Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Civil servants to be paid through account at BOJ

Published:Wednesday | December 31, 2014 | 12:00 AM

McPherse Thompson, Assistant Editor - Business

The government will further increase direct payments through the treasury single account at the Bank of Jamaica, using the central treasury management system to include civil service salaries by January 2015, according to its latest report to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the December 3, 2014 memorandum of economic and financial policies sent to the IMF executive board ahead of the sixth review under the economic support programme, the government will strive to retain collections in the single account until payments need to be made.

With technical assistance from the IMF, a plan for further expansion of the single account was expected to be developed during the course of this month.

Expansion and improvement of the treasury single account would also include the closure of imprest and various transit accounts by April 2015, including clearing accounts for the payment of salaries, collection of gross revenue flows, and inclusion of extra budgetary funds, executive agencies and budget-financed public bodies in that account, the IMF report said.

The government has committed to undertaking those activities as part of its implementation of an updated action plan for public financial management reform, in collaboration with its development partners.

In this context, it said, the macro-fiscal capacity of the Ministry of Finance and Planning would be strengthened with the support of IMF technical assistance.

Action plan

It pointed out that an action plan was completed in September 2014. On the basis of that plan, the government will undertake hands-on training for members of the Fiscal Policy Management Unit; review, reorganise and reclassify the functions and positions in that unit, and develop structured work plans for each position in the reorganised unit by the first quarter of fiscal year 2015-16.

In addition, it will recruit additional qualified staff for the reorganised unit by the second fiscal quarter of 2015, and document procedures of methodology and processes for the efficient production of key outputs and effective management of data sets and information on an on-going basis.

With the support of IMF technical assistance, the Fiscal Policy Management Unit commenced, in October 2014, hands-on training in macro-fiscal management, including a review of the revenue forecasting methodology, as well as the development of a comprehensive macro-fiscal data collection and management strategy, the report said.

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com