With the Freundel Stuart administration under pressure to reduce its spending, at least one regulatory agency says it has already started the process of becoming “financially independent” of Government.
Without going into details of its actual budget, Chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) Sir Frank Alleyne assured that “the state of the commission is sound and God’s willing, there will be no turning back”.
“It is true that we operate on a shoe-string budget . . . [but] our medium-term goal, in another seven years or so, is to have a regulator which has attained financial independence,” he said, adding that this was “absolutely critical” for the six-year-old regulatory authority.
“No regulatory body with responsibility of the FSC should plan to continue going cap in hand to Government for financial support,” he said, adding that “we are really conscious of this and we submitted proposals already for this attainment for this financial independence”.
Emphasizing that “we don’t want to be a burden on the Government purse”, he further pointed out that “he who owns the purse strings controls the show, and the regulator should be independent and call it as it is.
“So that is one of the objectives of the commission going forward,” he added.
Sir Frank was addressing the commission’s annual lecture and cocktail reception at the Grand Salle, Tom Adams Financial Centre on Thursday evening.
During his address, he disclosed that the FSC should have a new e-filing system in place by July this year.
He said not only will that system result in savings for the commission and those it regulated, but it would also facilitate “attainment of a paperless working environment, upgrade the efficiency of the system and provide for electronic communication, online payment of fees by regulated entities and ease of submission of request by public sector stakeholders and the public.
“So this is a savings on the part of the stakeholder and it is a savings on the part of the commission. It is a win-win situation,” said Sir Frank.
As for the recent departure of two of the commission’s most senior officers to take up positions in the private sector, Sir Frank said: “I applaud them, I am not worried about the loss of them because they were attracted.
“I think it is a move by our stakeholders to get the best,” he said in reference to the exit of former Chief Executive Officer Randy Graham and former Director of Risk Analytics David Shepherd.