$18 billion issued in loans, but where are the jobs?
The Auditor General Pamela Munroe Ellis has flagged the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) for issuing more than $18 billion in loans with no idea whether they have met the intended purpose.
In a report tabled in Parliament yesterday, the Auditor General also said the DBJ is failing to monitor financial institutions to ensure that the loans it issues are meeting the stipulated criteria.
The Auditor General says during the period 2009/2010 to 2010/2015 the DBJ issued about $18 billion in loans for employment creation and projected 20,134 jobs.
However, Munroe Ellis says the DBJ did nothing to find out if most of those jobs were created.
She says data was only available for the ICT sector which up to June this year, only realised 19 per cent of the projected jobs.
According to the report, the DBJ determines economic benefit by reviewing and assessing loan applications to evaluate the ability of the proposed projects to create jobs, generate foreign exchange, stimulate foreign investments and use local produce.
However, the Auditor General, says there was no robust evaluation of the performance of the projects and her office was challenged in trying to find out whether the DBJ was fulfilling its mandate.
The Auditor General is recommending that the DBJ develop a monitoring strategy to periodically assess the impact of its loan disbursements on economic growth and development in Jamaica.
The DBJ was established in 2000 to foster economic growth and development of strategic sectors of the Jamaican economy.