Monitoring and Evaluation key to effective delivery of budget measures
— almost 700 trained in M&E
— “I urge you to continue consulting the stakeholders of your sectors as you prepare your budgets” – Min Jordan
DPI, Guyana, Monday, July 15, 2019
“It’s about putting the systems in place and the institutional strengthening that is required,” said Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan at launch of the 2020 Budget Training Session at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), on Thursday, July 11.
Addressing heads of budget agencies and financial officers of ministries and government agencies at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), the minister noted the need for all relevant personnel to take their tasks seriously.
“Getting there is about rolling up our sleeves, putting our shoulders to the proverbial wheel and getting the work done,” he emphasised.
Among issues raised by the Finance Minister was the need to critically address the respective agencies’ data gaps. This was essential, he posited, to ensure that achievements were measurable.
“As we go forward, based on evidence, we can determine what is working and what is not; what needs to be reformed and what needs to be removed.”
He further reminded that these gaps were highlighted previously, when most of the stakeholders collaborated with his staffers, “in preparing the Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the SDGs.
“I urge you to continue consulting the stakeholders of your sectors as you prepare your budgets,” he said.
Minister Jordan pointed out that the strengthening of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems continue to be prioritised. This, he noted, has resulted in the scaling up of training in fundamental concepts of M&E over the last three years.
“As a result, almost 700 public servants have been trained with the intention of them returning to their agencies, and applying their newly acquired knowledge to their work and to ensure the successful implementation of each successive budget… We commenced what I think is a first in strengthening our public investment management – the training of a core set of Budget Agencies on how to develop their project concept notes from a more scientific basis, so that we can ensure that projects coming into the budget are criteria-based and clearly demonstrate linkages to achieving a Green State.”
Citing the implementation of the Public Sector Investment Programme, Minister Jordan touted the need for a holistic approach to solving the challenges being faced.
“One aspect of that solution must be improved conditions of service, salary and allowances. In that regard, salary improvements to attract a higher number of qualified engineers to the central government is under active consideration; it is expected to be approved, shortly.”
Stakeholders were further reminded that teachers and public servants’ remuneration have been continuously improved over the last few years.
All categories of workers, the minister added, “have benefited from a significant reduction in income taxes and substantial increases in the income tax threshold. All of this has taken place in the context of low single digit inflation, rising economic growth and improvement in the social and physical infrastructure – roads, lighting housing, water, and so on.”
The two high-level committees to examine wages and salaries and allowances in the Teaching and Public Services appointed by His Excellency, President David Granger, Minister Jordan noted, demonstrated how important these issues were to the Coalition Government.
“The one for the teachers is already up and running while the one for the public service is taking a little time to get going. The government has already named its members to this committee, and we hope that it will get down to the important task, soon. Regardless, I can say with confidence, that public servants will get an increase in wages and salaries this year and can expect a bigger increase in wages and salaries next year after we would have won the General Elections.”
See the transcript of Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan’s entire speech on the link provided.