Warmington agrees to start new discussions on SDC management fees
Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer
Lawmakers are to make another attempt to get the Social Development Commission (SDC) to reduce the contentious management fee it charges to implement education assistance programmes.
The longstanding issue was again raised during today’s first meeting of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committee of the Parliament since the change of government.
Each of the 63 MPs spends about $4 million yearly from CDF allocations on education programmes, which include tuition assistance for book grants and back to school.
The SDC has a management fee of five per cent which it imposes on education related programmes submitted by each Member of Parliament for implementation.
This morning Chairman of the CDF committee Everald Warmington agreed to a request by committee member, Mikael Phillips to start new discussions with the SDC on getting a reduction in the fee.
Phillips said education programmes are considered as social welfare assistance and as such most of the money should be going towards the beneficiaries.
He said he would like a reduction in the fee from five per cent to between two and three per cent.
Executive director of the Constituency Development Fund, Moveta Munroe who was at today’s meeting, said she would communicate with the SDC’s leadership to set up an early meeting on the issue.
Warmington said the discussions should take place before the disbursements are made for this financial year.
The SDC has rejected previous efforts to reduce the fee.
In 2014, Executive director at the SDC, Dr Dwayne Vernon, told The Gleaner the level of work required for the educational support programme is often intense and the fee was justified.