Government takes new budget approach

Accounting firm Ernst and Young assists with the budgetary process.

The Government of Saint Lucia hosted a two-day financial workshop yesterday, for some of the main expenditure ministries as part of the Budget preparation process.

The workshop was conducted by Ernst and Young (Caribbean), and comes on the heels of a forum held last week that allowed the ministries an opportunity to present their budgets for consideration to the Minister for Finance.

Director of Finance, Cointha Thomas, stated that the forum revealed a few inadequacies and areas where improvement is needed to deal with the government’s financial challenges, while the financial workshop provided clarity on the government’s strategic direction and how the ministries plan to achieve the set strategic goals.

Sen. Hon. Ubaldus Raymond, Minister in the Ministry of Finance, said budgets over the years have been rushed and lacking. This year’s budget, he explained, will be one with a difference. He added that because Ernst and Young already had a working relationship with the government in the area of tax reform, it was only fitting that they continue to assist in the budgetary process.

Maria Daniel, a partner at Ernst and Young (Caribbean) said the focus of the two-day workshop is to enable the ministries to think differently about how they spend money. Daniel further explained that each dollar must be viewed differently in terms of its return investment.

Over 60 persons from the government ministries attended the workshop held at the Financial Administrative Centre, at Point Seraphine. The workshop began on Tuesday, Feb. 14 and ends on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

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