Despite improvement in PSIP, Govt still faced with constraints

first_imgMid-Year Report 2018 The Finance Ministry’s Mid-Year Report 2018 has revealed a slight improvement in the pace of implementation of the Public-Sector Investment Programme (PSIP). According to the report, this improved from 23.6 per cent on average to 31.8 per cent at the first half of the year.However, it was noted that there were several constraining factors that continued to stymie further progress in implementation of key programmes, many of which were listed.Inadequate leadership, the report stated, is further complicated by a limited pool of evaluators and qualified contractors. The absence of procurement by a limited pool of qualified contractors also lend to the issue, but the absence of procurement planning was another contributing factor. The inability to attract qualified engineering and procurement specialists was listed as another major constraint.“Cabinet is in the process of addressing the weak management across budget agencies undertaken the [Public Investment Management Assessment] PIMA, an action plan has been drafted and implementation of project appraisal systems is anticipated to improve the pace of implementation in future years,” the report stated.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has long criticised Government for slow implementation of PSIP and at one time promised to write the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, DC, over the alleged corrupt practices of the David Granger Administration in relation to this.Jagdeo said these practices have led to a stagnation of the PSIP. He further pointed out that even in the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC)-controlled administrative regions, the implementation is low. At the national level, PSIP, he said is being under-implemented.“If you look at the PSIP, it is an abysmal failure. Now we are seeing that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is working with the Government to improve the performance of the PSIP, and this could see the possible setting up of a ‘delivery unit,” Jagdeo had disclosed.A statement from the IDB local office on Wednesday indicated that, in an effort to support Government’s endeavours to improve effectiveness and accountability in the delivery of public services to citizens through the implementation of the PSIP, the international financial institution has engaged the services of a top consulting firm specialised in this area to provide necessary support.According to the IDB missive late last year, most Governments place too much emphasis on policy and less on the importance of effective project implementation. As such, it was noted, the delivery unit model was a simple but rigorous approach, in which there is a systematic process through which system leaders drive progress and achieve results – in this case specifically of capital projects carried out.The IDB said this model was characterised by its emphasis on defining a set of limited clear priorities and goals focused on outcomes for citizens, and rigorous data-based monitoring of progress and coordination among involved parties. Through implementation of these principles, the model aims to clarify what success means for the Government, and thereby increase the speed of delivery of benefits to citizens.In February, Minister of State Joseph Harmon had urged senior public service officials, mainly Permanent Secretaries (PSs) and Regional Executive Officers (REOs), gathered for the opening of a Public Policy Analysis Management and Project Cycle Management Training Programme, to step up their game and make more effort to become efficient in handling Government’s affairs on a daily basis.Harmon had said the role of these senior public officials, who are decision makers and senior technicians within the Public Sector, was one which was important to the Government. “And as you are well aware, there is cause to have serious conversations with PSs and REOs with respect to the manner in which we were handling our responsibilities… We have to step up our game and become better,” he asserted.He continued, “The Ministers of the Government lay out policies and you are responsible for administration. So, do not see yourself as pen pushers and paper pushers. You have an important responsibility in ensuring that the projects which have been identified and for which budgetary allocations have been made, that they are carried out.”last_img

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