Government is in a period of austerity. This was revealed by Minister of State Joseph Harmon who today (Thursday, March 2, 2017) hosted the post Cabinet media briefing.
According to Harmon this now means that the administration will be employing a number of practical measures to ensure that Government resources are sensibly utilized.
These measures are expected to be circulated shortly to the relevant Ministries and agencies so that they “spend your money to make sure that it lasts.”
The question was posed to Mr Harmon for an example of just what was meant by “reducing expenditure and promoting efficient utilization of Government resources” in light of the fact that budgets would have already been approved for these agencies for the year.
“It means that you have to reuse envelopes. You have several measures which we will circulate to the Government Ministries on how they can cut back on expenses. When you leave a room you don’t leave an air conditioner running, you don’t leave lights running and all of these things so they are practical measures which will be used by the Government to ensure the austerity that I’m talking about and that the monies which you have that they last you longer” he explained.
Another notable point is that fact that Government has also asked several senior public officers to apply for their accumulated annual leave rather than reverting to the old custom of payment in lieu of the extended time away from office.
The reason for this Harmon says is that the practice is a “major source of financial drain on the administration.”
The question was then asked about Government’s plan to revitalize the economy in light of the current circumstances to which Harmon responded that the administration is looking at various options including Public sector infrastructural programmes from Budget 2017 to ensure that the economy is better positioned.
“We are going to engage the private sector in a more meaningful and aggressive way so that this partnership between Government and private sector can be used, that energy, that synergy which the two parties bring together can be used to basically boost and move this country forward” Harmon said.