 – 2020 had improved significantly despite fiscal constraints.
In addition, he said the 19-month fiscal adjustment programme, which forms the first tier of that strategy, was achieving its targets.
Sinckler gave the assessment while addressing the opening of the two-day Public Sector Leadership Conference at the Hilton Barbados Resort this morning, being held under the theme, Overcoming The Implementation Deficit: From Planning to Performance.
Government’s programme for stabilization and sustainability which began during the 2009/2010 financial year was initially intended to span a five-year period but was later reformed and intensified, Sinckler said. He added that following an “average” performance a revised medium-term fiscal and development plan was put in place from 2013 “to push the reform agenda much further than had been previously contemplated.”
The March 2013 Monitoring and Evaluation Status Report indicated that approximately 284 policy measures were announced in the Budgetary Proposals and Financial Statements and the Medium-Term Development Strategy between July 2008 and August 2012.
“Out of these measures action would have been completed on approximately 162 and implementation ratio, I am advised, of about 57 per cent for the overall period 2009 to 2012/2013,” reported Sinckler.
“The overall implementation performance of the broader 2013-2020 medium-term development national strategy, set on the canvas of an uncertain global climate, continued at a high level of implementation with there being marked success in the broader implementation of measures to improve efficiency and effectiveness in Government operations,” he added.
The Minister of Finance said the number of implemented activities increased from 41 to 194 from 2013/2014, while there were 88 more strategic actions at advanced stages of implementation.
“There were slightly less strategic actions progressing at a slower rate of implementation while the number of policies, which were of some concern, fell from 168 in 2013/2014 to 92 at the end of March 2015.
“In the context of this and in the context of the medium term 19-month adjustment programme which we just completed only a few months ago . . . we can report that of the 50 budgetary proposals I announced in the series of financial measures since 2013, an estimated 72 per cent or 36 of the policies have been completely implemented as at March 2015. In addition nine of these policies continued to be implemented ahead of their trajectory in terms of implementation pace. This puts the overall programme implementation coverage, I am advised, at 90 per cent and an overall implementation momentum at 100 per cent,” he said, emphasizing that the programme had achieved “in principle” its targets.
However, Sinckler acknowledged that the success of the full implementation of the policies depended heavily on Government’s ability to set clear objectives, identifying the critical drivers of implementation and having a robust and constant system of monitoring and evaluation.
In addition, he said in order to improve the chances of success attention must be paid to planning, programme and project definition, greater stakeholder involvement, clear communication and monitoring and evaluation. (MM)