March 8, 2023 | By Colin O. Jarrett |
A candidate has been identified for appointment as Jamaica’s first Fiscal Commissioner.
This was disclosed by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, who indicated that the individual is expected to be sworn in shortly by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.
The Minister further advised that a provision has been earmarked in the 2023/24 Estimates of Expenditure to establish the independent Fiscal Commission.
He was speaking during Wednesday’s (March 1) meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives at Gordon House, where members are deliberating the Estimates.
The Fiscal Commission, which will be the guardian and interpreter of Jamaica’s fiscal rules, will monitor compliance with these, report on outcomes, and keep the public informed by providing independent analysis on fiscal policy developments.
Dr. Clarke said the newly appointed Fiscal Commissioner is expected to undertake activities to establish the Commission’s office.
These, he pointed out, include identifying a location to house the entity’s operations, getting the organisational structure approved, and staff recruitment.
“It’s our hope that he’ll be able to do that over the next 12 months [to enable] the [Office of the] Independent Fiscal Commissioner to become operational by fiscal year 2024/25,” Dr. Clarke said.
He noted that the tabling of the Independent Fiscal Commission Act, 2020 and undertaking the entity’s establishment are consistent with the Government’s policy commitments to institutionalise fiscal transparency and strengthen Jamaica’s fiscal responsibility framework.