Describing the proposed Public Finance Management Act 2018 as ground-breaking, Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations Colin Jordan this afternoon hailed the provision which will make state-owned enterprises answerable to the people of Barbados.
“The era of mismanagement in state-owned enterprises; the era of ministerial overreach in the work of state-owned enterprises; the era of the wastage of public funds in state-owned enterprises will shortly come to an end. The realization of that goal – bringing these excesses, corruption even, in state-owned enterprises to an end – lies in significant measure in the hands of the people of this country,” Jordan said.
He said, for instance, there will be public meetings and the people of this country will have an opportunity to hear from those who lead enterprises that spend their money . . . They will be able to hear from them . . . will be able to understand what is going on and will be able to find out how their money is being spent. And I think that is something ground breaking,” he added.
The minister said it speaks also to how people should be treated.
“The people we represent have to be treated as being part of the governance of this country. Their role is not an every-five-year role. The people who sent us here must keep our feet to the fire and must keep the feet of every other Government to come, to the fire. They must hold us accountable and we must be man and woman enough to be held accountable by the people whose money we spend,” he contended.
Jordan said his Government respected the structures set up to hold it accountable and rather than disbanding them as the former administration sought to do with the Public Accounts Committee, certain functions of the PAC have been enshrined in the proposed legislation to be carried out as a matter of course.
He assured the country that his Government would do everything in its power to maintain its trust and confidence.