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Finance wants more money to modernise Government

Providenciales, 11 Aug 2015 – An additional $50,000 was last week requested by the Ministry of Finance for a project to streamline and modernize how government works with particular emphasis on being more efficient to the private sector.

However, when questioned about private sector’s involvement in the project by Governor’s appointed member, Hon John Phillips, it was said there is none – that the Minister of Finance in his experience as a businessman will bring his expertise to the table as chairman of the committee.

It was the first presentation to the Appropriations’ Committee of the House of Assembly, for Permanent Secretary of Finance Athenee Harvey since being reinstated and her mission was to convince the members that the money is needed and the project is necessary. It is dubbed the ‘Business Transformation Project’ and is a sector reform contract; it is funded by the EDF for $11.85 million euros.

The TCI has to contribute the $50,000 project management cost for this fiscal year as a part of the start-up for the initiative which already has a committee in place. The funds will make travel between the islands possible for meetings and reviews. We also learn in listening to the Appropriations’ Committee meeting held last week in Grand Turk that this Business Transformation Project is not going to be an overnight thing; it was explained to member, Hon Norman Saunders that the project will last between 18 and 24 months.

When Hon Sean Astwood asked if this project differs from the development of Small and Medium Enterprises pitched by the PNP Administration, the Finance team said yes, it is different.

“Review government’s operation and service delivery in some aspects for example, the immigration process. The revenue control collection; actually how we collect revenue is it better for us to possess revenue electronically, do we need a more e-friendly process to go through? So we are just trying to drive our processes from past actions to bring it a bit forward,” said Athenee Harvey, Permanent Secretary of Finance.

It is also expected that this move will work to draw businesses by removing bureaucracy and creating employment. The committee assigned to do this job is comprised of various government workers; the new InvestTCI agency is expected to complement the initiative.

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