#Nassau, February 21, 2019 – Bahamas – The Ministry of Finance has recognized the need to modernize the mechanisms by which the Bahamas Government collects, stores and disseminates data, Deputy Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Athena Marche said at the Diagnosis of the National Statistical System (NSS) Workshop.
“This workshop is a key step in this effort and we hope that from it, we will be that much closer to the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics that establishes the National Statistical System that will in turn, provide timely, reliable data to decision makers across the country,” Ms. Marche said at the workshop held at SuperClubs Breezes, February 20, 2019.
“Doing so will ensure that we are using quantifiable evidence to select projects, develop human resource capacity and ultimately meet developmental goals. National Statistical Reform is a key step towards the modernization of the information infrastructure in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
The Deputy Financial Secretary explained that the modernization agenda of the Ministry of Finance is driven by a host of factors both domestically and internationally.
She said it must be recognized that no modern government can function without reliable, relevant timely statistical information. Such data is needed to design and monitor development policies and strategies at a national level.
Ms. Marche noted that without such statistics, the government would essentially be operating without feedback into the effectiveness of its decision making or spending.
“Not only will the NSS change the way that government operates, it will provide a vehicle for the public to hold the government to greater accountability. National Statistics are an objective measure of government’s performance and as the democracy in The Bahamas matures, the government welcomes increased participation from all sectors of the public.”
She noted that it is difficult, if not impossible to overstate the role of statistics in national financial and developmental planning. Statistics describes the facets of the lives of every day Bahamians.
“Statistical information should be used to make decisions on a wide range of issues, including housing and land use planning; health care planning; the provision of educational facilities, national strategies for investment.
“By providing insight into these and other areas, the NSS will improve the Ministry of Finance’s ability to estimate expected revenue and expenditure across the public service and assist in identifying areas where spending should be increased or decreased.”
Ms. Marche added that consequentially, a comprehensive National Statistical System will improve the government’s ability to make evidence-based decisions about the allocation and management of scarce financial resources, which is the objective of the PFM/PMR Project.
She explained that the benefits of the development of a comprehensive and integrated NSS are not limited to government. The Ministry of Finance recognizes that there is a demand for greater accessibility to quality data about The Bahamas from every sector in the country.
“Quality national statistics will improve the ease of doing business by making it easier to conduct market research for example and by providing companies with the information resources that they need in order to make decisions about the future.”
The Deputy Financial Secretary said, “We intend to develop world class learning institutions, which will require national statistics for academia and research.”
By Llonella Gilbert
Header: Deputy Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Athena Marche (right) speaks with participants at the Diagnosis of the National Statistical System Workshop held at SuperClubs Breezes, February 20, 2019.
Insert: Participants listen attentively at the Diagnosis of the National Statistical System Workshop held at SuperClubs Breezes, February 20, 2019.
(BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)