Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Education Minister wants to run ministry like a corporate body

Published:Tuesday | September 27, 2016 | 9:44 PM
Education Minister Ruel Reid ... “I want to run the ministry like a corporate body so I know what my receivables are, I know what my payables are ... ."

Education Minister Ruel Reid has set up a corporate finance committee within the Ministry of Education, with hopes of making the ministry more financially efficient.

Reid was addressing the reopening ceremony of Jamaica College's Parent-Teacher Association Shoppe, at the school’s Old Hope Road, St Andrew campus.

Christopher Williams, Proven Solution’s chief executive officer, has been appointed head of the committee.

Also a member of the committee is chairman of Sagicor Life Jamaica, R. Danny Williams.

“I want to run the ministry like a corporate body so I know what my receivables are, I know what my payables are, and I understand how funds and projects are progressing and so what I’ve done is put a team together, a team to make sure we improve our financial management accounting system to better inform me as minister, so I can give better evidence-based policy directions,” the education minister said.

Reid stated that after he became minister, and when the budget for the Ministry was being looked at, he realised that there was no system in place to create monthly financial statements.

“When I attended my first Standing Finance Committee meeting and we were looking at the budget for the Ministry of Education, and when I looked at how the ministry operates, I realised that the ministry doesn’t produce monthly economic or financial statements to the minister,” he said.

“I am now able to programme funds more directly so we can have more impact, for example, the absence of a budget for furniture, which every year, people complain about the lack of furniture because the ministry hasn’t had a proper budget for furniture (or even) a proper budget for maintenance.”

He stressed that the committee would be assessing methods of kicking off a maintenance programme in all schools across the island.

“I am able now to look at how we are going to have a maintenance programme that reaches every school in Jamaica. It’s one thing to take schools off shift, it's one thing to build new schools, but we also have to maintain what we already have.”

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com