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Premier Seeks PMFL Reform

Hon W McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, MLA

The Premier of the Cayman Islands, the Honourable McKeeva Bush, reiterated his call for a review of the Public Management & Finance Law (PMFL) and its related procedures and policies in a letter dated Friday March 19th 2010 addressed to His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Duncan Taylor.

In the letter Mr. Bush sets out three questions that he feels could serve as a guide for formal terms of reference for a review which include:

  1. The extent to which the PMFL and its related procedures have contributed to the growth in the civil service
  2. The extent to which the stated objectives of the PMFL when it was originally introduced, are actually being achieved
  3. The possibility of reforming the current procedures of, and approach to, implementing the PMFL.

"We have been questioning the effectiveness of the PMFL and the entire framework surrounding it for years and it has been in place long enough for us to take stock of how well it is serving us," the Premier said.

He said it was time to examine the systemic effect of the PMFL on the efficiency of the government's administration.

"We need to look at the systems that people are working within and fix those aspects that are not working," he added.

In the letter the Premier also raised the question of whether the government should consider switching back to a January to December fiscal year instead of the current fiscal year which runs from July to June.

"The Ministry of Finance is considering a number of reasons why we should revert back to the calendar year. The end of our current fiscal year ends too close to a general election and this was one of the reasons it was changed in the first place. Unfortunately, due to the impact of Hurricane Ivan in moving the general elections to May, the original rationale is no longer relevant. There are also a number of other reasons such as the fact that all of our historical economic and other data are based on a calendar year as is the case with virtually most other countries everywhere. Therefore re-aligning to a calendar year would help us to match our economic data with our fiscal data for better forecasting," said the Premier.

The Premier said that in due course the Ministry of Finance would be submitting a position paper on the question of the calendar year change, but he pressed the Governor to urgently consider his suggestion of a formal review of the PMFL.

"I believe that this review of the PMFL should be carried out as a matter of urgency, and that we should aim to complete this exercise by the end of May 2010. It would benefit the performance of our upcoming fiscal year, for 2010/2011, if we were able to identify and implement possible adjustments to the PMFL and the related systems and procedures," he added in his letter to the Governor.