Project Management Officers employed to speed up budget spending

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While the economy has recorded a 2.2 percent growth rate for the first half of 2017, capital spending for the same period has been “very slow”.
A total of $56.75B was approved for this year’s capital spending under the Public Sector Investment Programme. However, less than 30% of the monies were expended in the first six months of the year.
As such, a number of ways were looked at to fast track spending. According to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, a recommendation was made for Project Management Officers be employed at the Ministries.
“I believe that is having an effect already, because some of the Ministries already have these officers in there and others that don’t have, the Ministry of Finance is now looking at assisting them to have officers in their Ministries to be able to help push the paperwork,” Harmon told media operatives at a Post Cabinet media briefing on Friday.

Decreased public sector spending has been one of the major concerns raised by the private sector in previous months, as it was noted that public spending is critical to economic growth.

The Minister said the majority of the reasons for slow implementation were as a result of “unfamiliarity with the procurement system.”
He said better streamlining of the procurement process from the point of awarding a contract to the beginning of works is needed.
“What we trying to do is to narrow that gap so that things can happen at a faster pace,” he said.
Harmon said Cabinet will continue to closely monitor the implementation of the PSIP while he assured that the bulk of the program will be implemented by year end.

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