NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Hurricane Dorian has highlighted the need for a multi-sectoral initiative toward recovery and national development, according to a governance reformer.
Matt Aubry, the Organization for Responsible Governance’s (ORG) executive director, told Eyewitness News Online the Government “can’t do it alone”.
“What Dorian has done is really highlight the fact that everyone has a role in getting us through this,” Aubry said.
This is truly about national development from all sectors. The way we get through this is emergency is for government, private sector, civil society, academia, media and clergy all doing their part. We all need to be involved, we need to work together and the citizens need to understand what is happening and how money is being spent.
“Government, they can’t do it alone. We all have to be involved. As government presents its ideas, it’s incumbent upon our citizenry and private sector to not just scrutinize but also provide solutions and make recommendations.
“Let’s make sure we have the best and brightest working because ultimately we are all going to benefit or fail together,” said Aubry.
Finance Minister K Peter Turnquest told Parliament last week the country’s fiscal deficit for the fiscal year 2019/20 is likely to be nearly $573.4 million, or an elevated 4.5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
Turnquest noted this figure exceeds the $137 million or one percent fiscal target prescribed by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.As a result, he said the government is required to devise and present a fiscal adjustment plan outlining three components, namely; the reasons for the departure; the measures the Government intends to take to get back on track; and an estimate of how long it will take to do so.
Aubry said: “When we think about the Fiscal Responsibility Act, it means that the government is bound to try and meet and meet certain obligations for the greater good and we don’t saddle our future with unmanageable debt. It also talks about the release of information so the public can be more involved in fiscal governance. We need to help our citizenry increase their fiscal literacy.”
Aubry said ORG will be emphasizing fiscal literacy next month in conjunction with the release of the government’s mid-year report.
“There will media ads, social media ads and events that look at how we prepare our citizens to be able to understand and use the information being put out by government,” he said.