- Drafting instructions have been issued to the Chief Parliamentary Council (CPC) for the three strategic laws: the Local Governance Act, Local Government Financing and Financial Management Act, Local Government (Unified Services and Employment) Act. This is a major step in adding legal authority to the role and functions carried out by Local Authorities.
- A second draft of the draft bill for inclusion of Local Government in the constitution of Jamaica was received by the Ministry last week and is being reviewed.
- In terms of the structure of Local Authorities, Ministry and Local Authority representatives are in dialogue with the Corporate Management Division in respect of the recommendations for new organizational arrangements. The discussions include the implementation of a shared services approach covering legal services, ICT, Human Resource Management and Audit among other areas.
- As an important tool in the accountability and transparency framework, the financial management and accounting system (FMAS) has been implemented in eight Local Authorities while two more are expected to implement this system early in the next financial year.
- In respect of establishing an effective financing framework the Ministry is working to strengthen critical pillars of the councils financing arrangements with focus on ensuring improved performance of own source revenues; significantly improving the performance of the Parochial Revenue Fund (PRF) with property tax targets moving from 2.8 B to 7.26 B in one fiscal year; employing the use of technology to support councils efforts – streetlight database; close monitoring of property tax collections; computerization of the councils finances.
In declaring the Governance Thematic Working Group officially launched, the Minister declared that the MTF 2012-2015 priorities for the Governance area were in accordance with the priorities of the Ministry and that he is confident that the working group, if committed to the task, will be able to achieve Vision 2030’s National outcome #6; Effective Governance.