Press Release:- The Government’s proposed amendments to the Public Finance Management Act will set Saint Lucia on a backward path in managing public spending.
Ahead of Tuesday’s Parliament Sitting, Leader of the Opposition Honourable Allen
Chastanet, reminded that the Public Finance Bill was passed in November 2020 by
the United Workers Administration and set forth the rules, systems and processes for
the mobilization of public monies, the allocation of public funds, the facilitation of
public spending, the appropriate accounting and reporting of these expenditures and
the auditing of the results at the end of the cycle.
“This Act is part of a well-functioning Government to ensure monies are managed in
a manner that is planned, recorded and reported in an efficient and effective way,”
“Yet we are learning that the SLP Administration intends to make several amendments to this Act that will see more power given to the Minister for Finance, less oversight over Government spending and even less accountability.
Among the amendments is the timeframe for the Budget presentation, the number of
supplementary budgets that can be presented in one year and the reallocation of
capital expenditure with no control.”
Chastanet explained that Saint Lucia was lauded by international bodies for its moves towards adopting the fiscal rules and the formulation of sound fiscal policy which included financial transparency, planning, reporting and accountability.
“The changes by the present administration sets us back and weakens public trust
and good governance. When we passed this Act it replaced the often problematic
Finance (Administrative) Act and it was part of a broader reform to strengthen public
financial management,” Chastanet noted.
“We strived to ensure Saint Lucia was in line with international best practice in Public Finance Management and this is now being threatened.”
The former Prime Minister also noted that despite what it stated in the past the SLP
Administration has indicated its intention to have the Bills go through all their stages
in one sitting.
“Once again the hypocrisy from this present Administration is unashamedly glaring,”