Minister of Finance Winston Jordan yesterday flagged the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) as having performed far below both expectations and economic needs in 2017.
He has further declared that Budget Agencies should be in a state of readiness to implement the PSIP, come January 01, 2018.
Jordan had first flagged this underperformance at the half year. At that time significant concern was expressed about the lack of progress of the PSIP and government agencies worked to accelerate implementation.
“We have approached the preparation of Budget 2018 with a significantly sterner disposition, since continuing with the status quo was untenable and unthinkable. During the preparation process, Budget Agencies were mandated to ensure that procurement plans were prepared in support of their 2018 work programmes; bills of quantities and terms of references were prepared in 2017 for 2018; and procurement processes commenced prior to the New Year,” Jordan told the house.
The make-up of the PSIP, in Budget 2018, is one that should allow for a more structured and timely execution within the parameters of scope, time and cost. We have conducted a Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) and, based on the findings, will be taking further actions to improve the quality of expenditure outlays, he added.
At the end of June, Jordan had noted that less than 30 percent of the PSIP was expended.
He was at the time addressing the Budget 2018 Preparation and Sensitisation Training Workshop.
In his remarks to the Heads of Budget Agencies and other Senior Government officials, Jordan highlighted the fact that the 2017 Budget had been delivered since the 26th November, 2016 and yet, there were budget agencies in June still figuring out specifications of items to be purchased.
“We have awarded only 53 percent of the PSIP and expended a mere 28 percent on maintenance of infrastructure within the recurrent budget. While we happily and deservedly bask in the glow of improved Grade Six examination results, we need to wake up to the reality that less than 50 percent of our Grade Six children passed mathematics this year. Drugs and medical supplies are still in short supply at GPHC and in all of our regions,” the minister had lamented.